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Work Information

Per Nørgård : Partita Concertante, op.23

Publisher Wilhelm Hansen
Solo Keyboard(s)
Year Composed 1958
21 Minutes
Orchestration org
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Full Score(s) WH28924

Programme Note

PARTITA CONCERTANTE. Opus 23 (1958) for organ.
My three large organ works were composed at regular intervals: Partita concertante in 1958, Canon in 1971 and Trepartita in 1988. They are all very different but do express the characteristics of each period.
The melody and harmony of the Partita concertante is typical of my ‘Nordic’ music of the fifties (whereas the rhythm has a baroque character and its overgrown polyphony points towards the crisis about 1960, indicating the breakthrough of Modernism). Canon is already beyond the intense experiments of the 1960s and is practically based upon a classical synthesis of ‘valid criteria’ which I had then achieved and which were displayed in my Symphony no. 3 from 1975 as a climax. In Canon a systematical ‘celebration’ of timeless organizations of tone and rhythm is carried through in 7 cycles, each divided in 8 phases. Trepartita is situated at quite a different place yet it may have some resemblance to the two earlier works, for instance the ‘overgrown’ counterpoint in Partita concertante and as to the use of the melodically technique called ‘infinity-row’ which I had found in 1960 and which imbued Canon from its beginning to its end.

Partita concertante (1958) was composed at the request of the Danish organ player Finn Reiff.
The baroque allusion of the title (partita) creates an ambiguity. The baroque polyphonic rhythmical play has certain ´neo-classical´ traits, whereas harmony and melody have its origins in a Nordic tradition. What is most essential, however, is the constant function of these means in the service of a stratification of melodies, of a multiplicity of coordinated tempo-relations. This is a general feature in my production, independent of extrinsic stylistic means - and is therefore also found in other organ works by me, for example "Canon" (1970-71) and "Trepartita" (1987-88).
Per Nørgård (1991)

Note: the introduction (from ”My three large…” to ”…to its end”) may be used if relevant.


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