• Anders Brødsgaard
  • Klaverkoncert (1995)
    (Piano Concerto)

  • Edition Wilhelm Hansen Copenhagen (World)
  • Piano
  • 23 min

Programme Note

Brødsgaard is a pianist himself; He studied piano with Rosalind Bevan at the Carl Nielsen Music Academy in Odense, and currently teaches piano and gives occasional concert performances. However it is as a composer that he is best known. He studied composition with Per Nørgård, Karl Aage Rasmussen and Hans Abrahamsen at the Music Academy in Aarhus.

However his earlier works were influenced more by two Ferien-kurse in Darmstadt, the stronghold of modernism. These works are tightly structured and show a strong influence of the serial composers of the 50s, in particular Karlheinz Stock-hausen.

Brødsgaard’s musical style has developed since then. His more recent pieces have a greater sense of immediacy and the instrumental writing is more straightforward. Brødsgaard uses fundamental musical principles such as tonality (overtone rows and their mathematical relations) and pulse (complicated polyrhythms, eg 5 agains 7, are broken down to the lowest common denominator). Brødsgaard seeks to link together these musical structures by using the numeric relations of the overtone row (which of course are to be found in nature), to multi-layered rhythmic structures; (polyrhythms).

The Piano Concerto is, in this sense, one long polyrhythm of approximately 20 minutes; All the material in the concert is derived from the juxtaposition of various different pulses (which, in the end, eventually come out ‘lengthwise’ in the music) and various tone rows, which interact vertically, according to the same numeric relationships which are found in the main polyrhythm: 2 against 3 against 5 against 7 against 11.

Although the concerto is through-composed, strictly speaking it consists of a number of overlapping movements. For instance, there is a solo piano movement with underlying winds, a pizzicato movement, a woodwind movement and so on, which exist simultaneously with others ‘vertically’. But the concerto is also divided up ‘horizontally’, in other words into movements in the more traditional sense of the word. Thus there is a ‘slow movement’. But these too follow a fundamental order, based on the mathematics of the polyrhythm: all the tempi in the concerto relate to one common basic tempo. In a sense, all parameters of the music swing in a kind of planetary dance around one common centre of gravity. The listener never experiences it all at one time, what we hear is the composer’s selection of the unity.

The Piano Concerto is composed for the Aarhus Sinfonietta.

Niels Marthinsen

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