Beat Furrer - Works for Choir & Ensemble | Toccata Classics TOCC0360

Beat Furrer - Works for Choir & Ensemble


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Label: Toccata Classics

Cat No: TOCC0360

Barcode: 5060113443601

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Vocal/Choral

Release Date: 29th July 2016



The music of Beat Furrer, Swiss-born (in 1954) and Vienna-based, has long attracted attention for its subtle exploration of the possibilities of the human voice.

His six enigmas, a cycle of a cappella settings of Leonardo da Vinci, demonstrates its striking emotional range, from rich, almost Romantic tonal warmth to dramatic avant-garde expressionism.

This is the first recording of the six enigmas and of voices – still for mixed choir and ensemble, which sets Virgil in the original Latin and in Furrer’s own German translation. All eight works on this album underline Furrer’s fondness for exploring sonority, timbre and texture.

The Helsinki Chamber Choir is Finland’s only professional chamber choir, its wide-ranging repertoire includes music from the Renaissance to the present day and it is particularly highly regarded for its work with new music. The choir appears frequently at festivals in Finland and abroad and collaborates with symphony orchestras, period-instrument ensembles and contemporary-music groups.

The Uusinta Ensemble is a contemporary-music ensemble founded in 1998 in Helsinki ad with an international outreach and repertoire. To date it has premiered over a hundred works by the leading composers of the present day, such as Mark Andre, Chaya Czernowin, Hèctor Parra, Kaija Saariaho and Michel van der Aa.


Beat Furrer’s Enigmas began as an unaccompanied work for youth choir, designed to demonstrate that young singers could cope with far more demanding music than is usually assumed. Between 2006 and 2013 Furrer, continued to add to the series, until it contained six pieces, all with texts from Leonardo da Vinci’s Prophecies, which may be performed separately or as a set. The aim of the settings changed, too, so that Enigma V is not only as long as the other five pieces put together, but technically goes way beyond what any amateur choir could possibly attempt. It makes the pieces a hugely attractive collection: a journey into ever-increasing complexity that is full of subtle transformations and strikingly original, sometimes strikingly simple, ideas – the perfect antidote to the neo-romantic pap that so often passes for choral music today.  Andrew Clements
The Guardian 29 July 2016

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