"Nine Friends" may also be divided and performed as 3 shorter suites, with the following titles:
1. Unfolding (Secret one, Opening one, Onwards, Three-faced Goddess) – from "Nine Friends”.
2. Facets (Tiny, Illusive, Big brother, - and , ad lib: Illusive, Tiny (no rep.)) – from "Nine Friends”.
3. Streams (Secret – too, Opening one) – from "Nine Friends”.
In “Nine Friends” (1984) a simple, dancing melody is developed, originally composed to a poem by the Danish poet Inger Christensen (1935-2009) – from her collection "Letter in April" (1979):
if the pomegranate
knows, deep down,
that it has a
I too have a
name that is
different from me.”
In Nine Friends, the song theme appears in four of the movements, each time slightly
altered or in new surroundings – musical variations related to the spiral in which the poem moves. Nine Friends is a progressive suite – moving from the utmost simplicity to the later section’s almost virtuoso potential. Each movement has an inscription to – yes, a friend, man or woman. Since everyone is only designated by the first name, the suite becomes, in that connection, a modest, humoristic Danish little brother to Elgar’s magnificent “Enigma” Variations (whose dedicatees in the same manner were half-anonymized, thereby provoking posterity’s guessing: I wonder who’s hiding behind that first name?)
A couple of melodies – or three – reappear along the way, but in constantly more demanding presentations. Nos. 1, 3, 7 and 9, in that manner, have a dance-like catchy melody as a theme throughout, while nos. 4 and 5 on the contrary have a very evasive melody (should it be perceived as being in two or three part time? And when which?)
Nos. 2 and 8 have a common chromatic, descending melody (also integrated into the instrumental works "Prelude to Breaking" and "Burn", as well as into the choir piece "I Hear the Rain" from the 1980s).
A single movement, no. 6, separates itself from the rest with a main theme presented in this movement alone. It is a brashly energetic theme: Big Brother.”
1. Secret one (to Lars)
2. Secret – too (to Helle)
3. Opening one (to Pia)
4. Tiny (to Lasse)
5. Illusive (to Per)
6. Big brother (to Mogens)
7. Onwards (to Jeanette)
8. Opening, too (to Herman)
9. Three-faced Goddess (to Dinna)
“Nine Friends” exists in versions for accordion and for piano respectively, and in this version for nine instruments by Søren Birch from 2010. The piano version was premiered by the pianist and composer Herman D. Koppel (1908-1998), my piano teacher in the early 1950s at the Royal Danish Conservatory of Music.
"Nine Friends" may be divided and performed as 3 shorter suites, with the following titles:
1. Unfolding (Secret one, Opening one, Onwards, Three-faced Goddess) – from “Nine Friends”.
2. Facets (Tiny, Illusive, Big brother, - and , ad lib: Illusive, Tiny (no rep.)) – from “Nine Friends”.
3. Streams (Secret – too, Opening one) – from “Nine Friends”.
Note: The last section, about the shorter suites, can be used or deleted ad libitum.
Notice: The composer has decided that the above order of movements (8. Opening, too (to Herman) 9. Three-faced Goddess (to Dinna)) should be the order of future performances.