Bent Lorentzen THE PLANETS (1982-96)
My work THE PLANETS is cast as a single unit, consisting of seven movements, varying greatly in character, each of which describes a planet or a celestial body. Tradition and innovation go hand in hand in this work. For instance, the organ is used to convey the sonorous timbre of electronic music which at times is combined with old forms such as Battaglia (in ’Mars’) and Passacaglia (in ’Saturn’).
’Sol’ (Sun). The music is built out of the massive tutti-sound of the organ. The feeling is very much like the feeling of the sun shining down brightly onto you on a warm summer’s day.
’Luna’ is a contrast to the sun. The sun is enormous, strong and warm whereas the moon is weak, thin, cold and mysterious because it borrows its light from the sun.
While ’Luna’ described the mysterious moon with cold, thin sound colours, ’Mars’ makes a war-like contrast with aggressive rhythms and contrasting registers. This part is poly-rhythmic and very complex. Thus there is extensive use of the proportions 5:2, 5:3, 5:4, 5:7 and 5:9 which are the point of departure of all the rhythm series’.
’Mercury’ is the symbol of trade, merchants and thieves - a smooth-talking, shifty gentleman, an early version of the contemporary business man. The music is characterized by tuneful, four-part sequences, which symbolize weightlessness and speed.
’Jupiter’. The music is very much in contrast to the shallow elegance of Mercurius. We are confronted with the almighty creator who rules over life and death. The music is monumental and block-like.
’Venus’. The most exquisite of the planets, symbolizing femininity and beauty. In certain places the music is reminiscent of Parsifal.
’Saturn’, the symbol of pleasure, celebration and Christmas. The joyful celebrations of the Romans and the festivities of Christmas are easy to distinguish behind playful Latin rhythms and jubilant sounds.