American praise for Chorale by Winther Christensen

The American music blog I Care If You Listen praises “delicate” piece by Christian Winther Christensen.

Photo: Mette Kramer Kristensen

Amanda Cook, I Care If You Listen reviewer, was present at the SPOR Festival in Aarhus in May. In her review of the SCENATET concert at the festival she praises Christian Winther Christensen’s Chorale:

“Danish composer Christian Winther Christensen’s Chorale, which received its world premiere in early May at the MATA Festival in New York, challenges everyday expectations by exploring textural extended instrumental techniques at extremely soft volumes. 

Chorale demands that the ensemble—comprised of alto flute, bass clarinet, violin, viola, cello, piano, acoustic guitar, and electric guitar—create soft and subtle grooves in delicate spurts. The work begins with mostly percussive sounds from all of the instruments, and the absence of tone allows the audiences to be highly cognizant of the emergence of pitch.

String players slid their fingers and bows vertically along their strings and woodwinds produced key clicks and rushes of air. The electric guitar was only amplified when the acoustic guitar was playing, which created even more timbral possibilities. Quotations of Bach eventually emerge in the guitars while a muted, stopped tone from the prepared piano gently accompanies.

By the end of the work, a melodic line with a perceptible contour eventually forms, having completed the journey from texture to tone. SCENATET’s performance of this work was particularly magnificent due to their ability to sustain such a fragile soundscape for ten minutes.”