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Mixed, themed programmes can be hit-and-miss, but this lovely set by the fearless Grete Pedersen explores nocturnal and oneiric modes with a logic and confidence. Per Nørgård’s Drømmesange are exactly the right place to start and a reminder that dreams, far from being wispy and indistinct, are usually all too precise in detail, even when the elements are strange. Likewise the pieces by Helmut Lachenmann and Kaija Saariaho (two from her), composers who always seem to work on the night side of the imagination. As she shows on Iannis Xenakis’s Nuits – possibly the best known piece here – Pedersen is happy to let the choir find its own register for each item. It wouldn’t surprise to find that a number of personnel were involved here. A personal favourite? Alfred Janson’s Nocturne, which shows that that sometimes too-easy form has both muscle and longevity.

BRIAN MORTON Read the full review on Agora Classica


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