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Per Nørgård : Frostsalme-musik

Publisher Wilhelm Hansen
Solo Keyboard(s)
Year Composed 1980
3 Minutes
Orchestration org
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Programme Note

FROSTSALME-MUSIK (1980). Choral prelude for organ.

When in 1975 I had finished composing my 3rd Symphony (begun in 1973), I wrote three simple melodies for two psalm texts by Ole Sarvig “The Year” and “Choral Hymn”. One of these was later included in the Danish Hymnbook under the title “Året – Som året går” (The Year).
These three “Sarvig tunes” were derived from the same material as the second movement of the symphony and could be harmonized together in several different tempo relationships at the same time - like fractals. This inspired me to write several choral and instrumental works in the following decade based on these melodies: “Frost Psalm”, “Winter Cantata”, “Cycles”, “Cantica” and this piece for organ, all coloured by the Nordic and mythic poem by Sarvig, the beginning of which goes:

The passing year will pass its deep
So shall our mind reach winter´s sleep.
And as the tree stands leafles, bare,
Is winter´s realms: our minds aware.

Per Nørgård


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