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Per Nørgård : King, Queen and Ace - Harp Concerto No.1

Work Notes King, Queen and Ace was composed for the harpist Sofia Claro in 1988-89 and first performed by her and The Esbjerg Ensemble, conducted by Kaare Hansen, on May 28th 1989.
Wilhelm Hansen
Category Soloist(s) and Large Ensemble (7 or more players)
Year Composed
Duration 20 Minutes
Solo Instrument(s)
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Full Score(s) WH30166

Programme Note

Per Nørgård: KING, QUEEN AND ACE – CONCERTO NO. 1 FOR HARP (1988), for harp and sinfonietta.
Many metaphores are connected to the famous Hegelian triad: Thesis, Antithesis and Synthesis. In "King" versus "Queen" the contrast between hardware (severe, male, linear) and software (open, female, non-linear) is marked as is in "Ace" (symbolizing the absolute ruler - and at the same time displaying the innocence and simplicity of "Beginning": no. 1) the optimal blending of qualities.
To explain this development I would need a musical analysis, but for the listener it might be helpful to bear in mind that the serious, almost pompous, attitude of the King and the melodic, asymmetric and the dreaming character of the Queen integrate in the Ace as a slow, severe presentation of a
sort of Sensual Psalm - or perhaps a Holy Waltz?
Each one of the three main-movements is preceded, uninterrupted, by a prelude.
The music is based on ideas and themes from my guitar suite “In the mood of Spades” (1985)

Per Nørgård


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