NI STUDIER. Opus 25b (1959)

Tilbage til værkfortegnelsen

Ni studier, for klaver.

1. Prelude

2. Trio

3. Duo I

4. Counterlude I

5. Intermezzo

6. Counterlude II

7. Duo II

8. Trio II

9. Postlude

Tilegnet Elisabeth Klein.

Varighed: 10 ´

Værknummer: 59


VÆRKNOTE: 9 STUDIER. OPUS 25b (1959). For klaver.

De ni satser i “Ni Studier” (”Nine Studies”) er placeret symmetrisk omkring en midte (sats 5), som så – rimeligt nok – kaldes ”Intermezzo”, en art akkompagneret recitativ med en kort, sangbar melodi, der omsider optræder i overstemmen efter en lang to-stemmig indledning (og før et lige så langt efterspil).

Dette midterakse-intermezzo, den længste sats (ca. 2 minutter), er nok den kompositorisk frieste af alle satserne. I modsætning hertil er de øvrige så strenge i deres satsteknik, at de nærmer sig, hvad der kan kaldes “præ-determinerede” (forudbestemte), for så vidt at deres udgangsmotiver – fra fire- til elleve-tonige – forvandler sig gradvis, fra præsentation til præsentation, til helt nye melodier. Denne udvikling af en fåtonig kerne til en lang melodi foregriber den kort tid efter fundne (eller opfundne?) – i mange år eftersøgte – uendelighedsrække.

Men væsentligst for satsernes individuelle karakterer er i ”Ni Studier”dog melodiens (tonerækkens) kobling til en rytmerække, hvis antal af varigheder imidlertid altid afviger fra tonerækkens antal – med en forskel på en enkelt varighed, hvorved melodiens kontur konstant ændres. Udover rytmebilledets nævnte variationer kommer endvidere fortsatte transpositioner af grundmotivets enkelttoner: ved hver genkomst transponeres en af motivets toner (fx et kvint-interval op eller ned, eller et kvart-interval op eller ned). Denne teknik er beslægtet med praksis i 1400-tallets europæiske vokalpolyfoni, hvor på samme måde en genkommende melodi (tonerække) kaldet ´Color´ – ofte en del af en gregoriansk sang – kombineredes med en genkommende, divergerende varighedsfølge (rytmerække) kaldet ´Talea´. Genkomsterne af grundmelodien vil således altid fremstå i nye rytmiske skikkelser. Dette komplex af forudbestemmelser udgør i tre satser (anden del af sats 1, samt 3 og 7) hele kompositionen! For de øvrige satsers

vedkommende resulterer de omtalte procedurer “kun” i ledsagestemmen for en dansant ´fri melodi´ – der dog ikke er mere fri, end at den altid skaber konsonerende samklange med ledsagelsens samtidige toneansatser, og blandt disse (: overtoner) kun oktaver og kvinter, altså igen: tæt på en form for énstemmig musik.

“Ni Studier”komponeredes i 1959 er tilegnet pianisten Elisabeth Klein. Værket uropførtes af Anker Blyme den 6. marts 1960 på Statens Museum for Kunst, København, sammen med ”Skitser” (”Sketches”).

Per Nørgård (2009)

PROGRAMME NOTE: NINE STUDIES. OPUS 25b (1959) for piano

Nine Studies from 1959, dedicated to the pianist Elisabeth Klein. The work was premiered by Anker Blyme on March 6, 1960 at the State Museum of Arts, Copenhagen, along with another work for piano by me, Four Sketches.

The nine movements are places symmetrically around a midpoint (movement 5) that therefore – reasonably enough – is called Intermezzo, a sort of accompanied recitative with a short, singable melody that eventually appears in the upper voice after a long two-voice introduction (and before an equally long epilogue).

This pivot-point intermezzo is probably the freest in its composition of all the movements.

In contrast, the remaining movements are so strict in their procedures that they could almost be called “predetermined” in that their opening motifs (from four- to eleven-toned) are gradually (from presentation to presentation) transformed into whole new melodies.

This development of a few-note nucleus into a long melody anticipates the imminent discovery (or rediscovery?) of the infinity series, sought after for so many years.

The individual characters of the single movements in Nine Sketches, however, is first and foremost determined by the coupling of the melody (tone row) to a rhythmic series, whose number of durations notably always diverges from the number of tones in the row with a difference of one single duration, whereby the melody’s contour is constantly modified.

To these variations in the rhythmic field are added further transpositions of the original motif’s single notes: with each repetition one of the motif’s notes is transposed (for example, the interval of a fifth, up or down, or a fourth up or down). This technique is related to a practice in 15th-century European vocal polyphony where similarly a recurring melody (tone row) called “Color” (often a part of a Gregorian chant) was combined with a recurring, divergent succession of durations (series of rhythms) called “Talea”. Thus, at each reappearance of the original melody it will present itself in a new rhythmic shape, and in three of the Nine Studies (the second part of movement 1, along with movements 3 and 7) this complex of predeterminations constitutes the whole composition! As for the remaining movements, the above-mentioned procedures “only” result in the secondary voice for a dance-like “free melody” – one that after all is not that free, in it always creates consonant harmonies with the simultaneous soundings of notes in the other voice, and among these (: overtones) nothing but octaves and fifths, so again: this is close to a unison music of sorts.

Per Nørgård 2009