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April 28: Sono Luminus Releases Iceland Symphony Orchestra’s New Album Atmospheriques

Sono Luminus Releases

Iceland Symphony Orchestra’s Atmospheriques

Conducted by Daníel Bjarnason

Featuring Music by

Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Missy Mazzoli, Daníel Bjarnason, María Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir, and Bára Gísladóttir

Worldwide Release Date: April 28, 2023

Iceland Symphony Orchestra UK Tour - April 20-28, 2023

Information: |

On April 28, 2023, Sono Luminus will release Atmospheriques, a new recording by the Iceland Symphony Orchestra led by conductor and Artist-in-Collaboration Daníel Bjarnason. The release is the first in a series of recordings by the ISO to be released by Sono Luminus and is offered together in standard CD and Pure Audio Blu-rayformats, as well as digitally. Atmospheriques features works by four composers of Icelandic heritage –– Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Daníel Bjarnason, María Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir, and Bára Gísladóttir –– as well as iconic American composer Missy Mazzoli. Though easy to approach the album as a straightforward presentation of predominantly Icelandic artistry, the musicality of Atmospheriques ought not to be reduced to the national origins of its composers and instead approached with an open mind toward the individual works, each of which writer and violist Doyle Armbrust describes as “singular as hand blown glass.”

When it comes to the reaction and retained memories of its listeners, classical music lends itself to a myriad of possibilities for the impression destined to be left on each individual. This reality leaves unrestrained room for wonderment but according to Armbrust, classical music is “never as captivating or molecule-altering for anyone as it is for [the people] on stage.” Still, despite this implication of disappointment, Armbrust offers an inversely positive perspective for this collection of orchestral works by the ISO: a deep appreciation for Sono Luminus in how the U.S.-based label is capable of “submerg[ing] listeners within reach of the Atlantis that is the on-stage experience.” Armbrust considers each work within its own dramatic and imaginative setting:

“Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s music is often intimidatingly cyclopean, and Catamorphosis at times mimics the cosmic indifference of Lovecraft-ian deities, but it simultaneously introduces an iridescent hope I have not encountered before in her music. Mazzoli’s Sinfonia (for Orbiting Spheres) catapults us from one end of a pulsing solar system to the other while Daníel Bjarnason’s From Space I Saw Earth improbably stretches perspective from earth to the moon and back, seeming somehow both terrestrial and paranormal within a single phrase. Maria Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir’s Clockworking bridges a similar expanse, coexisting within the measurable realm of time-keeping...and the immeasurable realm of what occurs as the seconds tick by. Is Bára Gísladóttir’s ÓS gasping in air, or desperately exhaling? Whatever your observation, and as with every waypoint on this illusory itinerary, the answer is likely: both.”

Not only does Sono Luminus capture with refinement and care the distinct soundscapes offered by all five pieces but Ambrust prepares listeners for an experience he says will leave one’s person “minuscule or massive, by contrast to – or motivated by – these sounds.”

More about the composers:

Anna Thorvaldsdottir:

Daníel Bjarnason:

María Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir:

Bára Gísladóttir:

Missy Mazzoli:

About the Iceland Symphony Orchestra: Since its inaugural concert in 1950, the Iceland Symphony Orchestra has expanded from a part-time ensemble of forty players to an internationally renowned orchestra of ninety full-time musicians. As Iceland’s national orchestra, resident at Harpa Concert Hall in Reykjavík, it gives around one hundred concerts each season, its repertoire ranging from traditional classical works to contemporary and film music. It has worked with such renowned musicians as Daniel Barenboim, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Joshua Bell, Hilary Hahn, Jonas Kaufmann, Isabelle Faust, Evelyn Glennie, Barbara Hannigan, and Víkingur Ólafsson.

Coinciding with the Orchestra’s 70th anniversary concert in 2020, Eva Ollikainen assumed the position of Chief Conductor and Artistic Director. Vladimir Ashkenazy is Conductor Laureate and has conducted the Orchestra regularly since the early 1970s. Rumon Gamba was Chief Conductor and Music Director from 2002-2010, succeeded by Ilan Volkov and then, in 2016, by Yan Pascal Tortelier. Osmo Vänskä, currently Honorary Conductor, has worked closely with the Orchestra since his tenure as Chief Conductor in the 1990s, and acclaimed Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir is Composer-in- Residence.

The Iceland Symphony Orchestra has appeared widely throughout Europe, performing at the BBC Proms in Royal Albert Hall, Usher Hall in Edinburgh, and Wiener Musikverein, among other venues. In 2018, under the baton of Vladimir Ashkenazy, the Orchestra took a highly successful three-week tour of Japan. It has also appeared twice in New York’s Carnegie Hall. The Iceland Symphony Orchestra records regularly for leading music labels and has received many international awards, as well as two Grammy nominations for Best Orchestral Performance.

Icelandic Symphony Orchestra: Atmospheriques

Icelandic Symphony Orchestra

Sono Luminus

Release date: April 28, 2023

Anna Thorvaldsdottir 1. CATAMORPHOSIS [21:18]

Missy Mazzoli 2. Sinfonia (for Orbiting Spheres) [9:12] Daníel Bjarnason 3. From Space I Saw Earth [13:06]

María Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir 4. Clockworking for Orchestra [9:03] Bára Gísladóttir 5. ÓS [6:14] Total Time: [58:57]

Recorded at Harpa Concert Hall, Reykjavík, Iceland, Norðurljós Recital Hall, November 12, 2021

Eldborg Hall, May 9 – 12, 2022

Produced by Ragnheiður Jónsdóttir

Executive Producer: Collin J. Rae

Recording, Mixing, Mastering Engineer: Daniel Shores

Editing Engineer: Ragnheiður Jónsdóttir

Assistant Engineer: Joshua Frey

Cover Art: “Water and Mist I”, Kristín Morthens - Oil, spray paint and pastels on canvas, 2022

Graphic Design: Joshua Frey

Liner Notes: Doyle Armbrust

Blu-ray Production: Stefan Bock

Blu-ray Authoring: Michael T. Hoffmann, msm-studios

Pure Audio Blu-ray Audio specifications:

5.1 DTS HD MA 24/192kHz

9.1 Auro-3D 24/96kHz

2.0 LPCM 24/192kHz

9.1 Dolby Atmos 24/48kHz

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