MIST THORKELSDÓTTIR (b.1960): David for Baritone and Orchestra (William Sharp [baritone], Icelandic Chamber Orchestra; Gudmundur Emilsson), In Honor of Those for Orchestra (Baltic Chamber Orchestra; Emilsson), Welcome Bishop for Tenor, String Quartet and Double Bass (Kolbeinn J. Ketilsson [tenor]), A Woman of Faith for Orchestra (Baltic CO; Emilsson).
Catalogue Number: 04M089
Label: Icelandic Music
Description: Something about the chill isolation and mythic past of her native Iceland seems to permeate all four of these atmospheric, starkly economical works, even the setting of Psalm 116, here apparently rendered in the surroundings of a solitary stone village church, with its single tolling bell. Both In honor and A woman deal with subjects of journeying, exploration and venturing into the unknown, a kind of Viking pioneer spirit and are firmly based in tonality, especially the former, which draws on an old Icelandic hymn for melodic material. Welcome Bishop deals with a grim episode of Icelandic history, in 1550, when the property of the Icelandic church was confiscated by the Danish crown. The narrator's voice is that of the axe, about to behead the last Catholic Bishop. Like the other works here, mildly dissonant tonality and an uneasy, suspended calm set the scene for the powerful yet somehow historically detached narrative.