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Bent Sørensen

Publisher: Edition Wilhelm Hansen

It is pain flowing down slowly on a white wall (2010)
Edition Wilhelm Hansen Copenhagen
Soloist(s) and Orchestra
Year Composed
17 Minutes
Solo Instrument(s)

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Programme Note
Bent Sørensen It is pain flowing down slowly on a white wall (2010)
It is pain flowing down slowly on a white wall – the sentence – the title – was given to me by a Hungarian woman in August 2008. She put a note with the sentence in my hand after a festival and told me that my music reminded her of the sentence, written by a Hungarian poet. It is music full of slow motion – full of sorrow – full of tangos with no dancers. Maybe I imagined the tears of an accordion player flowing down slowly on the bellow of the instrument.

- Bent Sørensen

Score preview

  • Ensemble
    Arditti Quartet
    Frode Haltli, Accordeon
    ECM Records:
SMART REFERENCES The real surprise of the evening was an accordion concerto by the Danish composer Bent Sørensen, who is almost unknown in this country. “It is pain flowing down slowly on a white wall” is as atmospheric as it is ingenious, an ode to sorrow in search of an immemorial time. The accordion (Frode Haltli) follows the solo violin, playing from the upper rows of the Prinzregenten theatre, as if a shadow until the musicians of the MKO [Munich Chamber Orchestra] stand and leave the stage, still playing, similar to Haydns Farewell Symphony.
Michael Stallknecht, Süddeutsche Zeitung,4/22/2016
APPEALING SOUND PERSPECTIVES Bent Sørensens Tango: ‘It is Pain flowing down slowly on a white Wall’ is flowing and painfully touching work. The solo violin was positioned on the left of the audience. In a dialogue with the accordion, played by Frode Haltli, the violin shifts the sound perspectives appealingly without giving a gimmicky impression. Likewise, when the strings leave the concert hall while they continue to play, the effect of the condensed sound that moves out of the hall together with the players, recalls the sounds that made György Ligeti once popular.
Anna Schürmer, Neue Musik Zeitung,4/22/2016
The opening concert of the Trondheim Soloists was courageous, finishing with a Concerto for violin, accordion and strings by Bent Sørensen. The festival audiences normally come to hear Baroque music, not music by living contemporary composers. But Sørensen’s piece rocked the audience in Potsdam and led to euphoric applause for both the musicians and the composer. Sørensen embraces the audience by using surround sound: the solo violinist was sitting at the entrance of the nave, and at the end the orchestra left the podium whilst still quietly playing. Sadness and joie de vivre can be found together in this piece. Its comfort needs not to be borrowed from quotes of the past. Sørensen skillfully writes without losing the connection with the people. With him the Festival Potsdam-Sanssouci has set an artist at the beginning who points to the future and gives us hope.
Jan Brachmann, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung,6/27/2013
The piece sounded likee a lament cut into fragments and smeared before the ink had dried. Almost-Wagnerian chords from the strings melded with glacial held notes on accordion. Towards the end, a folk song brought an almost-cheerful note into the proceedings, before the players processed off, like a memory fading. The finesse was undeniable.
Ivan Hewett, The Telegraph,11/21/2011
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