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Work Information

Vagn Holmboe : Prelude to the Calm Sea, op.187

Publisher Wilhelm Hansen
Large Ensemble (7 or more players)
Year Composed 1991
10 Minutes
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Full Score(s) WH30565

Programme Note

In much of this refinde miniature, the strings and winds play complementary lines or even different kinds of music, mediated by the percussion. A colourful undulation recurs in the strings which will strike many as "sea-like". Still, there is no story or picture to the music; its references to the outside world are not specified, however precise they may be in our imagination. Like Holmboe's other works, this one is based on the firmest compositional craft, rooted in modal counterpoint, in the essence of the many folk musics its composer studied in the 1930s, and in the consummate practices of composers such Haydn and Carl Nielsen. Its strength lies in its subtlety and in this little piece may be sensed a composer of a stature rare in this or any era.

Paul Rapoport


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