News from 2L .:. November 2012
QUIET WINTER NIGHT- an acoustic jazz project in 5.1 surround sound (2L-087-PABD)

Quiet Winter Night — an acoustic jazz project

HOFF ENSEMBLE consists of some of Norway's finest jazz and session musicians, fronted by trumpeter Mathias Eick, of ECM renown, who plays a leading role in several of the compositions. The ensemble's basic quartet features legendary veteran bassist Arild Andersen and arranger Jan Gunnar Hoff on piano. Hoff has performed with his own group since 1993, collaborating with such artists as Mike Stern, Pat Metheny, Maria Joao and Alex Acuna. This time in this great Norwegian band he mixes flavours in a "cross-over" setting. Eick, with whom Hoff has worked on earlier projects, was the obvious first choice for QUIET WINTER NIGHT, along with Andersen and the rest of the band, complemented by Rune Arnesen (ex N.P.Molvær) on percussion and Børge Petersen-Øverleir, Norway's leading session guitarist.

Brilliant fiddle player Annbjørg Lien is an exciting addition to the HOFF ENSEMBLE, giving QUIET WINTER NIGHT a sound that is definitely Nordic with elements of jazz, folk and beyond, making this an interesting and original journey. On some of the instrumental tracks, like "Blågutten", Eick and Petersen-Øverleir create an overall jazz/fusion sound, while the trio setting of "Redd Mamma" is reminiscent of the work of Sweden's Jan Johansson. "Hva skal hende nå" bears comparison with Metheny's ballad form, yet with a more rock-influenced guitar sound. This tune also includes a great bass solo by Andersen.

The music is created by film composers Geir Bøhren and Bent Åserud and among the vocalists are some of Norway's top names in popular music: Helene Bøksle, Åsne Valland Nordli, Sondre Bratland, Unni Wilhelmsen, Tomine Harket, Bjørn Johan Muri, Cecilia Vennersten and Bjørn Eidsvåg.

Also available as 180g audiophile grade VINYL

La Voie Triomphale (2L-086-SABD) The Staff Band of the Norwegian Armed Forces

La Voie Triomphale — The Triumphal Way!

The years before, during and after the French Revolution were a turning-point for wind ensembles throughout the world. They developed from being small ensembles, with each instrument represented in pairs, to being something much larger. At the same time, the repertoire moved rapidly from the chamber music for wind instruments of Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven to much larger works of almost orchestral dimensions by a new generation of composers.

The Staff Band of the Norwegian Armed Forces and their conductor Ole Kristian Ruud has on this recording chosen music by composers who all made significant contributions to the evolvement of the wind orchestra and to the literature for wind orchestra that we know today. The music is an exquisite selection of French drama, romance and epic tone poems composed at times of considerable political turbulence. It could be precisely this political backdrop, combined with the wind orchestra's hitherto unexplored potential, that goes some way towards explaining why composers like Berlioz, Bozza, Saint-Saëns, Tomasi, Dukas and Milhaud chose to write large-scale works for the wind orchestra - works that are still considered an important part of the standard wind ensemble repertoire today, a repertoire the Staff Band of the Norwegian Armed Forces performs with the elegance, virtuosity and energy the music demands; The Triumphal Way!

The Staff Band of the Norwegian Armed Forces is one of the Norwegian armed forces’ five professional music ensembles, and since its formation in 1818 has been the country’s largest professional wind band. Based in Oslo, with their own concert hall Ridehuset at Akershus fortress, it is the armed forces' most important band for providing musical support at ceremonial functions, and it plays regularly on royal and official government occasions and on behalf of the armed forces – as well as at a host of other ceremonial and representative functions at home and abroad.

Including Hybrid SACD 5.1 surround and stereo

TrondheimSolistene - SOUVENIR (2L-090-PABD)

TrondheimSolistene — SOUVENIR

This Pure Audio Blu-ray provides the world's very first 3D recording. The Auro-3D® format features sound reproduction that is more realistic than anything you’ve heard before. It delivers a new standard in immersion, fully enveloping the audience in a cocoon of life-like audio. With the introduction of height channels, acoustic reflections create a natural sound presence originating from both around and above the listener.

How do we listen to music? Indeed, how do we listen to anything? What we as listeners encounter here is sheer auditory bliss. TrondheimSolistene take a new step towards bridging the gap between themselves and their audience. It is not the gap between the live performance and the recording which they attempt to close. It is the gap between the recording and the living, ever open human ear.

The Strad RECOMMENDS, Dec 2012: "It's certainly an enveloping audio experience, and one that is justified by the sheer panache of the TrondheimSolistene's fiery playing in both familiar Tchaikovsky and the welcome airing of rarer Nielsen. The group's name might suggest competing egos, but these are of chamber music writ large - literally so in the bulked-up adaption of the Florentine sextet - and with the kind of unanimity of attack and unified expressive intent that belie the lack of a conductor. The ensemble's artistic director is Øyvind Gimse." - Matthew Rye, The Strad Magazine.

"Through its dynamic co-operation TrondheimSolistene (the Trondheim Soloists) and 2L has always sort to stretch the boundaries of what is possible to convey to the listener, aiming for the ultimate recorded listening experience. With the Tchaikovsky Serenade the team has taken things one step further with the TrondheimSolistene truly justifying their name. By placing each individual next to someone from a different voice rather than sitting in conventional sections we are working at the very outer limits of what is possible and creating chamber music at the highest level" - Øyvind Gimse, Artistic Director TrondheimSolistene.

TrondheimSolistene (The Trondheim Soloists) are regarded as one of the top chamber orchestras in the world. Their DIVERTIMENTI and FOLK STYLE were both nominated for a total of five American GRAMMY Awards in categories "Best Small Ensemble", "Best Engineered Album" and "Best Surround Sound Album".

Also available as 180g audiophile grade VINYL

Ståle Kleiberg's David and Bathsheba (2L-084-SABD)

David and Bathsheba
— an Opera-Oratorio in Two Acts by Ståle Kleiberg

The Biblical story of David and Bathsheba has a lot of present-day relevance. In this story, individual emotions interact with political actions and their consequences. Fundamental ethical questions are thus being raised, on the macro- as well as the microlevel. And not least, the story illustrates how these two levels may be connected.

This is certainly also the case in Ståle Kleiberg's opera-oratorio "David and Bathsheba", where form and content embody the multi-layered complexity that makes up a great work of art. Yet the music is highly communicative, speaking to a broad audience in a direct and immediate way.

From the opening bars, Kleiberg's music establishes a very particular orchestral and harmonic colour, one effect of which is to ’place’ the events beyond our reach. It would be trivial to describe this distancing of the action as a mode of exoticism, but there is nonetheless a whiff of the East about the tone of the work, evocative of the time and a distant place. This is anything but a retreat into some oneiric fantasy world, removed from our contemporary reality. Rather the remoteness of the setting, together with Kleiberg's non-naturalistic approach to the drama, gives the work something of the character of myth. This enables it to speak to us as all myths speak to us, of deeper truths.

The present recording is a successor of 2L's Grammy-nominated release from 2009, Treble and Bass: Concertos by Ståle Kleiberg. Like the previous disc, the present one has been made in close cooperation with the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra, this time conducted by Estonian maestro Tõnu Kaljuste. The roles of David and Bathsheba are sung by Johannes Weisser and Anna Einarsson.

Including Hybrid SACD 5.1 surround and stereo

CIKADA - Eivind Buene: Possible Cities / Essential Landscapes (2L-083-SABD)

Eivind Buene: Possible Cities / Essential Landscapes

Moving through a city is a good metaphor for listening to new music. A big city will invite you through unfamiliar streets, into dark alleyways and sudden openings of light. It demands active participation, it offers new experiences, and there are countless ways of moving from one point to the next; a multitude of possible itineraries open up for both the wanderer and the listener. Traversing a city lets you meditate on construction and decay, on human ingenuity and the inevitable forces of time. Apparent chaos suddenly reveals a beautiful logic. Seemingly random patterns turn out to be networks of human interaction. And underneath the solid surfaces there's always nature, waiting to take over, to obliterate our structures with organic growth. I have tried to make these liminal states audible in Possible Cities / Essential Landscapes. The work is an invitation to listen into a landscape where stories emerge, multiply and disappear. As Italo Calvino phrases it in Invisible Cities: "It is not the voice that commands the story: It is the ear."

Possible Cities/Essential Landscapes is a cycle of chamber music and ensemble works written between 2005 and 2009, commissioned by Cikada and Ensemble Intercontemporain. Eivind Buene (b. Oslo, 1973) studied at the Norwgian Academy of Music from 1992 to 1998. He writes for ensembles, orchestras and soloists, engages frequently in collaborations with improvising musicians. In addition to music, Buene has written critique, essays and novels.

Since its 1989 formation in Oslo, the CIKADA has developed a refined and highly acclaimed profile on the international contemporary music scene. From the very beginning, Cikada has consisted of flute, clarinet, piano, percussion, string quintet and conductor Christian Eggen. All ten are equal, permanent members, and the ensemble has become synonymous with the Oslo Sound of fresh, vibrant, warm and virtuosic interpretations of consciously selected, contemporary repertoire. In concerts at major international festivals and on numerous albums, Cikada's distinct ensemble profile manifests itself in strong programming. Integral to this work is a wish to develop long-term collaborations with composers and to build composer portraits with commissioned works over time. Cikada was awarded the prestigious Nordic Music Prize in 2005.

Including Hybrid SACD 5.1 surround and stereo

KENNETH KARLSSON - the view was all in lines (2L-085-SACD)

KENNETH KARLSSON - the view was all in lines

In this recording pianist Kenneth Karlsson, for many years the artistic director of the Cikada ensemble, brings together Rolf Wallin and Asbjørn Schaathun, two Norwegian composers of truly European format, inviting them to join in close combat with one the major works of expressionism, the revolutionary "Sechs kleine Klavierstücke op.19" by Arnold Schönberg, written in the space of one day in February 1911.

In the same fashion Wallin and Schaathun are challenged by Karlsson to also write their replies to Schönberg's six pieces on one and the same day - the 29th January 2011. Thus a new version of Schönberg's classic is born in the collective opus "Zwölf Kleine Klavierstücke".

Kenneth Karlsson's album "the view was all in lines" also features thoroughly conceived and personal interpretations of Wallin's precise and poetic "Seven Imperatives" and Schaatun's extended and retrospective lines in "Transcription of an Unknown Symphony", two new major works of the Norwegian piano repertoire.

Hybrid SACD 5.1 surround and stereo


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The music captured by 2L features Norwegian composers and performers, and an international repertoire reflected in the Nordic atmosphere. The surround sound recordings of Lindberg Lyd not only transforms the entire listening experience, more radically, these innovative recordings overturn some very basic concepts regarding how music is played and even composed. 2L emphasizes surround sound with Pure Audio Blu-ray and HiRes file distribution, and have garnered no less than 12 American GRAMMY nominations over the past six years.

The Pure Audio Blu-ray combines the Blu-ray format's vast storage capacity and bandwidth necessary for high resolution sound (up to 192 kHz/24Bit) in surround and stereo with the easy and straight-forward handling of a CD. Pure Audio Blu-rays play back on every Blu-ray player.


Facebook music store
Pretty cool; the worlds first in-Facebook music store that combines audio files and physical products in one shop! We're still in beta-testing modus, but the shop is fully functional. Currently all releases from 2L are available as FLAC in CD-quality and as MP3. More physical products like CD, SACD and Pure Audio Blu-ray are added daily. Within a few weeks we'll add HiRes audio files in 96kHz, 192kHz and 352.8kHz, all 24bit FLAC. There will also be surround sound 5.1 FLAC and DSD stereo in this shop. The shop is developed with Norwegian Phonofile.

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