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Work Information

Per Nørgård : Borderlines - Violin Concerto No.2


Publisher Wilhelm Hansen
Category
Soloist(s) and Orchestra
Year Composed 2002
Duration
23 Minutes
Solo Instrument(s) Violin
Orchestration
perc, str
Availability Hire  Explain this...
Discography
Here...

Programme Note

There are natural bordes: rives, mountains, oceans - and there are borders which are the result of human decisions, often made with the aid of a ruler. Even though human borders can be said to be illusory they ofteh influence individuals very palpably.

For the soloist in this violin concerto the borderlines of the title denote the ocnditions under which the soloist performs the solo part, namely two radically different tone-temperaments with its row of 7- or 12-tones; the other is as foreigh to the ear as is the dark side of the moon to the eye, with micro-tones (generated as marutal harmonics) on the lower string instruments. The two temperaments interchange, often rapidly, and it is up to the soloist to adjust the intonation of the solo part to the present temperament of the orcehstra; the soloist is thus constantly challenged by everchanging borderlines.

In these perilous surroundings three movements unfold: the first is restlessly searching, the second is introvertly listening and the third is expansively forward thrusting.

Per Nørgård


Reviews

  • Introduktionsarrangementet, hvor komponisten Per Nørgård tegnede og fortalte for en stopfuld koncertkafé videde om, at Sjællands Symfoniorkester på forhånd havde fat i en lang ende, ved - sammen med Cheltenham Festivalen og Østerbottens kammerorkester - at bestille en ny koncert for violin, strygere og lilletromme hos netop ham.
    Koncerten har titlen "Borderlines" (Grænselinier): vi er på besøg i to forskellige "lande" i den union, som værket udgør.
    [...]
    Fascinerende musik. Og heldigvis får vil alle, takket være en CD-optagelse i tilknytning til koncerten, chancen for hjemmeøvelser på Nørgårds nye sprog.
    Knud Ketting, JyllandsPosten, 17/10/2002
  • “Nørgård's new violin concerto is for strings and solo violin. It has been given the title 'Borderlines', for the soloist has to walk the line between daytime's clear, chromatic rows of piano notes and night-time's underworld of dream-like natural tones. The distinction between these two worlds which meet and are explored in the concerto - a typically Nørgårdian feature - is at the same time a distinction between two kinds of mood: the piano's well-tempered mood and the - well, natural - mood of the natural tones. And oh yes, it works. … It is easy to experience the two different universes in the first movement. In the sweet night melody of the second movement the voyage into the dreaming glass world of the natural tones makes me think of night music by Bartók. Things grow even more melodic in the third movement, where the soloist sets herself in motion over dry raps on the rim of the snare drum which along with a suspended cymbal adds a discreet touch of percussion to the sound of the strings….”
    Thomas Michelsen, Politiken, 14/10/2002
  • [...]
    Nørgårds værk indgår rigtignok en pagt med tilhørerne, især danske. Bl.a. sender et mange hilsner til Carl Nielsen. Ikke blot er den karakteristiske blanding af strygere og lilletromme noget, Nielsen benytter i sin bedste koncert - den for klarinet. ofte lægger selve en musikalske stil sig tæt op ad passager i Nielsens symfonier.
    Men dets format er uendelig meget større. Ikke mindst gennem denne fascination af rummet mellem to uforenelige verdener, Nørgård har kaldt interferens. Vi kender fænomenet fra hans første værk i genren, den femten år gamle "Helle Nacht". I den nye koncert handler det bare ikke om lys og mørke men om noget mere abstrakt. Om nogle meget jordiske, konkrete melodier på den ene side, og klange fra meget fjerne steder på den anden.
    Et umuligt projekt, hvis ikke musikken havde været så klart formuleret og let at gå til. Dens spændvidde i det filosofiske er kolossal, dens ydre nærmest klassisk.
    [...]
    S. H. Schauser, Berlingske Tidende, 14/10/2002
  • A MELODIST AT THE BORDERS OF SOUND

    Once thought of as a pioneer of Scandinavian radicalism, the Danish composer Per Norgard is 70 this year and still writing - by his own account - in an innovative and exploratory way. The score of his new violin concerto, Borderlines, which Rebecca Hirsch premiered in Cheltenham Town Hall with the City of London Sinfonia on Wednesday, is littered with arrows and brackets, and mysterious verbal glosses and footnotes. It sports a lenghty introduction relating all these complexities to an esoteric concept of adjacent but distinct sound-worlds, whose interface, by the way, gives the work its title.
    [...]
    The music itself - written entirely for strings with percussion - is beautiful, richly imagined, lyrical, and essentially direct.
    Norgard remains a master of texture and flow, qualities which distinguished his once-famous orchestral Constellations, almost half a century ago.
    [...]
    In the end, though, this is highly sophisticated concerto, subtly in line and movement, and rather cunningly proportioned. I liked it very much, and hope potential performers won't be deterred by the arcane appearance of the score.
    [...]
    Stephen Walsh, The Independent, 22/07/2002

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