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Per Nørgård : Sonata for cello solo no. 4: Rhizome

Publisher Edition Wilhelm Hansen Copenhagen
Solo Works (excluding keyboard)
Year Composed 2007
14 Minutes, 30 seconds
Orchestration cello
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Score(s) WH30774

Programme Note

Per Nørgård
Sonata for cello solo no. 4: RHIZOME

Sonata in two suites


My fourth sonata for cello solo was composed for and is dedicated to Jacob Kullberg. The title RHIZOME indicates the tangled form which is caused by the chaotic ramification in the root system of plants.

It seems contradicting that RHIZOME is a sonata; but the sonata-form no longer indicates a specific form scheme. The title is a guide, using a Carl Nielsen idiom, to the tangled world of musical motives which connects the ten movements with one another.

Two subtitles, FULL MOON DREAMS and LUCID DREAMS, divide the sonata into two suites, which may be performed separately. Each suite consists of five movements. The first suite, FULL MOON DREAMS, was premiered by Jakob Kullberg at the Aldeburgh Festival, 16 June 2007. The second suite was premiered by the same soloist in the Tivoli Concert Hall on 13 July 2007.

The titles of the individual movements are vaguely suggestive, in an attempt to characterize special moods in some of my dreams, some of which, the lucid ones, allow the dreamer to be aware of being in a dream, as well as being able to act and interfere in the illusionary surroundings and events. Musically speaking there may be an audible difference between the two kinds of dreams, the full-moon-dreams and the lucid ones – I cannot testify to that. I have, while composing, only followed the rhizome-lead and its ramifications, without a formal scheme to adhere to.

Per Nørgård, 2007


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