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Hans Abrahamsen

Publisher: Edition Wilhelm Hansen

Stratifications (1975),
Wilhelm Hansen
Sub Category
Large Orchestra
Year Composed
8 Minutes

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Programme Note
Hans Abrahamsen Stratifications (1975),
Stratifications was composed in the period 1973-75 and was premiered in the summer 1977 by the Iceland Symphony Orchestra at the Young Nordic Music Festival in Reykjavik.

The stratifications referred to in the title unfold two different levels. There is the stratification of the time dimension produced by the opposition of contrasting parts; at the same time the polyphony, the presence of several simultaneously sounding layers, is of great importance to the music. By garish colours and clear-cut outlines a polyrhythmic simultaneousness of simple melodies is produced with more gestic music and other material which give a peculiar 'set piece-like' effect in the sound picture. The 'new simplicity' details are here woven together in a new kind of complex whole.

Stratifications begins with a series of concretistic masklike 'pictures of the music'. It is like seeing lantern slides. But this 'fictive' form crackles and the music gets attentive and real. The music is in a night-mare condition, where it is not getting anywhere in spite of a great dynamic display. But finally is liberating itself and rising 'in triumph'.

Score preview

  • Ensemble
    The Danish National Symphony Orchestra
    Thomas Dausgaard
  • 30 NOV 2017
    Stratifications Country Premiere
    Heerlen, The Netherlands
    Philharmonie Zuidnederland
    Kevin John Edusei, conductor

    Other Dates:
    1 December - Maastricht, The Netherlands
    2 December - Eindhoven, The Netherlands
    3 December - Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    7 December - Venlo, The Netherlands
    8 December - 's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands
    9 December - Tilburg, The Netherlands
    10 December - Oss, The Netherlands
  • 20 OCT 2017
    Reflektor Bryce Dessner
    Hamburg, Germany
    Symphoniker Hamburg
    Katia und Marielle Labèque, piano; Bryce Dessner, guitar; Aaron Dessner, guitar; Alan Pierson, conductor
  • 12 JUN 2016
    Buffalo, NY
    Buffalo Philharmonic
    Joann Falletta, conductor
  • 11 SEP 2014
    Stratifications Country Premiere
    Choral für Luigi Nono World Premiere
    Silbersaal im SZentrum, Schwaz, Austria
    Tiroler Symphonieorchester Innsbruck
    Francesco Angelico, conductor
  • 20 SEP 2012
    Nordkraft, Aalborg, denmark
    Aalborg Symfoniorkester
    Alessio bax, piano; Pietari Inkinen, conductor
  • 20 SEP 2012
    Nordkraft, Aalborg, Denmark
    Aalborg Symphony Orchestra
    Pietari Inkinen, conductor
  • 06 NOV 2009
    Odense Koncerthus, Odense, Denmark
    Odense Symfoniorkester
    Jukka Iisakkala, conductor
  • 26 JUN 2008
    Koncertsalen Alsion, Sønderborg, Denmark
    Sønderjyllands Symfoniorkester
    Jesper Juul Sørensen, conductor
  • 22 APR 2006
    Edinburgh, Skotland
    Scottish Chamber Orchestra
    John Storgårds, conductor
  • 22 APR 2006
    Queen's Hall, Edinburgh
    Scottish Chamber Orchestra
    John Storgårds, conductor
  • 21 APR 2006
    Glasgow City Hall
  • 27 FEB 2003
    Radiohusets Koncertsal, København

Stratifications (1975) firmly gives the lie to any idea that the New Simplicity movement, of which Abrahamsen was a leading voice, was without a corresponding complexity
Richard Whitehouse, International record review,31/08/2005
Although he (Abrahamsen, ed.) began as an exponent of New Simplicity, even the early Stratifications is densely layered and complexly conceived
Paul Driver, The Sunday Times,22/02/2005
It was a joy to hear Abrahamsens nearly thirty years old "Stratifications" again... especially because it still sounds so fresh
Søren H. Schauser, Berlinske Tidende,03/03/2003
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