• Bent Sørensen
  • Second Symphony (2019)

  • Edition Wilhelm Hansen Copenhagen (World)

Commissioned by the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Oslo Filharmonien and Göteborg Symfoniker

  • 3(pic).3(ca).3.3/4331/3perc/hp/str
  • 34 min

Programme Note

This is not a ’Symphony no. 2’. It is a Second Symphony.

For several rather inexplicable reasons it is important to me not “just” to number the symphonies in order to emphasize the genre. Titles, more importantly than genres, are part of my dreams – the dreams that become music. And Second Symphony is definitely both a title and part of a dream.

I thought exactly the same when I composed (and now I almost wrote: "the first") Symphony in 1996.

Second Symphony is in four movements. The first movement opens with a scream. The subsequent parts of the movement form a unified but complex whole, where traces from the coming movements turn up – constantly in interaction with the scream and its echoes.

The second movement is slow and rather melodious. It was actually performed in a “trailer version” – shortened and minimized in December 2018 in the Danish TV programme Deadline.

The third movement is a scherzo – teeming, rhythmic, with almost physical soft and violent meetings, like acts of love between the different layers of music.

The last movement is a farewell song – a goodbye. A musical ship is approaching only to disappear again. Where I perceive the preceding movements as highly contemporary, there is a touch of the past in this last movement – my past. I quote my fourth string quartet Schreie und Melancholie, and in this movement I was also influenced by the fact that my mother passed away during the composition of this piece. Maybe this is my farewell that I write in music.