Sense and nonsense

Otherworldly…Breathtaking…Pure…These words describe the singing of Nordic Voices, a six-voice a capella ensemble and one of Norway’s favorite groups. Sense & nonSense presents one of the ensemble’s several concept programs and explores in a sophisticated but playful way the use of text in music from abstract phonemes to pictorial storytelling. This new CD ranges from the medieval to modernist with works by Gabrieli, Monteverdi, Stenhammar, Poulenc, Petrassi, Ligeti and Hellstenius, and highlights the vast performance register of the ensemble. The voices combine in a seemingly effortless way with amazing balance and precision. Just as the group members blend their individual voices into dissonant but strikingly beautiful harmonies, they weave such disparate works into a cohesive whole and somehow make it all make “Sense.”

Jonathan Digital, 2002


  1. Hellstenius – Fragment 1
  2. Monteverdi – O mirtillo
  3. Monteverdi – Ch’io t’ami
  4. Monteverdi – Deh; bella e cara
  5. Petrassi – Nonsense 1
  6. Petrassi – Nonsense 3
  7. Petrassi – Nonsense 5
  8. Hellstenius – Fragment 2
  9. Stenhammar – September
  10. Stenhammar – I seraillets have
  11. Stenhammar – O havde jeg en dattersøn
  12. Gabrieli – Se cantano gl’auglelli
  13. Gabrieli – Scherza amarilli e clori
  14. Hellstenius – Fragment 3
  15. Ligeti – The cuckoo
  16. Ligeti – The alphabet
  17. Ligeti – The lobster quadrille
  18. Poulenc – La blanche neige
  19. Poulenc – A peine défigurée
  20. Poulenc – Marie