• Arne Nordheim
  • Boomerang (1985)

  • Edition Wilhelm Hansen Copenhagen (World)
  • 2hn, hpd, str
  • Oboe
  • 17 min

Programme Note

Dramatic, drastic, catastrophic, and lyrical.” Thus Arne Nordheim characterizes BOOMERANG. The work had its world premiere in Oslo, in October 1985.

Boomerang is thrown by the oboe, caught by the two horns, and then by the whole orchestra; it then returns to the point of departure. Arne Nordheim says, “Boomerang is written as a concerto for oboe. The horns are used as mirrors – reflecting the oboe. In a way Boomerang shares some characteristics of music from the baroque era.

The sound-setting (Klangbild) is very intense, the tempo fast. The piece starts where the classical oboe register ends and continues – upwards – from there. Quite a lot of ornamentation has found its place within the oboe part and is also interwoven in the horn parts.

Boomerang is an extremely difficult piece of music – very virtuosic and demanding. “Too difficult” someone uttered to the composer, but Arne Nordheim does not want to simplify: “I write from exactly anticipated methods of composition.” He says. “Simplification betrays the wholeness of it all.

The composer regards Boomerang as his concerto grosso: “Of course it has got to be difficult to play” he says, “just as it was difficult to write.

- August Albertsen

Commissioned by the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra


Score preview