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Magnus Lindberg

Publisher: Chester Music

Marea (1990)
Publisher
Edition Wilhelm Hansen, Helsinki
Category
Orchestra
Sub Category
Large Orchestra
Year Composed
1990
Duration
13 Minutes


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Programme Note
Magnus Lindberg Marea (1990)
After having finished Kinetics, a piece for large orchestra in January 1990, I felt as still continuing in the domain of writing for orchestra. In Kinetics I tried to enlarge my musical language by combining some of the new spectral ideas developed by many younger French composers (Grisey, Murail, Dalbavie) with the harmonic principles I had been using until then. One of the fundamental questions when writing music based on 12-tone harmony has been the organisation of chords containing more than 12 tones. The other problem arising with 12-tone harmonies is the concept of passing notes. Lacking the functionality of the tonal system it becomes akward to choose pitches not belonging to the structure. (I'm sure the popularity of timpanies largely replaced by non-pitched drums in contemporary music has partly been the economy of not spending pitches ...)
In Kinetics I approached these quite fundamental questions from a rather coloristic point of view. I created a harmony model based on a subdivision of pitches in primary and secondary notes. The principle is very simple i.e. any chord can be viewed from its structural qualities (interval content, symmetry etc.) but it might also be conceived from a more acoustical point of view. For instance a major trichord in its root position (C-E-G) belongs to the overtone serie of a C two octaves lower i.e. the 4th, 5th and 6th partials; the minor trichord (C-E flat-G) respectively maps into the partials of a F, 2 and a half octaves lower (6th, 7th and 9th partials). Thus any chord can be seen as being partials of a virtual fundamental.
In Kinetics I controlled the harmonic qualities by colouring a foreground musical event with softly orchestrated background chords. The dialectic aspects of these different views became my main interest in the harmonic layout of Marea. The counterpoint or even conflict between to different harmonic aspects led me to make the overall form of Marea variationlike. The piece is based on a sequence of 12-tone chords repeated as a chaconne. Every chord has its "alter ego", an overtone serie the fundamentals of which together form a bass line (passacaglia).
By articulating the cycle differently, with always different diagonal paths between the two layers I tried to give the music some direction despite of its vaguelike repetitive structure.
The title Marea, the italian word for tides I chose after having already composed the piece. The marvellous feeling of walking on the seabottom with all rock formations, algues etc. visible, covered by water some hours later but still present corresponded with my feeling of the piece. The monotone repetitiveness of tides created by the gravity of the moon, and the force of the sea pushing constantly the seashore felt as a nice metaphor for the piece.
With risque of being romantic I went to Normandie in February to finish the piece at the seaside. Cabourg, the town where Marcel Proust had been writing offered a unique athmosphere off-season empty of tourists. There I also experienced some of those terrible storms manifesting the frightening change of the climate of our planete.
This is of course not what I wanted to express in my music, composition is and remains abstract for me. Anyhow these were some of the thoughts and experiences I had during the winter I was working with Marea.
Magnus Lindberg Paris, March 1990

  • Ensemble
    Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra / Avanti! Chamber Orchestra
    Conductor
    Jukka-Pekka Saraste
    Ondine:
Performances
Date
Title
  • 17 OCT 2009
    Schwetzingen, Germany
    Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland Pfalz
    Karl-Heinz Steffens, conductor
  • 06 JUN 2009
    Rostock, Germany
    Norddeutsche Philharmonie Rostock
    Nicholas Milton, conductor

    Other Dates:
    7,8 June - Rostock, Germany
  • 05 DEC 2008
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    The Glenn Gould School
    Brian Current, conductor
  • 24 APR 2008
    Nice, France
    Orchestre de Nice
  • 13 DEC 2006
    Palais des Sports, Bordeux, France
    Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine
    Hannu Lintu, conductor
  • 03 APR 2004
    Festival Di Pasqua Rovereto
    Auditorium Melotti, Rovereto, Italy
    Orchestra Sinfonica Haydn
  • 11 SEP 2003
    St Petersburg, Russia
    Avanti! Chamber Orchestra
    John Storgårds, violin / Kari Kriikku, clarinet

    Other Dates:
    12,13 September - St Petersburg, Russia
  • 09 FEB 2003
    Leverkusen, Germany
    Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
    Leif Segerstam, conductor

    Other Dates:
    14 February - Kiel, Germany
  • 30 JAN 2003
    Helsinki
    Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
    Leif Segerstam, conductor

    Other Dates:
    31 January - Helsinki
  • 21 SEP 2001
    Northlands Fetival
    Thurso, Scotland
    BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
    Ilan Volkov, conductor
  • 21 SEP 2001
    Studio Recording
    BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
    Ilan Volkov, conductor

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