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Thread: Reviews of Like a Flame

  1. #1
    Administrator Frederik Magle's Avatar
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    Reviews of Like a Flame

    My new double-album "Like a Flame" has been released and the first review have arrived.

    I will update this thread whenever new reviews trickle in. If you stumble across a review of "Like a Flame" not listed here, please do let me know either by replying in this thread or by private message - whichever you prefer.
    REVIEWS IN ENGLISH:

    Frederik Magle's Tradition in Modernity: the Classic Art of Organ Improvisation on "Like A Flame"
    by Grego Applegate Edwards, Classical-Modern Music Review (Gapplegate Music Review), 28 June 2011

    "...Frederik Magle has absorbed the tradition and in the persuasively rich 2-CD recital Like A Flame (Proprius 2061) gives us back his modern version of it." (...) "the results are something any aficionado of organ music will find delightful. His improvisations are varied, inventive and sonically powerful. The recording has excellent sound qualities as well."
    "...Highly recommended!"
    ---

    MAGLE - Like a Flame Proprius PRCD 2061
    by Byzantion, Classical Music Reviews - MusicWeb-International, 11 May 2011

    ...He describes the whole experience as "psychedelic", but there is nothing hallucinatory about the quality of the results. Magle's music-making is highly creative, sometimes visionary, surprisingly unpompous (titles excepted), and always basically tonal - or at least chromatic - and tuneful.
    The hour-long first disc flies past. It opens dramatically with the huge chords of 'Origin', yet the second and third pieces, 'Like a Flame' and 'Fleeting Glimpses' could hardly be more different, with their catchy ostinatos and high registers. Almost sardonically, given the comments above, the longest piece, 'To Become', is outstanding, building up a thrilling, Franckian wall of sound before relenting peacefully.
    The disc ends with a marvellous Widor-like toccata, 'Ascending', followed by the almost extra-terrestrial 'End of the Circle'. It is this kind of intelligent variation which characterises the whole programme - dramatic window-rattlers alternating with pieces that are serenely uplifting or contemplative and others again that are mischievously eccentric or playful. To complement this there is also a steady flow of ideas, expertly implemented, within the improvisations themselves. At no point in the two hours is the listener's attention given cause to flag; yet the music is often so emotionally intense that, between discs, a cup of tea at the very least is advisable.
    this is a double CD that no fan of original organ music should be without
    ---

    Not for the faint of heart
    by Abi Rhodes, Abi Rhodes' Zigzag Wanderings, 8 March 2011

    "...He is a composer/player of great depth – his instrument is the organ which he dominates with the control of an ubermeister."

    "...Here is a deep dark recording of absolutely top value. Listen to it carefully – just in small chunks if you’re a person of nervous disposition and certainly not as something to lull you off to sleep. It could give you NIGHTMARES."
    ---

    REVIEWS IN DANISH:

    CD-anmeldelse, ”Like a flame, Frederik Magle, orgel” (PDF download - in Danish)
    by Christian Præstholm (Associate Professor of organ and music theory at the Royal Academy of Music, Aarhus), orgelforum.dk, 30 July 2011

    English translation:
    "...'Crossing Borders', which is build on a small ostinato motif, shows how little material Magle needs to create a riveting toccata filled with energy"

    "...'Realization'. Ethereal and beautiful..."

    "...My own personal favorite is probably the very last track 'End of the Circle', which with the use throughout of a four-tone ostinato and the organ's distinctive, some would say slightly too effective, tremulant conjures up a strange, sick, fascinating, and ghostly universe, which one has to go to Ligeti's 1st etude for organ to find anything resembling."
    ---

    Fantasy og himmelstræbende mildhed i ny orgeludgivelse (in Danish)
    by Christian Hildebrandt, SNYK - contemporary music DK, 20 December 2010.

    English translation:
    Fantasy and soaring gentleness in new organ music release
    by Christian Hildebrandt, SNYK - contemporary music DK

    The Danish composer and organ virtuoso Frederik Magle has just released a double CD dedicated to the new organ in Jørlunde church. An organ on which he has been a tonal co-architect. The title is ‘Like a Flame’ and the 23 compositions with names such as ‘Origin’, ‘Awakening’, ‘Truth’, and ‘Destiny’, leads - with a late romantic dreamlike pathos - the listener into the new organ’s fairytale world of sounds and possibilities.

    The gentle cathedral-sound
    And it is sounds that evoke images of towering pipes in Gothic cathedrals. So you can’t help thinking: Is there a giant cathedral secretly hidden in the small North Zealand village of Jørlunde? No, there isn’t, and Frederik Magle’s introduction to the thoughts behind, and work in making the sound of this organ demonstrates that is was through the art of creating gentle and warm voices that the richest and fullest sound was achieved without overpowering the room of the relatively small church.

    Gothic Fantasy
    Gothic, soaring, and with a distinct touch of modern fantasy is the image that immediately springs to mind seeing the cover-art of the CD, and the almost cinematic expression and insistingly melodic character of the organ fantasies matches the picture.

    The Organ in Flames
    The title ‘Like a Flame’ tells the story of both the new organ emerging like a Phoenix from the ashes after the old organ burned down, and of the composer’s glowing enthusiasm for organ music and the late romantic organ as a veritable one-man orchestra.
    ---

    REVIEWS IN OTHER LANGUAGES:

    Backmans klassiska cd-tips
    (in Swedish)
    by Per Olov Backman, Östgöta Correspondenten, 22 March 2011

    "Här är två nya tips på bra album med klassisk musik från vår recensent Per Olov Backman."
    (English translation: "Here are two new tips on good albums with classical music from our reviewer Per Olov Backman.")
    ---



    Last edited by Frederik Magle; Aug-01-2011 at 17:21. Reason: More reviews

  2. #2
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso wljmrbill's Avatar
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    Congrats Frederik.. I also wish you the Best for 2011. Take care
    ....To play only what is written is the domain of science. To realize what is not written is the domain of art."
    - Jean Langlais

    I wish you the Best for each day, now and always.

    Bill

  3. #3
    Administrator Frederik Magle's Avatar
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    Thanks, Bill! I too wish you a great 2011!

    Best,
    Frederik

  4. #4
    Commodore of Impending Doom II Priest's Avatar
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    love that review.
    Good that you made music that matches my cover design ;]
    -Michel Winckler-Krog

    Intense

  5. #5
    Commander, Assistant Conductor mathetes1963's Avatar
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    Frederik, any chance of this being available to your mates in the States?
    EDIT: LOVE that album cover BTW!
    “The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.”
    -Johann Sebastian Bach, 1685-1750

    "It Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing."
    -Duke Ellington, 1899-1974

  6. #6
    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Priest View Post
    love that review.
    Good that you made music that matches my cover design ;]
    Michel,

    Nice looking cover design ... it is indeed a wonderful match and bonding of the artistry of both you and Frederik.

    This Double CD Set is a "must buy" for anyone. It is one of my prize albums in my collection.
    Kh ~~.
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    Amateur musicians practice until they get it right ...
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    fessional musicians practice until they can't get it wrong ...


  7. #7
    Administrator Frederik Magle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Priest View Post
    love that review.
    Good that you made music that matches my cover design ;]
    Yep, what a lucky coincidence It's a great cover you've made, Michel!

    Quote Originally Posted by mathetes1963 View Post
    Frederik, any chance of this being available to your mates in the States?
    Actually it can now be ordered worldwide. I have made a page where I list all the shops that deliver worldwide (that I know of, there may be more): http://www.magle.dk/album/buy-like-a-flame.html

    I'll keep that page updated when I learn of more stores carrying the album.

    Quote Originally Posted by Krummhorn View Post
    Michel,

    Nice looking cover design ... it is indeed a wonderful match and bonding of the artistry of both you and Frederik.

    This Double CD Set is a "must buy" for anyone. It is one of my prize albums in my collection.
    Thanks, Lars

  8. #8
    Administrator Frederik Magle's Avatar
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    A new review...
    Link: Not for the faint of heart

    "...He is a composer/player of great depth – his instrument is the organ which he dominates with the control of an ubermeister."

    "...a deep dark recording of absolutely top value."

  9. #9
    Administrator Frederik Magle's Avatar
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    The classical music reviewer of Swedish daily newspaper Östgöta Correspondenten is recommending "Like a Flame": "Här är två nya tips på bra album med klassisk musik från vår recensent Per Olov Backman". ("Here are two new tips on good classical music albums from our reviewer Per Olov Backman")

  10. #10
    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Wonderful review, Frederik Congratulations

    The reviewer made the closing comment, "And I ask myself: how can Frederik Magle go from here?"

    My answer would be "Frederik will go much farther, even the sky is no limit for him as he longs to soar to new opportunities and challenges", which I happen to know is true.

    It keeps getting better, Frederik. You've worked long and hard for this achievement, and you deserve all the best in the world.
    Kh ~~.
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    Amateur musicians practice until they get it right ...
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    fessional musicians practice until they can't get it wrong ...


  11. #11
    Administrator Frederik Magle's Avatar
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    Thanks, Lars! I deeply appreciate your support and encouragement!

    There's a great new review of Like a Flame by MusicWeb international. The reviewer starts out criticizing the liner notes and the titles, but then he listens to the CD...

    He describes the whole experience as "psychedelic", but there is nothing hallucinatory about the quality of the results. Magle's music-making is highly creative, sometimes visionary, surprisingly unpompous (titles excepted), and always basically tonal - or at least chromatic - and tuneful. Magle himself was sufficiently impressed to undertake to commit all the improvisations to score - this is music recorded backwards!

    The hour-long first disc flies past. It opens dramatically with the huge chords of 'Origin', yet the second and third pieces, 'Like a Flame' and 'Fleeting Glimpses' could hardly be more different, with their catchy ostinatos and high registers. Almost sardonically, given the comments above, the longest piece, 'To Become', is outstanding, building up a thrilling, Franckian wall of sound before relenting peacefully. Magle admits in the notes that this one work, the longest on either disc, is only partly improvised. The final track, 'Truth', begins bizarrely, like a clapped out organ being crank-started, and ends just before the organ bursts into flames - which is just what the original instrument at Jørlunde did! The 'Truth' is stranger than fiction - but startlingly original
    The disc ends with a marvellous Widor-like toccata, 'Ascending', followed by the almost extra-terrestrial 'End of the Circle'. It is this kind of intelligent variation which characterises the whole programme - dramatic window-rattlers alternating with pieces that are serenely uplifting or contemplative and others again that are mischievously eccentric or playful. To complement this there is also a steady flow of ideas, expertly implemented, within the improvisations themselves. At no point in the two hours is the listener's attention given cause to flag; yet the music is often so emotionally intense that, between discs, a cup of tea at the very least is advisable
    this is a double CD that no fan of original organ music should be without

  12. #12
    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    An excellent review, once he listened to the CD's. I thought he was over critical of the contents before hearing the music.

    As I've said before, I think Michel's jacket design was very fitting for the title.

    Now, with my new Koss Pro4AAT's, I can listen to this album to my hearts content without sending Mary to the funny farm .
    Kh ~~.
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    Amateur musicians practice until they get it right ...
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    fessional musicians practice until they can't get it wrong ...


  13. #13
    Administrator Frederik Magle's Avatar
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    Indeed, I'm very happy about this review. I may not agree with his criticism of the titles, the liner notes, etc. - but I do take it seriously. Much more so because this reviewer clearly "gets" my music which makes me consider and think more carefully about his points of criticism. Perhaps it is time to update my biography which hasn't been changed significantly (aside from adding new events/developments) in more than 15 years!

    Good thing about the headphones! We can't have Mary going to the funny farm, especially not from overhearing Like a Flame! I'd feel very bad about that

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