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Per Nørgård : Pictures from Arresø (Lake Arre)

Work Notes "Billeder fra Arresø" (Pictures from Arresø (Lake Arre))is a version for sax (or obo) and piano/strings of "Arresøbilleder" (Images of Arresø), the original duo version for Obo/Piano.

Edition Wilhelm Hansen Copenhagen
Category Soloist(s) and Large Ensemble (7 or more players)
Year Composed
Duration 16 Minutes
Solo Instrument(s)
sx (or obo, or cl.),
Orchestration pf/str
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Full Score(s) WH30825

Programme Note

Per Nørgård:PICTURES FROM ARRESØ (1996) - for sax (or obo) and piano/strings

1.Månespejl - Fuglemorgen (Mirror of the Moon - Birds Morning)
2.Frostkrystal (Frost Crystal),
3.Svanesang (Swan Song),
4.Dråbespil (Droplets Music),

"Billeder fra Arresø" (Pictures from Arresø) is a version for sax (or obo) and piano/strings of "Arresøbilleder" (Images of Arresø), the original duo version for Obo/Piano.

Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996) was Per Nørgård´s teacher from 1949 and was a important inspiration for the young composer and his ideas of ´the universe of the Nordic mind´ in the 1950s. Nørgårds tutorials often took plavs in Holmboes house in Ramløse near the lake of Arresø (lake Arre) and its beautiful natural surroundings. Nørgårds many stays with Vagn and Meta Holmboe meant strong encounters with nature at and around the lake. This was the point of departure for “Images of Arresø´, composed 1995-96 – the last year that Holmboe lived.
The work consists of four pictures, each dedicated to a person who has had a connection with the work. The first picture is in two sections – Månespejl (Mirror of the Moon), interrupted by Fuglemorgen (Birds Morning) – and is dedicated to Vagn Holmboe. For Nørgård, the almost Zen-like calm of Arresø, broken by the sudden sound of birds, is inextricably associated with the nature of his teacher.
The second picture, Frostkrystal (Frost Crystal), is a contrast in every respect: crystalline, restless, yet whole, without the deality of the first picture. The piece is dedicated to Vagn Holmboe´s wife Meta Holmboe, a versatile visual artist also known for her photographs of the ice and frost crystals of the lake. which meet the light, water and plants in a wealth of surprising colour and light effects. The solo cadence of the oboe attemps to approach the characteristic clarity of Meta Holmboe´s photographs.
The third pictures, Svanesang (Swan Song), is dedicated to the oboist work, Max Artved. who premiered the original work (Images of Arresø, for oboe and piano). The movement has a certain melancholy (with a recurring, falling motif which incidentally appeared for the first time in Nørgård´s work “Seadrift” (1978) , where it was associated with the plangent tones of an abandoned bird); but the picture is most highly coloured by the timbre of the oboe. For Nørgård this recalls the sounds of nature: the scream of swans or the turbulent “beating” of their wings, which can be concentrated in a whole flock into rhythmic pulses sounding like a dark tone oboe.
The last picture, Dråbespil (Droplets Music), is dedicated to the pianist Per Salo, who at the time of preparing the work also premiered Nørgård´s piano concerto “Concerto – in due tempi”. In this final movement we also recognize the two tempi of the piano concerto (in the ratio 5:7, but interpreted quasi rubato), whose constant presence leads to a dual motion as well as the last Arresø association of the work: the play of the drops in foaming wave crests during a brisk autumns breeze.
Jens Cornelius (from cd booklet, Dacapo,1996)


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