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Jesper Koch’s choral suite is brimful of Nordic poetry and romance

The Danish National Vocal Ensemble

Jesper Koch’s choral suite is brimful of Nordic poetry and romance

The Danish National Vocal Ensemble presents the first recording of Jesper Koch’s Korbogen (Choirbook), a melodious work in seven chapters for a capella choir. The album is to be released on 25 June 2021.

New release
14 June 2021

On Friday 25 June, a new album is being released that presents the first recording of Jesper Koch’s Korbogen (Choirbook), recorded by the Danish National Vocal Ensemble and conductor Flemming Windekilde.

Korbogen is a suite for a capella choir in seven chapters, each with its own title and distinctive identity. The pieces have been written to poems by Frank Kjørup and are strongly influenced by the Danish-Nordic choral tradition.

Clarity, melody and tonality

Jesper Koch (b. 1967) mainly composed complex symphonic music until things suddenly changed in 2012.

"I suddenly had a strong urge to write for the human voice, and deal with “old school” stuff like melody and tonality. These two things are, for me, closely connected", Jesper Koch explains. "I wanted to go back to something completely basic, which I missed after having written some rather complex orchestral  works".

The large-scale choral work is characterised by sincerity and a feeling of timelessness. The music is complex, yet melodious, concise and transparent: "When
I write purely melodically, nothing must stand in the way of clarity. So everything superfluous is stripped away"
, says Jesper Koch.

A shared cultural subconscious

Both Jesper Koch and the poet Frank Kjørup have been strongly inspired by the natural beauty of Sjælland’s north coast, especially the area around  Dronningmølle and the strange heather landscape called Rusland.

Korbogen relates to the nature that surrounds and influences us as human beings, but also to the culture that shapes us. The work represents a continuation of a long Danish song tradition that makes up a more or less conscious part of Jesper Koch’s musical language and cultural DNA.

With the poetry as his point of departure, Jesper Koch explores the shared cultural unconscious in his own romantic and emotional universe.

Concert and radio transmission

The Danish National Vocal Ensemble will perform an excerpt from Korbogen at two summer concerts on 24 and 25 June in Trinitatis Kirke in Copenhagen. After the concert on 24 June, Dacapo will be holding a reception to celebrate the new release. The concert will subsequently be transmitted on DR P2.

Jesper Koch has previously released dreamlike, complex orchestral music on Dacapo Records, but is now exploring the potential and limitations of choral music.
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