• 18 min

Programme Note

A work commissioned for a special occasion is not necessarily particularly "incidental" anymore. On the other hand, such a work should possess a certain affinity to the occasion. When the Jutland State Conservatory asked me to compose a piece for the inauguration of its new wing, I decided on a wholly personal tribute: musical miniature portraits of three composers, colleagues of mine, who in recent years have enlivened and inspired me in my teaching at the old institution: Svend Nielsen, Hans Abrahamsen and Per Nørgård. Obviously, I have had no intention of mimicking their music; I have tried to mirror certain aspects of each musical individuality in my own music:

Svend Nielsen often employs a specific kind of scale in his music; I have borrowed it (and twisted it a little) in the first movement Toccata. The scales generate long, prismatic lines and rhythms in a movement that streams forth along a single line.

Hans Abrahamsen has again and again expressed himself in expanding, descending melodies. Thus, the tunes of the second movement, Lamento, are perpetually falling, but there is a simultaneous, imperceptible rise in the music, like an optical illusion.

The thid portrait bears no resemblance to its model, at least not on the surface. But Per Nørgård appears in the formal and integral conception of the movement, which is a kind of Chinese box. The music in Rondo implodes so to speak in a spiral of tiny movements. There are several simultaneous tempi, slow and fast, all interlinked by a principle of generation that resembles the so-called "fractal".

A line, a cross and a circle?

- Karl Aage Rasmussen