horizontal line

Mein Lebens Licht is a nice reminder that Nystedt learned as much from Bach – whose work is interleaved with his own here – as he did from Palestrina or, for that matter, from his old teacher Aaron Copland. This is the finest representation of the Norwegian’s work since Immortal Nystedt in 2005, which was recorded to mark his 90th birthday; Nystedt died in his sleep just a few months before his 100th, which would have fallen in December 2015. He founded Det Norske Solistkor in 1950 and over four decades shaped it into one of the best church music ensembles in Scandinavia. His op.146 Be Not Afraid and the op.110 Ave Maria for mixed choir and solo violin are modern classics, delivered with ringing plainness here.

Nystedt’s younger countryman Trond Hans Farner Kverno takes a more openly mystical view, regarding his work as musical icons which open windows onto a different spiritual reality. The mistake is to overstate the mystical elements, but Kjetil Almenning’s reading of these diverse works is just right and the Bergen choir is second to none in conveying transcendence without resorting to fuzzily ‘transcendental’ effects.

BRIAN MORTON Read the full review on Agora Classica

   Read full review   

To continue reading, please upgrade to a premium account. You will have immediate full access.

Read more classical music reviews online here:

Choir & Organ, 2016 - ©Rhinegold Publishing