SONaR - Bødtker

SONaR - Bødtker

2L  2L-051-SABD (2 discs)

Stereo/Multichannel Hybrid


Magnar Åm: vere meininga, det var mjukt, dette blanke no

Ellen Sejersted Bødtker (harp)
Hildegunn Riise
Oslo Kammersolister
Grex Vocalis

SONaR - A celestial sonic world of harps, strings and angels. Composed and performed specially for the surround sound format.

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Resolutions (3)
  • 2.0 LPCM 24bit/96kHz
  • 5.0 DTS HD MA 24bit/96kHz
  • 5.0 LPCM 24bit/96kHz
Reviews (1)

Review by John Broggio - March 12, 2009

An immaculately performed and recorded disc of less than inspiring music.

Ellen Sejersted Bødtker is a Norwegian harpist who is a frequent performer with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra. That she plays with concentration, assuredness and dedication is beyond question. What she plays is not however.

The three works on this disc are all written by Magnar Åm and all feature the voice (as well as harp). The first is "Vere meininga"/"Be the purpose" and is a concerto for harp and string sextet in which Bødtker is expertly accompanied by the Oslo Kammersolisten. The sound arrangement for this work is given in the booklet as:
Harp: just left of front centre
Violin 1: Left of listener
Violin 2: Right of listener
Viola 1: Behind right
Viola 2: Behind left
Cello 1: Front left
Cello 2: Front right
Reciter: Behind centre
"Vere meininga" opens quietly, as if it were a watercolour in sound, and develops gradually bringing the sextet to join the harp with increasingly dissonant harmonies and after a short lament from violin 1, there is a violent and anguished use of avant garde style writing. This peters out into the recitation of the poem (by Hildegunn Riise) that inspired the work before the two disparate styles of writing return around an extended cadenza that starts at about 13'. For all this expert playing and soundstaging though, it must be admitted that the piece does not make a lasting impact on the listener. Nor, does the short song "Det var mujkt"/"I awoke" in which Berit Norbakken Solset is radiant with tasteful accompaniment from Bødtker.

"Dette blanke no"/"This our virgin now" is a "concerto for harp and angels", who are provided by Grex Vocalis under Carl Høgsted who also accompany Bødtker, Solset and Riise in their respective roles. Opening with the harp (again placed just left of front centre), the voices gradually enter. The work is split into two movements, divided by a cadenza and there is a different positioning for voices in each.
First movement: Soprano's are arranged from behind to front left, alto's from front centre to rear right.
Second movement: Alternating group's of alto's and soprano's are arranged surrounding the listener.
About half-way through the work, the recitation of the poem that inspired this work is delivered. Again, the music is beautifully rendered but leaves no lasting impression with the listener.

The sound is very immediate and vivid as is common with those from the 2L stable. In this regard, the disc cannot be faulted.

Copyright © 2009 John Broggio and


Sonics (Multichannel):

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