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Ragnar Wrock

There was excitement bordering on hysteria in the world of classical music today as it was announced that Hornimint Records' [Icelandic Division] is to release a recording of Ragnar Wrock's "primaeval yet exquisite" setting of Τιμωρία - the epic poem by by 3rd century BC poet Θρυπεκδες Συρακώ. Ragnar Wrock is one of Iceland's most famous and iconic creative artists after whom the eponymous Reykjavik Wrock Festival is named. He also has a whole genre of classical music named for him: Classic Wrock.

After being presumed lost [rather like Professor Thrupiece] for many centuries, Τιμωρία or Retribution was rediscovered in a 19th century Greek Poetry anthology and has finally been translated by the University of Afpuddle's Senior Research Associate Dr Rosetta Stone. Her reward was to be declared the winner of this year’s Costa-Fortune / Whisky-McNightly Greek Translation Prize together with the gift of a £25 Edna Local Shopping Voucher and 400 Threadbone Mediterranean Coach Tours Ltd. [non-transferable] Road Miles. The competition was a joint enterprise between the Dorset Hellenic Institute [Hinton Parva], the Whisky-McNightly Foundation [Bradpole] and Threadbone Mediterranean Coach Tours Ltd [Botherhampton].

Ever since the publication of the translation, there has been fierce interest in setting it to "music" and it has attracted the attention of a wide range of contemporary composers [from classical to rap]. An undeclared race to bring it to the stage has long been in motion, with rumours of an oratorio, a ballet, a rock [no pun intended] musical and even an opera. Ragnar Wrock's composition is a multi-media project which aims to capture the ethos, spirit, essence, heart, etc etc of the Greek original and has been described by musicologist Hosse Stenato as "uncomfortably angular, jagged, gnarly and essentially primitive - but in a good way".

The brand new Hornimint SACD features a stellar cast of soloists, the Alton St Pancras Festival Singers and the Thrupiece Philharmonic Orchestra under wunderkind conductor Waivur Batonssonson. It was recorded live in Reykjavik's Í-gegnum-stykki Tónleikasalur during the Reykjavik Í-gegnum-stykki Festival earlier this month: an event which saw the triumphant return of the Thrupiece Philharmonic Orchestra following their 2019 Contrik-69-breaking 2 city non-socially-distanced, Scandinavian tour.

Dorset Records and Recording Magazine has chosen it as its disc of the month singling out for praise "the committed performance by the choir, the perhaps too clear recording and the first class stick waving of conductor Waivur Batonssonson". Its reviewer goes on to say: "though not a native Greek speaker myself, the clarity of the choir's diction, together with the conductor's fine ear for choral/orchestral balance allowed me to hear and understand every word of this fine poem".*

* Dorset Records and Recording Magazine's esteemed critic seems unaware of the fact that the recording uses an Icelandic translation by Glottal Stoppsdottir - a condition of the Festival organisers to ensure that the main purpose of all of its events - "to promote Icelandic as an international language - is furthered.

A digital extract sampler of the fourth movement can be heard by pressing on the link below:

A digital extract sampler of the fourth movement can be found to the left of this message.

Download your non-analogue paperless CD Booklet [including full translations of the Icelandic] HERE

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