»Håbet« (The Hope) was commissioned by the Reformed Church and the Royal Navy’s Operative Commando in memory of Olfert Fischer on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Rheden in 1801. Initially the work was scored for brass band, organ and chorus, but in addition to this I used percussion instruments. The percussion came to play a quite special role, since for among other reasons they were placed both in front of and behind the audience. In this way there was a special effect when the bass-drum, sounding from behind the audience, was answered by cymbals in front - and the other way round - backwards and forwards above the audience, as if cannon balls were flying over their heads.
»Håbet« is not pure programme music, but includes even so extremely visual elements in the description of the battle. From the first glimpse of the awe-inspiring English Navy on the horizon through the battle itself to the reflection of the second movement. The words in the second section are taken from Psalm 27 - a highly suitable text with regard to the subject matter. In the music I did not wish to glorify the bloodshed of the battlefield, but rather to depict it through the music; above all the work ends with a hope for peace. The work is also a memorial to Olfert Fischer and his efforts as a commodore in the Danish Navy on the block-ship »Dannebrog« during the battle.
(Frederik Magle, English translation: Gwyn Hodgson)