Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Music Webmaster
Len Mullenger:

(b 1927)
3 Salmi. Op 9 (1952) [13.49]
Anthems to the Blessed Virgin (1994) [7.26]
Tre madrigali di Torquato Tasso. Op 13 (1955)* [8.27]
Via Stenonis (1987) [8.22]
Appollo's Art - Four English Madrigals (1993) [7.04]
Three Passion Motess - ad honorem Tomàs Luis Da Victoria (1996) [7.22]
Pater Noster (1983) [7.47]
Det Jyske Kammerkor / The Jutland Chamber Choir
Members of the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra/Mogens Dahl
Recorded in Lystrup Church 16/20 Oct 1999 and 14/15 Sept 1996* DDD
Dacapo 8.224152 [60.17]

The Danish dacapo Label is, naturally enough, keen on recording and propagating Danish music in all it forms - a very laudable objective. After all, apart from Carl Nielsen - how many Danish composers can you name? The latest CD to reach me from that source is devoted to the works of Bernhard Lewkovitch. Born in 1927, Lewkovitch is to some extent an outsider, yet integral to the Danish musical scene. The outsider element comes from his ancestry as, though Danish born, his family and background is a devout Catholic one in a Lutheran country. Much of his writing is for the Church. He also seems to have the knack of upsetting people if one reads between the lines in the excellent notes that dacapo provide.

There are seven groupings on the disc, making up twenty-two songs in all. All of the 22 are sung by The Jutland Chamber Choir - a mixed choir of some 25 young voices - and all are in four-part settings mostly sung a capella. Much of the singing is in Latin.

Lewkovitch's work, as included here, is closely constructed, at times densely textured, sometimes open, tonal and varied in its tempi. The variety it offers in its polyphony is appealing and allows a reasonably varied programme to be presented. The oldest work in the selection, 3 Psalms from 1952, includes a slow, haunting De profundis while the jump to 1994 Anthems to the Blessed Virgin (in Latin again) shows more of the deeply reverential approach. In Three Madrigals of Torquato Tasso, sung in Italian, two excellent soloists (alto and soprano) are used for variation. Apollo's Art from 1993 - four English madrigals from the ubiquitous Anon in one of his more ironic moods, a wry choice by someone - is a delight.

The other works on the disc include parts for cornets and trombones - in Via Stenonis - and for woodwind in Three Passion Motests and an extended Pater Noster. This is music from a thoroughly competent, dedicated composer on a well sung, well recorded CD.


Harry Downey


Harry Downey

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