Once more one of these oceanic days...
It is no coincidence that the Faroese composer Sunleif Rasmussen quotes the poet and novelist William Heinesen in the title of his First Symphony, Oceanic Days. The ocean seems to flow through Sunleif Rasmussen’s symphony, which was awarded the Nordic Council’s Music Prize in 2002. The music grows in wave-like motions and gathers into towers of sound analogous to the surf breaking on the Faroese shore, the composer’s inexhaustible source of inspiration.
Sunleif Rasmussen is the first – and so far the only – conservatory-trained Faroese composer. In recent years has been experiencing an international breakthrough that helps to place his native islands on the world map of music.
Rasmussen’s works conceal traditional Faroese melodic material that permeates the structure of the music, but is not heard directly. In the saxophone concerto Dem Licht entgegen from 2001, the composer focuses on an indefinable movement towards the light. The concerto has a constantly ascending musical tendency, also reflected by the way the soloist must change in the course of the work from the low baritone saxophone through the tenor and alto to the bright soprano saxophone.
Dacapo Records now presents a razor-sharp premiere recording of Sunleif Rasmussen’s two major works in the new super audio CD format*, which reflects every nuance in the Faroese composer’s orchestral universe. The Danish National Symphony Orchestra/DR is conducted by Hannu Lintu, and the saxophonist Jeanette Balland, who gave Dem Licht entgegen its first performance in 2001, is the soloist.
"...Whether in regular stereo or SACD, the orchestral textures have ideal clarity and a totally natural perspective.... I can’t imagine a more sympathetic presentation of either work."
"...The wide spread and spatial accuracy of the 5.0 recording aids the many complexities of this primarily atonal music..." ****
"The dedicated and skillful playing of the Danish orchestra under the Finnish conductor, Hannu Lintu and Dacapo’s extraordinarily fine sound for the label’s first Super Audio release make this disc very worthwhile ..."