• Niels Marthinsen
  • A Bright Kind of High (1996)

  • Edition Wilhelm Hansen Copenhagen (World)
  • 7 min

Programme Note

A Bright Kind of High was commissioned for a particular occasion, namely for the concert where the Storstrøms Ensemble was awarded the Prize of the Music Critic Circle.

The prize is normally given to a musician who receives it at a concert with the Tivoli Symphony Orchestra and who then plays or sings with the orchestra. The ensemble wanted to keep up this tradition and asked me to compose a short work for nine musicians and orchestra. I choose to write a piece for virtuos ensemble and ’back-up orchestra’ which could also be performed by the ensemble alone. The work, then, exists in two versions, one with and one without symphony orchestra.

The music is built up around five soloistic passages. There is a duo for flute and basson with accompaniment, a piano solo, a duo for trumpet and harp, a clarinet solo and a trio for the strings. The soli are woven into a quickly and constantly ascending music, which has a certain relationship with a small piano piece by Robert Schumann, ’Ritter vom Steckenpferd’. This is to be heard very clearly during the work, if one knows Schumann’s piece. The title of my piece has no proper meaning outside context. It can be read as a kind of rewriting of ’feeling high, brightly’, and both this and the music gets me to think of champagne.

- NM