Hyperion Records

The place amongst the trees
First line:
Slowly rises the narrow whirl of longing
2000; SSAATTBB unaccompanied; for the Stockholm Musikgymnasiums Kammarkör; revised with an English text in 2010 for Royal Holloway Choir
author of text
Den plats bland träden, in a translation by poet and composer

'Hansson: Endless border & other choral works' (CDA67881)
Hansson: Endless border & other choral works

The place amongst the trees
In 2000 Hansson again set a poem by Hultman Löfvendahl, Den plats bland träden (The place amongst the trees), this time for the Stockholm Musikgymnasiums Kammarkör. Later composer and poet collaborated to revise the work with an English version of the text. Little musical alteration was required and all the elements of word painting are every bit as vivid. The sense of the text can be interpreted fairly freely, ‘like absorbing a modern art painting’, says the composer. Essentially it comments on the speed of modern life and the all-too-transient human interaction that it increasingly affords. This is particularly summoned up by the final lines: ‘Breathlessly we will taste the words that never / Burned on our tongue.’ In this eight-part a cappella work there are elements of imitation, but more important is the creation of vocal textures through the layering of voices and musical fragments. This is very apparent at the beginning for ‘Slowly rises the narrow whirl of longing’. The sound wavers around a central pitch before breaking into a rising melodic figure with upward-inflected fragments emphasizing the word ‘longing’. Later in the work another interesting texture is established for ‘time that spins / All on its distaff’. The undisturbed pulse of repeated cluster chords and the rootless harmony allow time to stand still for a moment before ‘the ocean rises beneath the tempest’.

from notes by Rupert Gough © 2012

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