Whilst working on Bach’s canons, rearranging them with the idea that they should be repeated again and again, Abrahamsen discovered "an entirely new and inspiring world of time set in motion. Depending on how one hear these canons, the music stands still, moving forwards or backwards" (Hans Abrahamsen).
So when Westdeutscher Rundfunk and the Ensemble Recherche, commissioned the composer to write a work for the Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik in 2006, he knew exactly where he wanted to go.
Schnee was first recorded by Ensemble Recherche in 2010.
During the last week of February, this new recording of Schnee made it to the UK Specialist Classical Chart.
Every week, the list presents the bestselling releases in the classical repertoire, based on both physical and digital sale and streaming.
Classical album of the week
In Schnee that crystalline new world reached its definitive form, conjured from trios of strings and woodwind, together with two pianos and percussion.
This performance from the Lapland Chamber Orchestra, conducted by John Storgårds, seems to capture both the rigour and feathery fragility of Abrahamsen’s instrumental writing far more bewitchingly, with tempi that are consistently faster than the earlier version.
– Andrew Clements, The Guardian
This work, with nine soloists, shows a largely crystalline crisp nature that only rarely swirls into a denser structure without becoming opaque because of it. The chamber orchestra musicians from Lapland, know how to treat the different types of snow exemplary and let the music, which is as fragile as it is sharp-edged, ripple and tumble in the ear, so images of snow crystals appear for the inner eye as an extra fantasy
– Uwe Krusch, PIZZICATO SUPERSONIC
Appropriately, the performers are the superb Lapland Chamber Orchestra, conducted by the Finnish John Storgårds. Obviously they know snow inside out. [...] the hour-long piece carves out a meditative wintry space for the listener's own thoughts and feelings.
– Geoff Brown, The Times
In short, the senses are stimulated in the encounter with crystal clear moving lines and repetition upon repetition of pulsating tone clusters
– Valdemar Lønsted, Information