Naxos has an agit-prop record

Naxos has an agit-prop record


norman lebrecht

November 21, 2019

From the new Naxos releases:

Daniel HERSKEDAL (b. 1982)
Behind the Wall
Elin Torp Meland, Oboe and Cor anglais • Kjell Magne Robak, Cello
Gro Merete Hjertvik, Piano
The music on this recording exudes a warmth and humanity that lifts the spirit at a moment when the threads that bind the communities of our planet are becoming increasingly fragile. Daniel Herskedal has travelled through Syria, Lebanon and Palestine to study and absorb the heritage of a region fractured by conflict, and has created a suite of music that celebrates the depth of ancient traditions, and
the sheer resilience and dignity of a people threatened by forces beyond their control. Through the prism of Ramallah, Behind the Wall evokes these traditions in exquisitely crafted music that is steeped in Daniel’s insight into a culture that is far too often misunderstood by many in the West. But this is far away from being a simple political statement – rather, its strength derives from landscapes visited
and friendships made, reflected by the music’s lyricism and exuberance.



  • ketzel says:

    Is the cover art an allusion to the incendiary balloons launched from Gaza?

  • V. Lind says:

    Sounds very worthwhile. If it sounds half as good musically, they have themselves a winner.

  • John Borstlap says:

    Agitprop seems to be overstating the type of music a bit.

    Here is a tuba pop thing by this composer:

    And here is a folky thing, including a rather misplaced tuba, apparently an instrument the composer is enthusiastic about:

    More simplistic decoration:

    Adding a political sauce to this kind of innocent entertainment does not make it better. It is window dressing, marketing, bla bla, nothing else.

  • steven holloway says:

    This recording is not agitprop, of course. But describing it as agitprop might itself be agitprop. There’s rather a lot of it on this blog.

  • Lisa says:

    And how long will it take before this composer is raked over the coals of Twitter for appropriating indigenous art forms? Ugh.