Music by Henrik Ødegaard Vox Clamantis
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- Henrik Ødegaard (b. 1955):
- 1Ødegaard: Jesu, dulcis memoria04:50
- 2Anonymous: Alleluia. Pascha nostrum02:17
- Henrik Ødegaard:
- 3Ødegaard: O filii et filiæ03:28
- 4Anonymous: Kyrie03:04
- 5Anonymous: Pater noster04:27
- Henrik Ødegaard: Meditations over St. Mary Magdalene's Feast in Nidaros:
- 6Ødegaard: Meditations over St. Mary Magdalene's Feast in Nidaros: I. Maria dilexit multum02:51
- 7Ødegaard: Meditations over St. Mary Magdalene's Feast in Nidaros: II. Psalm 62 (Vul. 63), antiphon "Mihi osculum non desisti"05:09
- 8Ødegaard: Meditations over St. Mary Magdalene's Feast in Nidaros: III. Canticum Trium Puerorum, antiphon "Oleo caput meum non unxisti"07:29
- 9Ødegaard: Meditations over St. Mary Magdalene's Feast in Nidaros: IV. Psalm 148-150, antiphon "Ideoque dico tibi"08:53
- 10Ødegaard: Meditations over St. Mary Magdalene's Feast in Nidaros: V. Benedictus, antiphon "In diebus illis"09:24
- 11Ødegaard: Meditations over St. Mary Magdalene's Feast in Nidaros: VI. Hymn "Æterne Deus omnium"03:02
- 12Ødegaard: Meditations over St. Mary Magdalene's Feast in Nidaros: VII. Magnificat, antiphon "O, Maria, mater pia"06:20
- 13Ødegaard: Meditations over St. Mary Magdalene's Feast in Nidaros: VIII. Maria, tibi persolvum01:32
Info for Music by Henrik Ødegaard
After dedicating past ECM New Series recordings to the works of contemporary composers Arvo Pärt, Erkki-Sven Tüür, Helena Tulve and most recently Cyrillus Kreek, the Vox Clamantis choir, under the direction of Jaan-Eik Tulve, turns its attention towards Norwegian composer Henrik Ødegaard with a fine-drawn programme of liturgical choral music. Vox Clamantis are at home in the worlds of both old and new music, having addressed Gregorian chant and the polyphony of Pérotin as well as present-day compositions on previous albums. The ensemble and the works of Ødegaard make a perfect match, as the composer’s work, in a subtle sleight of hand, interweaves Gregorian chant with Norwegian folk song.
“In this recording, Gregorian chant is the protagonist,” writes Kristina Kõrver in the liner notes, “sometimes in its pure beauty, sometimes intertwined with the ‘new song’ of Henrik Ødegaard. As an organist and choir conductor, his musical thinking has been strongly influenced by two important traditions, Gregorian chant and Norwegian folk music, both of which have found unique expressions in his work.”
While these two traditions appear inextricably merged into one in the performance of the choir, they are visibly separated from one another in Ødegaard’s scores – the passages of Gregorian chant being marked in square notation, the predominant musical notation form in European vocal music from the 13th to the early 17th century. It’s a symbolic divide, translated gracefully into the music by opening up monophonic plainchant with modern polyphonic ingredients. The composer employs liturgical hymns as source material, from which he then branches off with his own compositional voice.
His empathic embrace of the original scores is as respectful as it is subtle, endowing the early music with different shades of his own creation and thereby achieving a fresh perspective. The approach his heard on Jesu, dulces memoria, composed in 2014/2015, with the title of the original Gregorian hymn maintained. He gently integrates new musical material on O filii et filiae, based on a 15th century paschal hymn, and the approach persists in the following Kyrie and the conductus Pater noster.
The main work here is the eight-part Meditations over St. Mary Magdalene’s Feast in Nidaros, originally conceived to be sung by two separate choirs. It is based on antiphons found in a 13th-century manuscript from medieval Scandinavia. Ødegaard’s compositional process transfigures these antiphons without overriding the original sketches – a process described in the liner notes “as if the composer were literally sitting in front of a fragmentary manuscript, filling in the gaps and adding the missing lines, not as scholar-restorer, but as a poet, a co-creator.”
With an extensive background of studies in trombone, church music, composition and Gregorian chant, Henrik Ødegaard (Oslo, 1955) settled his focus on liturgical composition, working as choir conductor, organist and composer. He is represented in the Norwegian hymn book (1985), and from 1982 to 2006 held a position as organist/choir conductor in Sauherad, Telemark, in addition to being an active composer. His main focus is on choir music, where he mixes plainchant with the Norwegian folk tradition, employing micro-tonal elements in the process. Ødegaard has received commissions from Oslo Chamber Choir, Oslo Philharmonic, Telemark Brass Ensemble, Telemark Chamber Choir, and many other ensembles across Scandinavia and the Baltic States.
Tulve and Ødegaard first met 30 years ago, when Tulve was giving Gregorian chant masterclasses in Norway. Shortly after, the composer would go on to study at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musqiue et de Danse de Paris, where Tulve was the assistant of the professor of Gregorian chant, Louis-Marie Vigne. Tulve: “Henrik has always been interested in linking Gregorian chant to his own compositions, and so we have a long-standing connection through his work. Vox Clamantis has been performing his music for years. It is therefore deeply symbolic that he wrote Meditations over St. Mary Magdalene’s Feast in Nidaros, in which he used the old manuscripts of the Trondheim Cathedral, specifically for us and the Norwegian women's ensemble Schola Sanctæ Sunnivæ.”
After leading the Paris Gregorian Choir and the Lac et Mel ensemble, Jaan-Eik Tulve founded Vox Clamantis in Tallinn in 1996, and he remains its artistic director and conductor today. From the outset a collective with members sharing interest in Gregorian chant, Vox Clamantis has explored both early polyphony and contemporary music, with many composers writing new music for the group. Vox Clamantis’s recordings have won numerous awards, and in 2017 the ensemble received the National Cultural Award of the Republic of Estonia. The choir appears on numerous critically acclaimed ECM New Series recordings, including Erkki-Sven Tüür’s Oxymoron (2007), Filia Sion (2012), Arvo Pärt’s Adam’s Lament (2012) and The Deer’s Cry (2016), Helena Tulve’s Arboles lloran por lluvia (2014), and The Suspended Harp of Babel (2020) with music by Estonian composer Cyrillus Kreek. The BBC and The Observer, among much other international press, had high praise for the latter, each connecting something deeply universal but also alien with the music, calling it “magic of another sphere” on the one hand and “music of another place and time, beautifully done” on the other.
The album was recorded at the St. Nicholas Dome in Haapsalu, Estonia, in March 2021.
Jaan-Eik Tulve, conductor
is an Estonian ensemble which was formed in 1996. It brings together singers, composers, instrumentalists and choir masters who share an interest in Gregorian chant as the basis of all European art music. The group often sings this repertoire, but also performs contemporary music. Many Estonian composers, including Arvo Pärt, Erkki_Sven Tüür and Helena Tulve, have written pieces for them. Their interpretation of medieval music is never purely historical; while always remaining true to the spirit of this repertoire, the ensem ble tries to engage in a dialogue with contemporary music; even programmes consisting entirely of medieval music are contemporary in their selection of pieces. The ensemble has worked with numerous musicians of international standing, such as the organists Jean Boyer, Werner Jacob, Jon Laukvik, the Catalan soprano Arianna Savall, the French pianists Brigitte Engerer and Jean_Claude Pennetier, The Cello Octet Amsterdam, the early music group Hortus Musicus, the con temporary ensemble NYYD Ensemble and the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir. Their artistic director and choirmaster is Jaan_Eik Tulve.
After leading the Paris Gregorian Choir and the Lac et Mel ensemble, Jaan-Eik Tulve founded Vox Clamantis in Tallinn in 1996, and he remains its artistic director and conductor today. From the outset a collective with members sharing interest in Gregorian chant, Vox Clamantis has explored both early polyphony and contemporary music, with many composers writing new music for the group. The ensemble’s collaborators have included Marco Ambrosini, Ariana Savall, Jean-Claude Pennetier and Yair Dalal. Vox Clamantis’s recordings have won numerous awards, and in 2017 the ensemble received the National Cultural Award of the Republic of Estonia.
born 1964, studied violin, viola and composition at the G.B. Pergolesi Institute in Ancona and at Pesaro’s Rossini Conservatory. One of few nyckelharpa players working outside the Swedish folk tradition, he took up the instrument in 1983 and has since shaped a new role for it in baroque and contemporary music. Ambrosini’s ECM recordings include Resonances with his Ensemble Supersonus, and Inventio, duo performances with Jean-Louis Matinier, as well as albums with Rolf Lislevand (Nuove musiche, Diminuito) Giovanna Pessi/Susanna Wallumrød (If Grief Could Wait), and Helena Tulve (Arboles lloran por lluvia). Angela Ambrosini, born 2000, began playing nyckelharpa in 2010. She toured with the Oni Wytars ensemble in 2013 and first collaborated with Vox Clamantis in 2015.
born 1988, studied with Rolf Lisevand in Lyon and Trossingen. She has won awards including First Prize at the Helsinki international Kantele Competition in 2011. She works in close cooperation with early music ensembles including Lislevand’s Ensemble Kapsberger, Vox Clamantis, Oni Wytars and Supersonus and has also performed with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra.