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Work Information

Per Nørgård :

Publisher Wilhelm Hansen
Chorus a cappella / Chorus plus 1 instrument
Year Composed 1983
14 Minutes
Chorus SATB chor
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Full Score(s) WH29732

Programme Note

AFBRUDT HØJSANG, SKRIG OG DRIKKEVISE – for blandet kor (1983).

I. Afbrudt Højsang (Interrupted Canticle)
II. Skrig (Scream)
III. Drikkevise (Drinking song)

The point of departure for this choral work was the final song of my opera “Siddharta” (1979/1984), where the young prince Siddharta sees through the false life at his protecting fathers isolated castle – and leaves everything and everybody. The motives of the song haunted me, and led to the first movement of this choral work. The erotic text of the Canticles tells about the longing for a nightly meeting with the lover… - but the result is a rejection, the lover does not show up.
The longing and despair after this “Afbrudt Højsang” (Interrupted canticle) led to the two following movements (with texts by Karl Antz), “Skrig” (Scream) and “Drikkevise (Drinking song) – reactions on the rejection. In “Skrig” the many outbursts of pain are mixed with text fragments of the schizophrenic Swiss artist Adolf Wölfli (1864-1930), rhymes like “Gii-ga-ra Li-na Wiiy Rosina”. The natural continuation both in the work and often in real life is a rather desperate drinking song, “Drikkevise”, with the character flemmática á comminciáre: “Drink your wine and eat your bread; life on this earth is hard, drink your wine and eat your bread”.
“Afbrudt højsang, Skrig og Drikkevise” was composed in 1983, around the time my next opera – “The Divine Circus”, about Adolf Wölfli – was premiered.
The duration of this short choral drama is about 15 minutes.
Per Nørgård


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