La Mattina; Serenidad; Trumpet Concerto
Leif Ove Andsnes (piano), Martin Fröst (clarinet), Tine Thing Helseth (trumpet); Norwegian Chamber Orchestra; Danish National Symphony Orchestra/Per Kristian Skalstad & Thomas Søndergård
Dacapo 8.226095 56:59 mins
The concerto genre is important to Bent Sørensen (b1958): witness his triple concerto L’Isola della città, which won the 2018 Grawemeyer Award, confirming him as the leading Danish composer of his generation.
Three solo concertos dating from 2007-13 are here recorded for the first time: by pianist Leif Ove Andsnes, trumpeter Tine Thing Helseth – both teamed with Per Kristian Skalstad’s Norwegian Chamber Orchestra – and clarinettist Martin Fröst, live with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra under Thomas Søndergård. All prove beguiling advocates of Sørensen’s characteristic blend of the emphatically new with ghostly echoes of composers from Bach to Grieg. But in La Mattina it’s Ligeti and Ives that initially spring to mind as Andsnes’s low piano growls against barely audible high muted strings, gradually transforming dark night into colourful day.
In Serenidad, a complementary magic turns its clarinettist into a bird, now fluttering, now (literally) singing and elegantly soaring, while the Trumpet Concerto has a paradoxically introverted expressiveness. Each work shows Sørensen’s striking gift for melodies that twist and microtonally smudge before dissolving.