single album

Hymn to Life, choir music by Anders Paulsson

About this CD

The first SACD-Hybrid production on Caprice Records was released in February 2003 and featured soprano saxophonist Anders Paulsson, A Date with a Soprano Saxophone. Now it is time for the next SACD, Hymn to Life, with the same artist, who has introduced the soprano saxophone as a classical solo instrument.

Underlying his success is his masterly tone, which has inspired about forty composers to write music especially for him.Now he appears with his own music; this time we hear his moving and poetical choral music, which has been inspired by nature. Participants include: The St. Jacob Chamber Choir, The Real Group. Vocal soloists: Malena Ernman, Håkan Hagegård and Olle Persson. Instrumentalists: Anders Paulssonsoprano saxophone, André Ferrari percussion, Svante Henryson cello, Jan Adefelt bass, Andrew W. Canning organ. Conductor: Gary Graden.

The St. Jacob Chamber Choir consists of 32 singers and, together with its leader Gary Graden, has its place of residence at Jacob Church in Stockholm. The choir appears with orchestras on a regular basis and often premieres newly written music. It has also taken part in many international symposiums, festivals and competitions and has won a number of prizes, such as the European Grand Prize; Tolosa, Arezzo, Debrecen and EBU’s “Let the People Sing”.

All compositions and arrangements on the record are written by Anders Paulsson.

A SACD Hybrid is a Super Audio record that is playable an on “ordinary” CD player as well (SACD = Super Audio CD).

The Real Group

Caprice: CAP21732

Svenska flaggan Upsala Nya Tidning 21 januari 2005

”Anders Paulsson är en skicklig klangmakare”
”…smakfull garnering kring körsoundet…”
”…häpnadsväckande rumskänsla och djupklang.”

Betyg: * * *



Skicklig klangmakare

Saxofonisten Anders Paulsson är en skicklig klangmakare som jag i första hand associerar med lättsam, gränsöverskridande stämningsmusik. Tidigare har jag kunnat uppfatta hans musik som väl kitschig och inställsam, och intrycket blir stundtals detsamma också på nya albumet Hymn to life.

Men genom att dela utrymmet med bland andra S:t Jacobs kammarkör och The Real group, sångsolister som Malena Ernman och Håkan Hagegård, samt musiker som André Ferrari och Uppsalabekante Andrew Canning, skapar han denna gång en hel del spännande brytpunkter i musiken, i klangkombinationer och samspel.

Melodierna är ofta lyriskt flödande och hymnartade, med drag av folkton. Paulssons sopransax lägger smakfull garnering kring körsoundet, ungefär som Jan Garbarek på sina skivor med The Hilliard ensemble. Imponerande nog är flertalet melodier komponerade av Paulsson själv, till texter av diktare som Karin Boye och Bo Setterlind.

Stundom kommer det snuddande nära det sentimentala och sockersöta, som i gospeln Swing low sweet chariot. Men en hel del känns sympatiskt i all sin lyriska enkelhet. Och ljudbilden, både som vanlig stereo och i femkanals SACD-mix, har en häpnadsväckande rumskänsla och djupklang.

ULF GUSTAVSSON

Flag_of_the_United_States American Record Guide jan/feb 2005

Anders Paulsson is best known as a virtuoso of the soprano saxophone. Here this versatile and talented Swede proves he can write pleasant and rather effective choral music as well. His material is easy on the ears and mind, somewhat reminiscent of Patric Hawes’s ceaselessly sweet and new-ager compositions (M/A 2004) but with more sophisticated structure and cooler Scandinavian flavor. He also infuses elements of jazz into the proceedings rather effectively. The new-age impression is reinforced by the album’s theme: it’s essentially a tribute to nature-a plea for environmental responsibility. Paulssons’s sweet soprano sax often floats over and around the choir’s lush sonorities. His playing is smooth, assured, and heartfelt – only occasionally approaching the kind of bland repetitiveness you hear from somebody like Kenny G. He is very nicely complemented by various instruments: cello, double-bass, organ, and percussion. Som of the music incorporates sampled natural sounds like songs of dolphins and whales, and there are instrumental evocations of the great outdoors. The composer’s affinity for the roots of American music shows both in his sure knack for the jazz idiom and in his sensitive treatment of the four classic American spirituals that conclude the album. Beyond that, I won’t get into the 21 selections here; suffice it to say that most of them are interesting and enjoyable, if largely shy of depth and substance. Paulsson could hardly ask for better advocates than the singers of St Jacob’s Chamber Choir – one of Sweden’s best. They offer lovel vocal tone and supreme technical polish. American transplant Gary Grade – another of choral guru Eric Ericson’s may outstanding proteges – draws real feeling and style from them. The Real Group is a smooth and accomplished mini-ensemble of jazz vocalists. Soloists and instrumentalists alike are excellent. The SACD-hybrid sound is luscious. Notes and texts. Many classical purists will dismiss this out of hand. I tried hard not to like it, but instead found it to be a skillfully done and rather pleasing fusion of traditional and modern styles and genres. It’s a worthwhile listening experience, even if it doesn’t place its creator in the forefront of today’s classical choralists.

KOOB

Tracks

  • 1. Jag Har Sett Dig Gå Över Ängen (i’v E Seen You Cross The Meadow) – Paulsson, Anders Kompositör: Paulsson, Anders Dirigent: Graden, Gary Orkester: St. Jacob’s Chamber Choir
  • 2. Danjugan Sanctuary – Paulsson, Anders Kompositör: Paulsson, Anders Dirigent: Graden, Gary Orkester: St. Jacob’s Chamber Choir
  • 3. Skärgårdsakvarell (archipelago Wate Rcolour) – Paulsson, Anders Kompositör: Paulsson, Anders Dirigent: Graden, Gary Orkester: St. Jacob’s Chamber Choir
  • 4. Prelude – Paulsson, Anders Kompositör: Paulsson, Anders Dirigent: Graden, Gary Orkester: St. Jacob’s Chamber Choir
  • 5. Uppståndelsens Morgon (ascension Mo Rning) – Paulsson, Anders Kompositör: Paulsson, Anders Dirigent: Graden, Gary Orkester: St. Jacob’s Chamber Choir
  • 6. Varifrån Kommer Vinden (where Does The Wind Come From?) – Paulsson, Anders Kompositör: Paulsson, Anders Dirigent: Graden, Gary Orkester: St. Jacob’s Chamber Choir
  • 7. Hymn To Life – Paulsson, Anders Kompositör: Paulsson, Anders Dirigent: Graden, Gary Orkester: St. Jacob’s Chamber Choir
  • 8. Tårar (tears) – Paulsson, Anders Kompositör: Paulsson, Anders Dirigent: Graden, Gary Orkester: St. Jacob’s Chamber Choir
  • 9. Prelude – Paulsson, Anders Kompositör: Paulsson, Anders Dirigent: Graden, Gary Orkester: St. Jacob’s Chamber Choir
  • 10. Vårens Makt (the Force Of Spring) – Paulsson, Anders Kompositör: Paulsson, Anders Dirigent: Graden, Gary Orkester: St. Jacob’s Chamber Choir
  • 11. Stjärnorna Växer Om Våren (the Star S Grow In The Spring) – Paulsson, Anders Kompositör: Paulsson, Anders Dirigent: Graden, Gary Orkester: St. Jacob’s Chamber Choir
  • 12. I Rörelse (in Motion) – Paulsson, Anders Kompositör: Paulsson, Anders Dirigent: Graden, Gary Orkester: St. Jacob’s Chamber Choir
  • 13. Advents Musik I (music For Advent I ) – Paulsson, Anders Kompositör: Paulsson, Anders Dirigent: Graden, Gary Orkester: St. Jacob’s Chamber Choir
  • 14. Advents Musik II (music For Advent II) – Paulsson, Anders Kompositör: Paulsson, Anders Dirigent: Graden, Gary Orkester: St. Jacob’s Chamber Choir
  • 15. Advents Musik III (music For Advent III) – Paulsson, Anders Kompositör: Paulsson, Anders Dirigent: Graden, Gary Orkester: St. Jacob’s Chamber Choir
  • 16. Bright Morning Stars – Paulsson, Anders Kompositör: Paulsson, Anders Dirigent: Graden, Gary Orkester: St. Jacob’s Chamber Choir
  • 17. Prelude – Paulsson, Anders Kompositör: Paulsson, Anders Dirigent: Graden, Gary Orkester: St. Jacob’s Chamber Choir
  • 18. Swing Low Sweet Chariot – Paulsson, Anders Kompositör: Paulsson, Anders Dirigent: Graden, Gary Orkester: St. Jacob’s Chamber Choir
  • 19. Deep River – Paulsson, Anders Kompositör: Paulsson, Anders Dirigent: Graden, Gary Orkester: St. Jacob’s Chamber Choir
  • 20. Prelude – Paulsson, Anders Kompositör: Paulsson, Anders Dirigent: Graden, Gary Orkester: St. Jacob’s Chamber Choir
  • 21. Nobody Knows – Paulsson, Anders Kompositör: Paulsson, Anders Dirigent: Graden, Gary Orkester: St. Jacob’s Chamber Choir