• Bent Sørensen
  • Looking on Darkness (2000)

  • Edition Wilhelm Hansen Copenhagen (World)
  • acn
  • 10 min

Programme Note

It is in the attempt to recreate a lost world, without any illusion of its feasibility, that we find the Danish composer Bent Sørensen's beautiful and melancholic music. Sørensen, one of the most frequently performed contemporary Scandinavian composers, has taken the title, Looking on Darkness, from Shakespeare's Sonnet No. 27.

The thematic and intellectually clearly constructed form in which the inherent emotion is centrally placed, and which characterises the sonnet, also forms the basis of Sørensen's composition, which is dedicated to Frode Haltli.

As in Shakespeare's sonnet, the past, memory, arises in Sørensen's music as it were out of nothing, out of the darkness, the silence; the concrete rattle of the accordion buttons and the sensitive dripping notes in the opening section vibrate on the borderline between the concrete and the hereafter. Loss and mourning for that which is lost and will never come again, flow into the fleeting and poetic tones and meld together; the music oscillates, lingers, holds tightly to the absence, slackens its grip, tries again, moves carefully onwards like the fragmentary memories in Samuel Beckett's late prose, before the sorrowful voice of the piece, just as beautiful and unobtrusive, withdraws again and leaves us to the silence, to what used to be.