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Bent Sørensen : Phantasmagoria

Publisher Edition Wilhelm Hansen Copenhagen
Works for 2-6 Players
Year Composed 2007
14 Minutes
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Score and Part(s)(s) WH30790

Programme Note

My Piano Trio, “Phantasmagoria” is in five movements.
It all began with the fifth movement, which originally was a tiny piece for cello and piano.
After re-composing this little piece for piano trio, I worked, composed backwards – The fourth movement – third movement - and I finally got to the beginning of the piece.
It all begins with the violin – solo – heavily muted but aggressive, and gradually the cello and the piano enter as shadows of the violin. The first movement ends in a dark shadow of an aria from my opera, “Under the Sky”.
All five movements are full of shadows of all kinds. Shadows of fragments and traces of movements appear in other movements. Music, voices, instruments appear behind each other as a play of shadows. “Shadow play” was the first title on my mind, but a shadow play can be more physical – the shadow can come alive – alive behind the shadows.
Phantasmagoria is a shadow play in darkness, where contours of persons and music, voices and instruments - create adventures behind each other.
“Phantasmagoria” was commissioned by Franz Schubert Society Denmark and dedicated to Trio con Brio Copenhagen.


  • Sørensen's 'Phantasmagoria' from 2007, wends an ambiguous way through textures of fleeting melodic motives, each instantly giving way to another in its microsecond of existence
    Cecelia H. Porter, The Washington Post, 14/03/2013


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