• Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen
  • Four Madrigals from The Natural World (2001)
    (4 Madrigals from The Natural World)

  • Edition Wilhelm Hansen Copenhagen (World)
  • SSATTB chor
  • 17 min

Programme Note

for six or twelve voices

FOUR MADRIGALS to texts by the Australian poet Les Murray are composed of two songs (Bats’ Ultrasound and The Octave of Elephants) written for the Australian vocal group THE SONG COMPANY, and two songs (Cattle Egret and Comete) from my larger work SOUND / SIGHT, written for the Danish Radio Chamber Choir, but here arranged for six voices.

The texts are pictures and situations from - or meditations over - THE NATURAL WORLD. Les Murray’s way of approaching this world is not in the least sentimental or nostalgic; the poems reveal a true being-out-there realism; so basically the approach is realistic, but the creating of form elevates the material to an abstract play, a daring and exuberant poetic language.

These poems asked to be set to music. I gave up old idiosyncrasies regarding descriptive music, and surrendered to the madrigal, with its special so-called "madrigalisms", which entails also animal-imitations. You will hear this particularly in The Octave of Elephants.

Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen