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Bent Sørensen : Sounds Like You

Publisher Edition Wilhelm Hansen Copenhagen
Year Composed 2008
44 Minutes
Chorus SATB
Solo Instrument(s)
2 actors
Orchestration 3(3pic).2.3(3ebcl).2/4331/3perc/pf.hp/str
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Full Score(s) WH30954

Programme Note


  • As so often before, Bent Sørensen provides fuel for image-rich sensory experiences with his latest orchestral piece”Sounds Like You”.
    *** (3 stars out of 6)

    Henrik Friis, Politiken , 12/09/2009
  • Whispering, nostalgic, irascible, cobweb-like, citing, complex and oftentimes profoundly beautiful.
    **** (4 stars out of 6)

    Søren Kassebeer, Berlingske Tidende, 11/09/2009
  • Subtle, symphonic timbral worlds with constant shifts in colour and character
    Christine Christiansen,, 11/09/2009
  • Spot-on with its tight coupling of artistic elements and its clear-cut audience approach.
    Christine Christiansen , , 11/09/2009
  • Here’s a work that really grabs you.
    Christine Christiansen , , 11/09/2009
  • The country’s tonal poet number 1.
    Henrik Friis, Politiken, 04/09/2009
  • What a contrast it was then to plunge into the muted, lonely world of Sørensen’s ’Sounds Like You’. This traces a brief love affair between two people who become aware of each other’s presence during a concert. At first we don’t see the couple; we’re aware only of Sørensen’s extraordinary music, which is impassioned in a hazy, yearning way, brilliantly suggestive of the way desire feeds on fantasy. It’s intense in an uncomfortable, raw way, as if the ’naked flesh of emotion’ that Debussy aimed at has been taken one stage further.
    The we hear the two characters speak, the music’s surging expressiveness falling back to allow their words through. ’He is listening, he is right in front of me...she is listening, she is behind me...’ It’s an ingenious conceit, because we too were seated in a concert hall, listening; but were we and this young couple listening to the same thing? Or were we listening to Sørensen’s portrait of their state of mind, which they cannot hear? The puzzles become even more acute when the couple finally appear, meet, passionately embrace, and later wander inside the orchestra whose sounds seem to be the real substance of their relationship. Like all expressionist drama, this one intensifies fantasy-states at the cost of bleaching away solid human identity; but when the results are riveting as this, the price seems worth paying. Sørensen and his librettist Peter Asmussen have suggested new possibilities for music-theatre; let’s hope someone brings their piece to London, soon.
    Ivan Hewett, The Telegraph, 21/05/2009
  • The curse of the concert hall: Whispering, clamour and inappropriate comments elevated to art in Sounds Like You.
    , Bergen International Festival


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