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Per Nørgård

Publisher: Edition Wilhelm Hansen

9 Venner (1984)
Work Notes
1. Secret one (to Lars) 2. Secret – too (to Helle) 3. Opening one (to Pia 4. Tiny (to Lasse) 5. Illusive (to Per) 6. Big brother (to Mogens) 7. Onwards (to Jeanette) 8. Opening, too (to Herman) 9. Three-faced Goddess (to Dinna) Nine Friends kan, udover samlet opførelse, underdeles i følgende 3 suiter: 1. Unfolding (Secret one, Opening one, Onwards, Three-faced Goddess) 2. Facets (Tiny, Illusive, Big brother, - and , ad lib: Illusive, Tiny (no rep.)) 3. Streams (Secret – too, Opening one)
Publisher
Edition Wilhelm Hansen Copenhagen
Category
Solo Keyboard(s)
Year Composed
1984
Duration
23 Minutes
Orchestration
Alternate Orchestration
Accordion
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Programme Note
Per Nørgård 9 Venner (1984)
PROGRAMME NOTE: NINE FRIENDS (A Book of Characters") - for accordion (or piano)
In Nine Friends (1984) a simpel, dancing melody is developed, originally composed to a poem by the Danish poet Inger Christensen (1935-2009) – from her collection "Letter in April" (1979):
“Who knows
if the pomegranate
knows, deep down,
that it has a
different name.
Who knows
if maybe
I too have a
name that is
different from me.”
In Nine Friends, the song theme appears in four of the movements, each time slightly
altered or in new surroundings – musical variations related to the spiral in which the
poem moves.
“Nine Friends is a progressive suite – moving from the utmost simplicity to the later section’s almost virtuoso potential. Each movement has an inscription to – yes, a friend, man or woman. Since everyone is only designated by the first name, the suite becomes, in that connection, a modest, humoristic Danish little brother to Elgar’s magnificent “Enigma” Variations (whose dedicatees in the same manner were half-anonymized, thereby provoking posterity’s guessing: I wonder who’s hiding behind that first name?)
A couple of melodies – or three – reappear along the way, but in constantly
more demanding presentations. Nos. 1, 3, 7 and 9, in that manner, have a dance-like catchy melody as a theme throughout, while nos. 4 and 5 on the contrary have
a very evasive melody (should it be perceived as being in two or three part time?
And when which?)
Nos. 2 and 8 have a common chromatic, descending melody (also integrated into the instrumental works "Prelude to Breaking" and "Burn", as well as into the choir piece "I Hear the Rain" from the 1980s).
A single movement, no. 6, separates itself from the rest with a main theme presented in this movement alone. It is a brashly energetic theme: Big Brother.”
1. Secret one (to Lars)
2. Secret – too (to Helle)
3. Opening one (to Pia)
4. Tiny (to Lasse)
5. Illusive (to Per)
6. Big brother (to Mogens)
7. Onwards (to Jeanette)
8. Opening, too (to Herman)
9. Three-faced Goddess (to Dinna)
Nine Friends exists in versions for accordion and for piano respectively, and in a version for nine instruments by Søren Birch from 2010.The piano version was premiered by the pianist and composer Herman D. Koppel (1908-1998), my piano teacher in the early 1950s at the Royal Danish Conservatory of Music.
Nine Friends may be divided and performed as 3 shorter suites, with the following titles:
1. Unfolding (Secret one, Opening one, Onwards, Three-faced Goddess) – from “Nine Friends”.
2. Facets (Tiny, Illusive, Big brother, - and , ad lib: Illusive, Tiny (no rep.)) – from “Nine Friends”.
3. Streams (Secret – too, Opening one) – from “Nine Friends”.
Per Nørgård

Note: The last section, about the shorter suites, can be used or deleted ad libitum.
Notice: The composer has decided that the above order of movements (8. Opening, too (to Herman)
9. Three-faced Goddess (to Dinna)) should be the order of future performances.

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