KONCERT NR. 1 FOR SLAGTØJ OG ORKESTER – FOR A CHANGE (1982-83)

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Fire satser for slagtøj solo og symfonisk orkester.

I. Thunder Repeated: The Image of Shock.

II. The Taming Power of the Small – 9 sounds.

III. The Gentle, the Penetrating.

IV. Towards Completion: Fire over Water.

Baseret på I CHING (Nr. 202)

Tilegnet Gert Mortensen.

Varighed: 22’

Værknummer: 204


VÆRKNOTE: KONCERT NR. 1 FOR SLAGTØJ OG ORKESTER – FOR A CHANGE (1982-1983) I. Thunder Repeated: The Image of Shock (hexagram no. 51)II. The Taming Power of the Small – 9 sounds (hexagram no. 9) III. The Gentle, the Penetrating (hexagram no. 57)IV. Towards Completion: Fire over Water (hexagram no. 64)

Værknote – kort version:

Titlen ´For a Change´(Til en forandring) refererer til den kinesiske ´Book of Changes´ (I Ching), som i årtusinder er blevet anvendt som rådgiver (´orakel´) i valgsituationer: 64 tilstande beskriver den samlede cyklus af livets faser. Heraf har jeg udvalgt 4, hvis følge rummer en udvikling fra det tilsyneladende udvejsløse til en (foreløbig) befrielse:

1. sats. ´Thunder Repeated: The Image of Shock´ (Gentaget Torden: Billedet af Chok): En ond cirkel af klaustrofobisk lukkede kredsløb tegnes med toms-afsnit, fulgt af henholdsvis tams- og trælyds-dominerede afsnit, cirklende tilbage til toms.

2. sats ´The Taming Power of the Small´ (Den Tæmmende Kraft af det Små) udgår fra voldsomheden i 1. sats, men lader den opløse i Number Nine´s opadgående glidetone, overført til diverse instrumenter med udgangspunkt i stemmelyden, ´lånt´ fra Beatles´ ´Revolution no 9´.

3. sats er ´The Gentle, the Penetrating´(Det Milde, det Gennemtrængende), hvor den lyriske poesi dominerer med blide klokkelignende klange og sarte melodier.

Endelig triumferer den suveræne mangelagede rytmeverden i 4. sats ´Towards completion: Fire over water´ (Henimod Fuldendelse: Ild over Vand), værkets hovedsats. ´For a Change´ blev uropført d. 27. februar 1983 med Sjællands Symfoniorkester dirigeret af Tamás Vetö. Solist var Gert Mortensen, hvem værket er tilegnet.

Værknote – længere version:

Titlen på slagtøjskoncerten – ´For a Change´(Til en forandring) – refererer til den kinesiske ´Book of Changes´(I Ching), som i årtusinder er blevet anvendt som rådgiver (´orakel´) i valgsituationer: 64 tilstande beskriver den samlede cyklus af livets faser. Heraf har jeg udvalgt 4, hvis følge rummer en udvikling fra det tilsyneladende udvejsløse til en (foreløbig) befrielse:

1. sats. ´Thunder Repeated, the Image of Shock´: En ond cirkel af klaustrofobisk lukkede kredsløb tegnes med toms-afsnit, fulgt af henholdsvis tams- og trælyds-dominerede afsnit, cirklende tilbage til toms.

2. sats ´The Taming Power of the Small´ udgår fra voldsomheden i 1. sats, men lader den opløse i Number Nine´s opadgående glidetone, overført til diverse instrumenter med udgangspunkt i stemmelyden, ´lånt´ fra Beatles´ ”Revolution no. 9”.

3. sats er ´The Gentle, the Penetrating´, hvor den lyriske poesi dominerer med blide klokkelignende klange og sarte melodier.

Endelig triumferer den suveræne mangelagede rytmeverden i 4. satsen (´Towards Completion: Fire over Water´ (Henimod Fuldendelse: Ild over Vand)), værkets hovedsats. ´

For a Change´ blev uropført d. 27/2 1983 med Sjællands Symfoniorkester dirigeret af Tamás Vetö. Solist var Gert Mortensen, hvem værket er tilegnet.

Der er en tæt forbindelse mellem mit værk for solo slagtøj I Ching” (1982) og slagtøjskoncerten “Til en Forandring” (For a Change), 1983; solostemmen i de to værker er således identiske (bortset fra 2. sats, hvor jeg har orkestreret slagtøjsstemmen). Der er et symbiotisk forhold mellem værkerne. I de hurtige ydersatser er solistens “skyer” eller “hvirvler” af samtidige stemmer delegeret ud i orkestret, der i forskellige tempi understreger og tydeliggør solistens langsommere mønstre og motiver – som “I Ching” i mange bølgelængder eller i en fraktal udgave.

Selvom der, naturligt, kræves mere af solisten end af orkestret måtte jeg sikre en rimelig balance mellem de to parter.

I 1. satsen ´tilter´ solisten med sine komplekse rytmer bestandig orkestret, og tvinger bl.a. musikerne ud i improvisatoriske imitationer.

Dette radikale Yang/Yin-forhold udlignes til dels i den blødt instrumenterede 2. sats.

En form for balance opnås i den lyriske 3. sats, hvor solisten dog stadig er i forgrunden med den afrikanske Kalimba (eller Sansa, det særlige “fingerklaver” af metal-tunger) og andre spinkle og sprøde instrumentklange.

I slutsatsen etableres en form for ligestilling mellem solist og orkester, i deres harmoniske samspil af identiske mønstre i mange forskellige tempo-bølger (“Henimod fuldendelsen: Ild over Vand” – eller “Til en Forandring”…).

Per Nørgård (1995)

PROGRAMME NOTE: FOR A CHANGE (1982-83) for percussion solo and orchestra.

Programme note – short version:

The title ´For a Change´ refers to the Chinese ´Book of Changes´ (I Ching), which has been consulted in situations of choice for millennia. In the I Ching, 64 states of being determine the full cycle of the phases of life. From these I selected four, the sequence of which progresses from a situation from which there is apparently no solution, to a (temporary) relief.In the first movement ´Thunder Repeated, the Image of Shock´, a vicious circle of claustrophobic, closed circuits is represented by the tom-tom part. This is followed by tam-tams and wood sounds, but returns full-circle to the tom-toms.The second movement ´The Taming Power of the Small´ has its origins in the violence of the first movement, but this time lets it resolve in a long glide upwards which stars with voice sounds ´borrowed from the Beatles´ ´Revolution no 9´ (White Album) which ?? are then transmitted to the other instruments.The third movement is ´The Gentle, The Penetrating´ in which lyrical poetry dominates with gentle bell-like sounds and delicate tunes.

Finally the sovereign, many-layered world of rhythm triumphs in the fourth movement: ´Towards Completion. Fire over Water´, the main movement of the work.

For a Change was premiered on the 27th February 1983 by the Sealand Symphony Orchestra conducted by Tamás Vetö. Soloist was Gert Mortensen, to whom the work is dedicated.

Per Nørgård (1983)

Programme note – longer version:

The title ´For a Change´ refers to the Chinese ´Book of Changes´ (I Ching), which has been consulted in situations of choice for millennia. In the I Ching, 64 states of being determine the full cycle of the phases of life. From these I selected four, the sequence of which progresses from a situation from which there is apparently no solution, to a (temporary) relief.

In the first movement ´Thunder Repeated, the Image of Shock´, a vicious circle of claustrophobic, closed circuits is represented by the tom-tom part. This is followed by tam-tams and wood sounds, but returns full-circle to the tom-toms.The second movement ´The Taming Power of the Small´ has its origins in the violence of the first movement, but this time lets it resolve in a long glide upwards which stars with voice sounds ´borrowed´ from the Beatles´ ´Revolution no 9´ ´(White Album) which ?? are then transmitted to the other instruments.The third movement is ´The Gentle, The Penetrating´ in which lyrical poetry dominates with gentle bell-like sounds and delicate tunes.

Finally the sovereign, many-layered world of rhythm triumphs in the fourth movement: “Towards Completion. Fire over Water”, the main movement of the work.

´For a Change´ was premiered on the 27th February 1983, by the Sealand Symphony Orchestra conducted by Tamás Vetö. Soloist was Gert Mortensen, to whom the work is dedicated.

There is a close relationship between my work for solo percussion “I Ching” (1982) and the percussion concerto “For a Change” (1983); the solo part of the concerto is actually identical to “I Ching” (apart from the second movement, in which I have orchestrated the percussion part). This symbiotic treatment evolved in the following manner: The fast outer movements of “I Ching” possess a density of speed, quite uncharacteristic of other works by me. The intentional result was to “blur” or “muddy” the melodic patterns, which, if played differently (as they are throughout the work) are clearly perceptible. These patterns are simultaneously present in a variety of proportions and tempi in “I Ching”, and it was here that I found the material for the orchestral part of “For a Change”. In the fourth movement for instance you will hear, through the dense “clouds” of fast notes from the soloist, the orchestra playing identical patters, but in a slower motion, creating the same, perceptible melodies, but in other, slower wavelengths so to speak – like fractals. Sill, to obtain balance, I first had to establish a “fair” relationship between the soloist and the orchestra. It would not be “fair” to demand from the orchestra what I demand of the soloist, considering the amount of time for each party to devote to rehearsing the music.

This is illustrated in the first movement (“The Image of Shock”), in which the complexity and persistence of the solo part constantly “tilts” the orchestra and forces each orchestral player to improvisational imitations.

This radical Yang/Yin-relationship is somewhat softened by the pianissimo orchestration of the second movement (“The Taming Power of the Small”).

A sort of equilibrium is reached in the third movement (“The Gentle, The Penetrating”), in which the soloist still has a leading role, though – playing the Kalimba (or the Sansa, the African metal tongue instrument), as well as other frail timbres. At last, in the fourth movement, an equality is established; the soloist and the orchestra play in different, but harmonic tempo-spheres – “Towards Completion”: Fire over Water”. Or: For a Change…

Per Nørgård (1995)