Per Nørgård: SOLO INTIMO for cello solo - opus 8, 1953
The spectrum of sound, the gesticulation – in short, the very nature of the strings – has always had a central place in my output, demonstrated by the numbers of string quartets, concertos with string soloist, chamber and solo works. The interest dates back to my school years, when I was fortunate to be able to compose for a cello-playing schoolmate and to accompany him on the piano. I discovered then the innumerable nuances of sound and playing varieties offered by just one bow, four strings and five fingers.
SOLO INTIMO was the last of a number of juvenile works for cello, but the first one that I accepted in my ”list of professional works” – provided, however, that the work was performed only under circumstances suited for chamber music. Later I “set it free” and only the title remains as a reminder of a period long before “the new simplicity” (around 1966) – a time when as a composer I had the courage to use very hushed periods and long sustained notes in my compositions, but also felt that I made extraordinary demands on the listener’s attention. In spite of this the work is formed in such a way that is can be perceived immediately, moving from pianissimo to fortissimo and back again, with very few leading motifs in an increasingly richer development.
(The Introduction - “The spectrum………five fingers..” to be used ad lib.)