• Per Nørgård
  • Strygekvartet nr.10 - Høsttidløs (2005)
    (String Quartet no. 10 - Harvest-Timeless)

  • Edition Wilhelm Hansen Copenhagen (World)
  • str4tet
  • 14 min

Programme Note

During the composition of my tenth string quartet a flower-name, høst-tidløs, came to my mind – and it would not me leave again. [høsttidløs is actually autumn crocus in English, but the composer prefers harvest-timeless, to maintain some of the associations of the Danish flower-name, red.]

The paradoxical union of a seasonal time (harvest) and no-time-at-all was a good fit to the sections of the work that I had composed at that time, and I decided to tentatively stick to that title for the work-in-progress, and now, having finished the piece, I can say that is is still a fitting title – and it stands. Enough about the title, I will go on to describe the music, a somewhat more precarious project.

My tenth string quartet is probably the most basic string quartet that I have composed; melodically – and in sound – it employs the naturally based overtones and undertones* (perceived at major and minor, respectively), and rhythmically it is based on growth, on the principles of the Golden Section, and the structure itself contrasts abundance and exuberance with sections of immobility and contemplation.

However, Melos, melody, is definitely the dominating aspect of my STRING QUARTET NO. 10; behind even the most rhythmically complex or pure sonoric sections lies a firm – if hidden – basis of melodic or polyphonic ideas.

The work was composed in 2004-2005 for the Kroger Quartet.



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