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Per Nørgård

Publisher: Edition Wilhelm Hansen

Mytisk morgen (2000)
Work Notes
Uropførelse: Dato: 14-11-2000 Sted: S:t Johannes Kyrka, Malmö, (Stemmer i 1000 år) Søsterværk til Morgenmyte (329) Medvirkende: Jens Schou Kor: Vokalgruppen Ars Nova Dirigent: Tamás Vetö
Text Writer
Pia Tafdrup
Wilhelm Hansen
Chorus a cappella / Chorus plus 1 instrument
Year Composed
18 Minutes

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Programme Note
Per Nørgård Mytisk morgen (2000)
Just as a spring morning by a small lake, full of birdsong, can seem like “sheer idyll”, Pia Tafdrup’s poem Mythic Morning seems at first glance to depict this idyll. But behind its vibrant vitality – in many tempi – death is always lurking: “even in the day’s greeting lay a parting pang”. The calculated maliciousness that the human consciousness can add to the relentless law of nature is expressed too – when birdsong from trees suddenly sounds “like hearts skewered hot upon a hook”. The poem is a myth of death amidst life.

“The myth speaks in narrative form of what is true at all times. And there is an almost dizzying
spectrum of ‘times’ in Mythic Morning: from inconceivably fast ‘shrill lightnings’ through cellular
time (“where seed encounters egg”), to the now-time of the animals (when “birds ascended
to the sky – or sang”), the psychological time of human beings, as well as the equally inconceivable slow movements of the seasons and plants (“anemones stealing down the slope”).

“It is a combination of the many time-dimensions of this poetic universe with a core of
calm (“full of ages long”) that has inspired me to write Mythic Morning for 12-part choir and
bass clarinet. In the combination of the subtly shaded choral spectrum with the refined overtone mysteries of the bass clarinet I looked for that ‘third sound’ that could include both a
“wild and bafflingly innocent game” as well as the “death that was in every place”.

“Mythic Morning – besides Frost Psalm (1976) my longest choral work so far – was
composed for and dedicated to Ars Nova and Jens Schou, whose cultivation of the harmonic
spectrum of the bass clarinet was an important contributory factor to my embarking on
the composition.

Morning Myth – dedicated to Ars Nova – is based on themes and motifs from Mythic
Morning, which I have later ‘distilled’ in this strophic, mainly homophonic (and shorter!) a cappella choral work with the same Tafdrup poem set in three varied double verses (1-2,
3-4, 5-6) ending with a separate longer verse (7). The two works – respectively throughcomposed ‘panoramically’ and strophically ‘narrative’ – can be performed separately;
the performance of both settings in the same concert does however provide an opportunity
for a – differently illuminated – immersion in the dense poetic universe of the poem”.

Per Nørgård (2000)

  • Ensemble
    Ars Nova
    Jens Schou (bass clarinet)
    Tamas Vetö
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