The word KIND embraces concepts
of childlikeness and childishness in different languages,
as well as suggesting friendliness and
consolation. The project's subtitle was "about
children, for adults". In keeping with Ensemble 96's main focus, KIND
presents modern Norwegian and Nordic choral
music. Per Nørgård and Jaakko Mäntyjärvi are
already considered classics by a rapidly increasing
audience, while Marcus Paus represents a
younger generation of Norwegian composers
with a growing interest in the choral medium.
The more recent works on the disc set texts all
of which have a certain melancholy, fear or unrest linked to childhood. The folk songs are a brave attempt
to offer consolation in a remorseless world.
The Finnish composer Jaakko Mäntyjärvi first
wrote the music to "Die Stimme des Kindes" without words. After some time he came across
Nikolaus Lenau's poem in which Mäntyjärvi
found moods and textures that corresponded
with his own ideas. The piece sounds like an idyllic
lullaby, yet it is also melancholic and dramatic.
An uneasy adult finds consolation in the innocent
sleep and gentle smile of a child.
Like many other artists the Danish composer
Per Nørgård found inspiration in the work of the
schizophrenic writer Adolf Wölfli whose life and
works are a magnificent testimony to human
spiritual life. Combined with Rainer Maria Rilke's
poem about spring the three movements of "Wie
ein Kind" present a powerful encounter with
childhood memories. Some of them are pleasant
to recall, others less so.
There is surprisingly little music for choir and
string quartet. Ensemble 96 therefore decided to
commission Marcus Paus to write a work for that
particular constellation. In "The Stolen Child" the Norwegian composer
has created a fairytale using simple,
yet at the same time complex, means. Through
its playful interaction with Yeats' poem the work
takes us far afield to where the fairies lure the
little child away from all the world's grief.
Frank Havrøy has arranged several traditional
Norwegian lullabies for choir. These timeless folk
songs speak directly to us, and Havrøy's elegant
arrangements give them an extra dimension.
Ensemble 96 is regarded one of the top chamber choirs in the world. Their Immortal NYSTEDT was nominated for the 49th American GRAMMY Awards as "Best Choral Performance" and "Best Surround Sound Album" in 2006.