A Bridge of Dreams Ars Nova Copenhagen & Paul Hillier
- Lou Harrison (1917-2003) Mass for Saint Cecilia’s Day (1983)
- 8Agnus Dei01:58
- Rose Edwards (b. 1943)
- 12Sacred Kingfisher Psalms13:24
- Jack Body (b. 1944) Five Lullabies (1989)
- 13No. 1. -02:34
- 14No. 2. -02:13
- 15No. 3. -01:43
- 16No. 4. -01:46
- 17No. 5. -03:35
- Liu Sola (b. 1955) & Kevin Crossley-Holland (b. 1941)
- 18The Seafarer07:51
- Anne Boyd (b. 1946)
- 19As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams11:09
Info for A Bridge of Dreams
Scintillating vocal music from the Pacific Rim featuring composers and poets from China, Japan, California, New Zealand, and Australia ... and one ancient Anglo-Saxon Seafarer. Unusual and lovely music sung by the Grammy-winning vocal ensemble, Ars Nova Copenhagen, under their conductor Paul Hillier, and with early harp virtuoso Andrew Lawrence-King.
'Danish ensemble in music from America and Australia Californian plainsong? That's what you get in Lou Harrison's 23-minute Mass in 11 sections commissioned by the St Cecilia Society for the Preservation of Gregorian Chant and Peking Opera in 1983. It comes complete with a weird continuo of medieval instruments, with scope for improvisation, and starts close to plainsong monody; then we get drones and organum. It's another Harrison mix of East and West that sounds fabulous in this acoustic.
The other composers are from Down Under. Ross Edwards sets two psalms but intercalates them with the names of birds in aboriginal languages. His Kingfisher Psalms is a rhythmic virtuoso piece requiring an underused tarn-tarn. Jack Body is a New Zealand ethnomusicologist who uses made-up languages for the text of his Five Lullabies inspired by Chinese singing techniques. Two lullabies are boisterous, designed for paternal delivery rather than by the conventional mother. If the noisy ones wake the baby up then the last one should settle it down again. The Seafarer has a text from Anglo-Saxon modernised by Kevin Crossley-Holland and music by the Chinese composer Liu Sola. The Baroque harp virtuoso Andrew Lawrence-King has more scope than elsewhere on this album and Paul Hillier himself recounts the story.
Anne Boyd's As I crossed a bridge of dreams (1975) gives its title to the CD and, with its rapt sostenuto, steals the show. Almost endlessly sustained, immaculately imagined, and - like everything else here - admirably performed. (Gramophone, Peter Dickinson)
Ars Nova Copenhagen
Paul Hillier, Conductor & Narrator
Andrew Lawrence-King, Harp, Psaltery, Hurdy Gurdy
Jack Body, Composer
Anne Boyd, Composer
Ross Edwards, Composer
Lou Harrison, Composer
Liu Sola, Composer
Ars Nova Copenhagen
is widely recognized as one of the finest vocal ensembles in Europe. Founded in 1979, the ensemble today is busier than ever. In addition to its annual season of concerts in Copenhagen and throughout Denmark, the ensemble regularly appears across Europe, and in North and South America. At the heart of Ars Nova Copenhagen's work is its equal dedication to early music and new music. Some programs explore the cross-currents between the two, while others form detailed portraits of individual composers or genres within a given period.
Since its beginning, Ars Nova has worked closely with some of the most important Danish and Scandinavian composers like Per Nørgård, Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen, Bent Sørensen, Sven-David Sandström, and each season, the group invites a composer in residence: Toivo Tulev (Estonia) in 2007, Bernd Franke (Germany) 2008, Sunleif Rasmussen (Faroe Islands) 2009, Áskell Másson (Iceland) 2010 and Steve Martland (England) 2011.
Ars Nova is also building collaborations with creative artists in different fields such as drama, film and ballet, as well as cultivating new modes of concert performance and innovative repertoire. Besides the concerts, Ars Nova produces a number of CDs each year - both on its own record label, Ars Nova Records, and for labels such as Dacapo Records and Harmonia Mundi. Ars Nova Copenhagen is sponsored by The Danish Cultural Ministry, the Danish Association of Professional Choruses and a number of private Danish foundations.
has been Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of Ars Nova Copenhagen since 2003. Founding director of the Hilliard Ensemble, and subsequently of Theatre of Voices, Paul Hillier's career has embraced singing, conducting, and writing about music. His books about Arvo Pärt and Steve Reich, and numerous anthologies of choral music, are published by Oxford University Press.
Paul Hiller has taught at the University of California at Santa Cruz and Davis, and from 1996-2003 was Director of the Early Music Institute at Indiana University. In 2006 Paul Hillier was awarded an OBE for services to choral music, and in 2007 he received the Order of the White Star of Estonia, and was awarded a GRAMMY for Best Choral Recording (with the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir).
In 2008 he was appointed Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the National Chamber Choir of Ireland, and in 2009 was invited to form the new Coro Casa da Musica in Porto, Portugal. He won a second GRAMMY in 2010 (with Theatre of Voices and Ars Nova Copenhagen), this time in the category for Best Small Ensemble Performance, and in 2012 he was nominated in the category Best Choral Performance (also with Ars Nova Copenhagen).