Karsten Fundal RITORNELLO AL CONTRARIO, percussion concerto
I had the idea for the percussion concerto from a windchimes I bought in a Middle Age town in Southern France. For a long time I was astonished that it could have such a manifold of sounds, even if it only had eight proper tones. The sounds are produced when a glass disk strikes a metal bar, and it turned out that it had some distinct, so-called, overtones, produced when the glass disk strikes with a particular strength and angle. It is, of course, by chance if the fundamental tone or an overtone is heard when it plays in the wind, but the scale formed by the most distinct overtones is a mirror of the fundamental scale like a reflection in water.
As a consequence it sounds as if there were two opposite motions in interference when the windchimes play.
Not only the two opposite motions are heard, then, but also their resultant pattern.
This inspired me to compose the percussion concerto as a piece
featuring the principle that a section is all along the complementary image of what has just been heard in the previous one.
This idea may to be found in many ways.
In the first movement many small oppositions are woven into one another. The opposite picture to this is a second movement in which everything is static and almost without direction.
The third movement is, again, an opposite picture to the second movement, but also opposite picture to the changeable character of the first movement.
This is obtained by writing a movement charaterized by rhythmic energy yet more stable, and with a clear direction in the sense that the soloist constantly increases his tempo, whereas the music in the ensemble all the time gets slower to reach a maximum polarization between the soloist and the ensemble, that is yet another opposition.
The windchimes are in particular heard imitated in the solo part in the second movement.
The work is composed to and dedicated to Thomas Sandberg.
Karsten Fundal 1998