See more reviews under individual cd's to be found under the headline cd.

  • The Times: First Drop review

    Most impressive is Jackson’s L’Homme armé, an antiwar meditation deriving from a 15th-century song, and a harmonic triumph.

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    The Times
  • "...a disc that is full of delights and surprises"

    Paul Hillier, the venturesome director of (among other things) the Danish chorus Ars Nova Copenhagen, provides a personal guide through the recent works on this lovely new release. But in truth, you don’t need his written testimony.

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    San Francisco Cronicle
  • The GOLDEN AGE of Danish Partsongs

    ...their beautifully recorded and helpfully documented programme makes a valuable document for newcomers to and aficionados of this repertoire alike.

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    Gramophone
  • "Virtuosic singers"

    It is no surprise that the virtuosic singers in Theatre of Voices and Ars Nova Copenhagen are often to be found in early music ensembles.

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    The Observer (London)
  • "It doesn’t get any better than this"

    It simply—and rarely—doesn’t get any better than this, and if you love Christmas music this is one of the two or three I can recommend unreservedly as essential acquisitions for this year’s hearth-fire stocking.

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    Audiophileaudition.com
  • "The performances are outstanding"

    Hillier’s repertoire choices are bold and beautiful... The performances are outstanding... These days it seems that everything Hillier touches turns to gold and this album is the latest that benefits from his Midas touch. Brilliant singing, innovative repertoire choices and sterling sound quality make this everything you can possibly want from a Christmas album, or any other album for that matter.

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    Ariama
  • A trove of festive treasures

    The standard of singing is consistently outstanding. A marvellous issue.
    Performance   *****
    Recording       *****

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    BBC Music Magazine, Christmas 2011
  • "This rare jewel will brighten your holiday season…."

    It would be hard to imagine a lovelier Christmas presentation than this one... This rare jewel will brighten your holiday season with its faithful reflection of the joy of Christmas.

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    American Record Guide
  • "An essential addition to your Christmas music collection"

    Luminously recorded in Garnisons Kirke, Copenhagen ‘The Christmas Story’ is not only the ultimate stocking filler but an essential addition to your Christmas music collection.

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    International Record REview
  • "Strongly recommended"

    Paul Hillier always presents something unique (...) the program returns considerable rewards both in the exceptional quality of the ensemble singing and in the interesting repertoire.

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    Classics Today
  • "Probably my favourite disc this year"

    If you only want to buy one Christmas disc this year, this would be my top recommendation.

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    Presto News
  • "Ars Nova sings with alert musicality"

    Ars Nova Copenhagen sings with chaste but warm tone, smooth blend, tonal precision, and alert musicality under the leadership of Paul Hillier. This is an album that should be of strong interest to fans of new choral music from off the beaten path.

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    Allmusic.com, December 2011
  • "Unmissable"

    Ars Nova Copenhagen is a peerless chamber choir, directed and conducted by Hillier, with the necessary technical and musical skills to adapt to a myriad of contemporary vocal styles. (...) Lovers of choral music should not miss this inspiring programme, given a typically superlative performance by Ars Nova Copenhagen (...). Unmissable.

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    SA-CD.net
  • "world class choir"

    Anne Boyd’s “As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams”…grabs the attention. Based on the whole-tone scale, the music moves very slowly in deliciously textured, monumental chords that show this world-class choir at its best.

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    The Observer (London)
  • "admirably performed"

    Anne Boyd’s As I crossed a bridge of dreams…with its rapt sostenuto, steals the show. Almost endlessly sustained, immaculately imagined, and—like everything else here—admirably performed.

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    Gramophone, February 2012
  • Heinrich Schütz: Die Sieben Worte; Johannes-Passion

    Performance *****    Sound *****

    This deeply moving performance lives up to the promise of the two previous discs in the series covering Schütz' Historia, narratives on the Birth, Passion and Resurrection of Christ. Schütz' music is profoundly simple.

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    BBC Music Magazine
  • Heinrich Schütz: Weihnachtshistorie, Auferstehungshistorie

    Schütz’s “Christmas Story” of about 1660 is coupled here with his “Resurrection Story” in mellifluous, expressive performances that seamlessly meld clearly conveyed narrative with arias and choruses. The music is full of colourful instrumental effects such as the jubilant, pastoral recorders accompanying the shepherds. Vocally first-rate, this is a disc on which solemnity and vitality coalesce.

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    Telegraph.co.uk
  • Heinrich Schütz: Weihnachtshistorie, Auferstehungshistorie

    Adam Riis [in Weihnachtshistorie] has a fresh and free tone and convincingly conveys the changing course of the narrative. (...) The various singers and instrumentalists in the Interludes are uniformly excellent and the overall result is delightful in every way. (...) The evangelist in this work [Auferstehungshistorie] is Johan Linderoth whose subtle freedom and perfect articulation of the text are close to the ideal. The other performers maintain a similar standard. Overall this is a disc which gives immense satisfaction.

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    ArkivMusik.com
  • David Lang: The Little Match Girl Passion

    Four shorter vocal works performed by Ars Nova Copenhagen round out the disc. (...) The performances are warm and the recording rings. Here again, Lang's strategy of text stripped down to the bare essentials makes the (often religious) underpinnings of the works more universal yet renders their message exponentially more potent. In all cases, plain-speaking human voices stretch out a hand to listeners and the music pulls them—deeply, completely, without gratuitous fanfare—through these collected moments of incredible pain and amazing beauty.

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    NewMusicBox
  • Taverner & Tudor, vol I+2

    Both discs centre around one of Taverner's Masses. Both are remarkable in various ways. (...) Paul Hillier is the chief conductor of Ars Nova Copenhagen since 2003 and therefore it is probably not very surprising that the sound of the ensemble is very much alike that of comparable English ensembles. Fortunately it produces a more releaxed sound than, for instance, the Tallis Scholars. Also they have avoided the dominance of the upper voices, which is a deficiency of some ensembles of this kind. I am very impressed by the beautiful and stylish singing of Ars Nova Copenhagen, which suits the repertoire on these discs very well. The passages which are particularly striking in regard to text expression are excellently realised. The diction is very good, and the acoustical circumstances suitable to the repertoire. 

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    Musica Dei Donum
  • Taverner & Tudor, vol II

    Paul Hillier, ein profunder Kenner dieser Musik, hat mit dem knapp 20-köpfigen Ensemble Ars Nova Copenhagen ein ideales Medium zur Umsetzung seiner Vision gefunden: Die nötige Klangpracht bietet das Ensemble ebenso wie die unabdingbare filigrane Leichtigkeit; schlicht und ebenmäßig genug für die Gregorianik vermögen die Männer wie die Frauen allemal zu singen. Eine wahre Freude, ohne Abstriche!

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  • Taverner & Tudor, vol II

    It is an excellent performance of an intriguing program.

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    Ionarts
  • Terry Riley: In C

    There is still the incessant rhythmic drive inherent in the score, but this is offset against the singing which often has a 'legato' quality for phrases which suggest a more 'staccato' articulation. About 8 minutes into track 3, there is an absolutely bewitching moment when the C pulsation ceases and the voices are left unaccompanied creating a most haunting 'still-point' in this otherwise 'busy' piece.

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    ClassicalSource.com
  • Terry Riley: In C

    The Danish vocal group Ars Nova, under the baton of Paul Hillier and with the percussion ensemble Percurama, perform masterpieces of minimalism by the Californian composer Terry Riley. They generate a deeply mesmeric ambience as the note C, played on one of eight marimbas, pulses through slower-moving improvisations at six hits a second or 20,000 an hour. The arm aches thinking about it. Sung chords form and reform, swell and die, like shifting sands as the vocalists, using not words but “sacred syllables”, take up new motifs in order. Each performance is different but this one achieves a gripping, transcendent beauty. (Rick Jones) 

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    The Times
  • Svend Nielsen: Sommerfugledalen

    Ars Nova Copenhagen is one of those great groups that specializes in early music and contemporary music. Their performance is exquisite. They glide along with great ease while navigating some rather difficult passages. They truly sing with a single voice and have a great dramatic focus to their sound.

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    Sequeza 21
  • Svend Nielsen: Sommerfugledalen

    Per Flügelschlag ins Totenreich

    Es reibt sich dafür umso mehr in großflächigen Dissonanzen, imitatorischen Verschiebungen quer durch die Stimmen, Glissandi in alle Himmelsrichtungen, äußert sich mitunter in Flüstern, Klatschen, Rezitieren, empörtem Schreien. Durchaus auch eine Herausforderung für die Interpreten. Vollkommen vibratolos, gläsern, intonatorisch absolut naturrein und zum Sterben schön wandeln die zwölf Sängerinnen und Sänger durch dieses Tal.

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    Klassik.com
  • Rued Langgaard: Rose Garden Songs

    Fogel found the works “restrained, deeply felt, and inventive” and the performances “stunning.” I could not agree more. (...) The 12-member Ars Nova Copenhagen (...) is one of the premier a capella ensembles, interpretively sensitive and flawless in ensemble and intonation. From 1996–2002, the group’s principal conductor was Hungarian conductor Tamás Vetö, a leading light in the Danish new music scene. Judging from this recording at least, made relatively early in the collaboration, it was an artistically fruitful match. These performances could not be more agreeable, either interpretively or technically.

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    Fanfare
  • Jacob Obrecht: Church Music

    Artistic quality: 10 / Sound quality: 10

    For a music critic, unconditional praise for a recording can be a dangerous thing--but what else can you do when you hear something that's unquestionably among the best in its class?

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    Classics Today
  • William Byrd: Motets

    Paul Hillier is without a doubt one of today’s best (if not the best) directors of this kind of music. And the Danish vocal group Ars Nova is a sure thing with this repertoire. (...) Summing up, this record is a delight to listen to with the booklet in hand. We point out the completeness of the performance, strong in its cadences, with powerful bass and clear trebles, capable of conjuring up all the expressivity of the text. The latter is sung with good diction, independence of melodic lines and at the same time, a tight feel. It is a CD featuring the latest state-of-the-art polyphony the market has to offer.

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    Goldberg Magazine
  • Per Nørgård: Singe die Gärten

    Performance * * * * * Sound * * * * *

    The performances are totally committed, with clear diction in four languages, and exemplary intonation.
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    BBC Music Magazine