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Per Nørgård

Publisher: Edition Wilhelm Hansen

Cantica Concertante (2012)
Edition Wilhelm Hansen Copenhagen
Soloist(s) and Large Ensemble (7 or more players)
Year Composed
14 Minutes
Solo Instrument(s)

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Programme Note
Per Nørgård Cantica Concertante (2012)
When in 1975 I had finished composing my “Symphony no. 3” (begun in 1973), I wrote three simple melodies for two psalm texts by Ole Sarvig: “The Year” and “Choral Hymn”. These three tunes were derived from the same material as the second movement of the symphony and could be harmonized together in several different tempo relationships, like proportional canons. For this reason they inspired me to write several choral and instrumental works in the following decade: “Frost Psalm”, “Winter Cantata”, “Cycles” the tuba octet “Now all the earth is white with snow" (and others).

Cantica”, meaning song or singing, was composed (for the Danish musicians Hans Erik Deckert and Kjeld Hansen) as a instrumental little brother to the long, polyphonic choral pieces. As in these the canonical melodies in Cantica drift from foreground to background, from cello to piano. The melodies are simple, diatonic and in traditional rhythms and the surface of the music is in a way traditional. The intention of the composer with this easily understood expression is to lead the listeners ears to the many internal, proportional developments. The story is often hidden “between the lines”. In the myriads of rhythmic and tempo relations the Golden Mean (near to 2:3:5:8 et cetera, like the so-called Fibonacci-series) plays an important role, like in nature. Among the experiences giving by this natural phenomenon are – perhaps - the musical points to be found (?).

The version for cello and sinfonietta is from 2012, arranged by Steve Ferre.

Per Nørgård(1997)

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