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Friday, June 21, 2019

Himmelborgen, Uranienborg Vokalensemble, Kare Nordstoga, Elisabeth Holt

The Uranienborg Vokalensemble, out of Oslo, is an exceedingly beautiful sounding chamber choir under the direction of Elisabeth Holt.  Himmelborgen (2L 149) is an album of sacred music, mostly from Early Music spheres. Though I read elsewhere that some have been composed now, and honestly with the graphically exquisite presentation typical of 2L (happily combined with wonderful audio production values as always) I am having real trouble deciphering what it is I am hearing. Kare Norstoga is on organ, I get that. The graphics are reader unfriendly. What is this lovely music?

Even the back cover blurb is hard to read. And this is the sort of music that is not so obvious as far as being able to guess what each of the 15 selections are--though I recognize some hymns and other Early Music melodic things. Listen to their "Dies Irae" (in arrangement/recomposition, see below) and if you are like me you will think of Arvo Part, then just think of time passing, or the dusty music manuscripts coming to life for us only now. At any rate you will I hope like me be transfixed.

Honestly, with the kind of beauty represented here, maybe it does not matter if I cannot quite decipher the text on the CD? I go to the web where there is an explanation I can read! Oh, it is the reworking of sacred hymns and related Early Music by Marcus Paus, Marianne Reidarsdatter Eriksen and Morten Christophersen. As the program proceeds it becomes more clear that these are reworkings, yet the choir is so incredible that it all has a tabula rasa feel to it, regardless of the what.

The music is as ravishing as such things get, the audio sparkling and glowing with "Immersive Audio" technology and 2L's two-disk SACD-Blue Ray audiophile assortment as ever.

Molto bravo! Wow! Outstanding music.

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