Symphonies Nos 3 and 7
Danish National Vocal Ensemble, Choir and SO
Composed between 1972 and 1975, Per Nørgård's Third Symphony is regarded as one of the classics of Danish music, and this hugely impressive recording reveals why. In the late s1960s, Nørgård adopted a method of composition that anticipated the techniques of the French spectralists, and used it to build symphonic power structures of impressive coherence and power. The potential of that approach to generate music of enormous expressive weight is perfectly demonstrated in the Third Symphony, whose first movement is conceived in a massive, ever-evolving span in which texture seems more important than linear movement. The second develops in surprising directions, introducing a chorus that sings settings of the Ave Maris Stella hymn, and poems by Rilke and Ruckert. It's wonderfully approachable, glowing music that includes everything from clusters of microtones to Latin American rhythms and languorous melodies...
Andrew Clements, The Guardian, 4/3/2009