MORTENSEN: SONGS (Jakob Næslund Madsen/ Signe Asmussen) (Dacapo Classical: 8.224704)
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Otto Mortensen (1907-86) was one of the finest Danish song composers of the 20th century. His output ranges from simple songs, intended for everyman to sing, to more challenging art songs. He has written or arranged many songs for choir, and it is not for nothing that he is one of the favourite composers of Danish choirs.
Mortensen also wrote a number of chamber music works, a symphony and a few other large instrumental works, but vocal music was undoubtedly the genre closest to his heart. For his songs, Mortensen's choice of texts is characteristic of his fondness for Danish nature poetry, especially by modern Danish poets; even when he was occasionally inspired by Nordic or English texts, they were also often about nature. This is true of the great majority of the poems on this recording.
These miniature musical gems are here presented by alternating female and male solo voices with piano accompaniment.
Signe Asmussen trained as a soloist at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen. She has made a name as an interpreter of Lieder, as an oratorio soloist and a chamber musician. A member for many years of ensembles like Ars Nova Copenhagen, she has recorded many CDs and given a wealth of concerts all over the world. Jakob N?ªslund Madsen is also a sought-after oratorio soloist; as such he has appeared with all the Danish regional orchestras, and with several Baroque ensembles including Concerto Copenhagen.