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Monday, February 3, 2014

Axel Borup-Jorgensen, Recorder Music

Up until now when I thought of recorders, I thought of the baroque and early music periods and the sound one hears in such contexts. It never occurred to me that the high modern arena would utilize the family of instruments and I cannot recall having heard such a thing.

But all that is in the past now that I have immersed myself in Axel Borup-Jorgensen's CD Recorder Music (OUR Recordings 8.226910). We are treated to eight compositions for various-sized recorders--alone, with harpsichord or with percussion. No less than seven of these works are enjoying their world premier recordings on this disk.

The recorder performances are in the hands of Michala Petri and Elisabet Selin, and they are impressive exponents indeed. Ingrid Myrhoj appears on harpsichord for two pieces; Gert Mortensen plays the multiple percussion instrument part on the one work involved. Everyone sounds great but it is the expanded recorder techniques and the clarity, dynamic thrust and elan of their execution that bring it all together.

Alex Borup-Jorgensen (1924-2012) wrote these works between 1975 and 2011. That they were a labor of love seems clear as you listen. The mastering of the recorder parts by Michala Petri and Elizabet Selin were no doubt labors of love as well.

The earlier works feature rapid-fire jumps into and out of various registers; the later works less so. In any case the parts are difficult and superbly played. It's almost uncanny to hear the recorder in an expanded, ultra-modern tonality. Once one gets over the shock the idea that these are fine works that bear repeated hearings sets in. And from that point I was hooked.

This is not just state-of-the-art modern recorder music. It is also a collection of very pleasing high-modern chamber music.

Very much recommended.

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