Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Thomas JENNEFELDT (b.1954)
Villarosa Sequences (1993-2001): Aleidi Floriasti; Saoveri Indamflavi; Villarosa Sarialdi; Strimoni Volio; Claviante Brilioso; Virita Criosa; Vinamintra Elitavi
Jeanette Köhn (sop)
St Jacob's Chamber Choir/Gary Graden
rec. 20-21 Feb 2001, St Jacob's Church, Stockholm. DDD
PROPRIUS PRCD 2029 [66.55]

Jennefelt is a very active contributor to contemporary vocal music with operas and many choral works in his portfolio.

The seven pieces comprising Jennefelt's Villarosa Sequence are designed to function just as well individually as when performed as a single work. They are for unaccompanied chorus and call for the most exalted levels of virtuosity. Four are for mixed choir, one for male choir, one for female choir and one sequence for solo soprano.

Jennefelt's skill and sympathy are never in doubt and must surely be attributed to the years he spent as a singer in Eric Ericsson's chamber choir. He knows his creative craft as an insider.

The 32 strong choir sing in their own church so they must be used to the warming resonant bloom that adds a softened consonant focus to the listening experience. The music is curvaceous, sensitive to dynamics from barely heard ppp to triple forte rafter-shaking (sample the Vinamintra Elitavi, tr. 7). It is naturally singable music. No violence is done to the traditions of Scandinavian a capella singing. Still these are resourceful pieces with a palette that admits of chugging and pecking word patterns, deconstruction and refraction of syllables, plainchant overtones, ecstatic harmonic clashes amid singing of the Howellsian largest-scale. There is too velvet-toned lyrical invention and jubilant exaltation modelled on Rosenberg's writing in the Fourth Symphony and The Isle of Bliss. It is meditative and prayerful even in operatic exclamation (tr.5 Claviante brilioso). There are also strong echoes of Sisask and Tormis especially Tormis in what I like to think of his 'work' songs - the equivalent of the waulking songs of the Gaelic North-West of Scotland.

Another triumphant choral CD from Sweden. I will hope to hear these pieces sung in choral competitions. Dramatic, prayerful, meditative music infused with vibrant light and granitic vigour. The piece ends in an harmonically enriched cocoon of Bluebird-like vowel sounds just as it began.

Rob Barnett


Return to Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.