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Ensemble 96
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Instruments Vocal Ensemble

Description  
When the chamber choir of the Oslo Philharmonic was disbanded in 1996, many of its members wished to continue their work as an independent choir. Øystein Fevang, who had been engaged as a soloist with the choir, was offered the job of leading the new group, which took the name Ensemble 96. The choir has had a highly successful career to date, participating in national and international choral competitions, and never coming away without a prize!

Ensemble 96 has established itself among the elite of Norwegian vocal ensembles, attracting the attention of international music critics: ”Under the masterful direction of Fevang, Ensemble 96 performs with sumptuous warmth and clarity. It is rare to find a disc of modern repertoire where all three constituent elements (the composition itself, the performance and the production) conspire to produce a work of amalgamated excellence” wrote the British magazine Choir and Organ. Among the many highlights of the choir’s career must be mentioned their Christmas CD Det lyser I stille grender (1998) which has sold an incredible 20 000 copies, the first performance and live recording of Ketil Bjørnstad’s Old (2000/2001), and their first performance and live recording of Wolfgang Plagge’s Liknarbraut (2000/2002). Supported by the Nordic Culture Fund Ensemble 96 toured all the Nordic countries in 2001, and has appeared at the Vestfold International Festival 2000, Oslo Chamber Music Festival (2004) and the Bergen International Festival (2005). As part of the celebration of their 10th anniversary in 2006, the choir has commissioned a large scale work for a cappella choir by Jon Balke.

In his work with Ensemble 96 Øystein Fevang seeks ”an overall timbre of clarity, purity and homogenity which retains a distinctive, personal character.”. His ideal is therefore not necessarily to produce a totally homogenous sound all the time – ”a one hundred percent homogenous choir can sound very beautiful, but may be uninteresting to listen to after a while,” says Øystein. He is not afraid to let individual timbres be heard, within certain limits. Therefore, one should be able to distinguish individual voices in Ensemble 96. A demanding approach it is – but made possible thanks to the abilities of the individual singers.

Title Immortal NYSTEDT
Artist Ensemble 96
Label 2L
Release Date 11/18/2008

Title KIND
Artist Ensemble 96
Label 2L
Release Date 11/15/2010

Title the Nordic sound - 2L audiophile reference recordings
Artist Various Artists
Label 2L
Release Date 06/26/2009


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