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Jóhann Jóhannsson – Retrospective

Johann Johannsson Virðulegu Forsetar cover
© J. Wozencroft / DG
03/09/2019
The selection of early works that have been chosen for Deutsche Grammophon’s “RETROSPECTIVE I”, the first part of a two-volume project in celebration of his legacy, show Jóhann Jóhannsson to have been a composer of imagination and versatility in equal measure. The earliest recording is Virðulegu Forsetar (2004), an one-hour-long piece for an eleven-piece brass ensemble, percussion, electronics, organ and piano. It was composed with a specific site in mind, the Hallgrímskirkja (Hallgrimur’s church) in Reykjavik, Iceland, and was recorded there. The piece has Englabörn's quiet, elegiac beauty, but abandons the brevity of the first album’s exquisite miniatures in favour of an extended form that reveals a long, slow process. Virðulegu Forsetar is now available for download and streaming.