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Poul Ruders

Publisher: Edition Wilhelm Hansen

Occam's Razor (2013)
Edition Wilhelm Hansen Copenhagen
Works for 2-6 Players
Year Composed
14 Minutes
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Programme Note
Poul Ruders Occam's Razor (2013)
8 short pieces for Oboe and Guitar

I. Fanfarish
II. Melancholic
III. Bright
IV. Hesitant
V. Lonesome
VI. Ostinato
VII. Ragged
VIII. Occam’s Razor

This collection of short pieces for oboe and guitar is a parallel-composition, as it were, to Schrödinger’s Cat, 12 canons for guitar and violin.

The title of the guitar and violin piece has nothing to do with the music itself, and the same could be said about Occam’s Razor – but not quite…

Occam’s Razor (after the 14th century Franciscan monk and logician William of Ockham) is a term used by physicists to describe the law of economy and succinctness, a principle favoring the choice of the simplest solution over the complex alternative, which often equals confusion and obfuscation.

To me, economy and simplicity are virtues in composition, and the overall title of this series of short pieces, is “lifted” from the very last movement, which is called Occam’s Razor. There are only four notes, and it has to be the simplest music I’ve ever written and am likely to ever write.

- Poul Ruders, September 2013.

  • Soloist(s)
    Daniel Starobin, Xiaobo Pu, YunXiang Fan, Hao Yang, guitar ; Lian Wang, oboe ; Daniel Bruckman, percussion ; Movses Pogossian, Amalia Hall, violin
    Bridge Records:
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