Louth Contemporary Music Society, Song of Songs - album review

Download: Just; Naturale; En La Mar  Hai Una Torre

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The Independent Culture

The Louth Contemporary Music Society specialises in themed world premieres – on 2010’s Path it was Arvo Pärt and John Tavener, here it’s David Lang and Betty Olivero works based on the Song of Songs, both featuring the Scandinavian vocal group Trio Mediaeval.

in Olivero’s “En La Mar Hai Una Torre” (“In the Sea There Is a Lighthouse”), their interweaving voices summon echoes of sea shanty, chorale and love song, braiding lyrics in several Middle Eastern tongues over harp and strings. Lang’s “Just” is more minimal, with descending close-harmonies listing lovers’ qualities in an hypnotic, incantatory manner.

Already used in Paolo Sorrentino’s film Youth, it’s a wonderfully intimate work of subtle sensuality. The premieres are separated by a performance of Luciano Berio’s “Naturale”, an absorbing alliance of viola, percussion and taped Sicilian folk singer.