Schola Cantorum – Kom vinur (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 09:24 minutes | 171 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Sono Luminus
Sono Luminus releases Kom vinur [SLE-70019], a world-premiere recording of two choral works by Grammy® nominated Icelandic composer María Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir on texts by nonagenarian feminist poet Vilborg Dagbjartsdóttir.
Recorded in Reykjavik’s Hallgrímskirkja in September 2020, the disc features the church’s renowned chamber choir, Schola Cantorum, led by conductor Hörður Áskelsson, and was produced by Kjartan Sveinsson, composer and former keyboardist of the band Sigur Rós.
Though it dates from 2017, in the context of a worldwide pandemic the title track of Kom vinur (Come friend) might easily be construed as a reflection on the distressed state of the world, with a text that alternates between defiance and acceptance of a pervasive darkness. The haunting and ethereal work was originally composed for Iceland’s Skálholt Summer Concerts, while Sigfúsdóttir was composer in residence.
The text, like that of its companion piece Maríuljóð, composed a year later, is by Icelandic poet Vilborg Dagbjartsdóttir, known as a modernist and champion of feminist causes whose themes often explore the status of women and social inequality. Maríuljóð, with a gently undulating rhythm and economy of musical materials, provides some respite from the darkness: speaking from the point of view of a child asking its mother about the Virgin Mary, it uses wordplay to engage with ancient traces of Mary in Icelandic language and culture.
Sigfúsdóttir calls the poems “the absolute core of the pieces; when composing them, I felt like excavating existing music from the text, unravelling hidden sounds from the words.”
1. Schola Cantorum – Kom vinur
2. Schola Cantorum – Maríuljóð