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It’s worth spending as long on the technical page as the libretto booklet, for this dazzling recording is the product of engineering skill as well as pinsharp singing. The climactic moment is Anders Hillborg’s wordless Muoayiyaoum, a rich aural landscape that surrounds and envelops. The other main pieces are Jaakko Mäntyjärvi’s dramatic piece for small ensemble Kosijat (The Suitors), in which ‘Finland Daughter’ successively rejects her celestial swains as too hot or cold before settling on the steady Pole Star; and Jan Sandström’s Biegga Luothe with solo baritone and percussion, one of three pieces by the composer on the set. There are also two by David Wikander (one of them the perennial Kung Liljekon- valje) and two by Hugo Alfvén, which stretches the chronology of the set from pre-war to 2001, and the repertoire from folk-song to avant-garde, familiar to rare: all of it fresh as frost.

BRIAN MORTON Read the full review on Agora Classica


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