Louth Contemporary Music Society release The Song of Songs
featuring world premieres by David Lang and Betty Olivero
Performed by Trio Mediaeval, Garth Knox, Agnes Vèsterman, Sylvain Lemêtre and Cliona Doris
1. David Lang. just (after song of songs). 12.58. World Premiere Recording
Performed by Trio Mediaeval, Garth Knox,viola Agnès Vesterman, cello and Sylvain Lemêtre percussion
2. Luciano Berio. Naturale. 19.08
Performed by Garth Knox, viola and Sylvain Lemêtre, percussion. And tape
3. Betty Olivero. En la mar hai una torre. 13.12
Performed by Trio Mediaeval, Garth Knox,viola Agnès Vesterman, cello, Cliona Doris, concert harp and Sylvain Lemêtre percussion conducted by Andrew Synnott.
The writer Paul Griffiths in his booklet notes for this remarkable recording says “The Song of Songs is the dancer in the temple, the sensualist’s page tucked into the holy book, a love song accepted as scriptural in Jewish and Christian traditions from times before reckoning. It is a song of mutual adoration, voiced by two people— though their voices are not distinguished in the text, perhaps, in the ecstasy of this shining, blazing regard that each fixes on the other, that holds them face to face, they are one. “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth!” the song begins, “For your love is better than wine; your anointing oils are fragrant; your name is oil poured out.”
The Song of Songs cd features the world premiere performances of two incredible new works by Pulitzer Prize winner David Lang and renowned composer Betty Olivero centred around the ancient text The Song of Songs.
The new compositions, both Louth Contemporary Music Society commissions, Lang’s just (after song of songs) and Olivero’s En La Mar Hai Una Torre (In the sea there is a lighthouse) are lyrical yet beautiful contemporary spiritual works that are breathtaking from start to finish. The recording also features Garth Knox performing Berio’s Naturale which is apt considering Berio was one of Olivero’s most important teachers
The brilliant Norwegian Trio Mediaeval collaborate with Garth Knox, Agnes Vèsterman, Sylvain Lemêtre along with Cliona Doris harpist, for the first time to record the new compositions. The record stems from a Louth Contemporary Music Society concert performance in October 2014 where both composers David Lang and Betty Olivero attended the performance and recording session.
This is must have recording.
Garth Knox savours twisting his viola away from plain concert-hall equal temperament towards the ecstatic, elastic tuning of the (unnamed) singer.
Philip Clark The Strad November 2015
The Observer 4 Star Review of Louth Contemporary Music Society’s song of songs cd.
Lang, Berio, Olivero: Song of Songs CD review – full of surprises
(Louth Contemporary Music Society)
The spirited Louth Contemporary Music Society initiates performances of contemporary music in and around Drogheda and Dundalk, and makes a speciality of themed CD releases. These works by David Lang, Luciano Berio and Betty Olivero all relate to the Song of Songs – as a note by Paul Griffiths puts it, “a love song accepted as scriptural in Jewish and Christian traditions from times before reckoning”. Lang’s Just, delivered with expert purity by the Norwegian vocal group Trio Mediaeval, is bewitching and incantatory. Berio’s Naturale uses viola (Garth Knox), percussion (Sylvain Lemêtre) and a taped Sicilian folk singer, wild and ululating. Olivero’s En la Mar Hay Una Torre (In the Sea There Is a Lighthouse) mixes sea shanty and chorale, harp and strings. Hear it and be surprised.
Louth Contemporary Music Society, Song of Songs – album review
ANDY GILL Friday 24 July 2015
The Louth Contemporary Music Society specialises in themed world premieres – on 2010’s Path it was Arvo Pärt and John Tavener, here it’s David Lang and Betty Olivero works based on the Song of Songs, both featuring the Scandinavian vocal group Trio Mediaeval.
in Olivero’s “En La Mar Hai Una Torre” (“In the Sea There Is a Lighthouse”), their interweaving voices summon echoes of sea shanty, chorale and love song, braiding lyrics in several Middle Eastern tongues over harp and strings. Lang’s “Just” is more minimal, with descending close-harmonies listing lovers’ qualities in an hypnotic, incantatory manner.
Already used in Paolo Sorrentino’s film Youth, it’s a wonderfully intimate work of subtle sensuality. The premieres are separated by a performance of Luciano Berio’s “Naturale”, an absorbing alliance of viola, percussion and taped Sicilian folk singer.