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Work Information

Per Nørgård : Libra (cello/guitar-version)

Publisher Edition Wilhelm Hansen Copenhagen
Works for 2-6 Players
Year Composed 1973
9 Minutes
Orchestration guitar, cello
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Programme Note

LIBRA (1973) – for Cello and Guitar

LIBRA was originally a commission-work for guitar, but during the compositional process a vocal part was liberated from the musical material, a part that could be provided with words from the Rudolf Steiner’s poem "Libra". Gradually two choruses and ten movements were created around this part and texts from David’s Psalms were added.
LIBRA is a characteristic work in the row of the composer’s "hierachical music" works: Slow and rapid versions of the same melodies, series of accords are coupled in continuously new constellations but always based in harmony, as expressed in Steiners poem “Die Welt erhaltet welten (”The world contains worlds”). David Psalms (sung in German) are also included in the work.
From this, one hour long, integral version it is possible, from the score, to design other versions for other instrument combinations and of shorter duration, for instance for Tenor and Guitar.

The version for cello and guitar (dedicated to Toke and Erling Møldrup) includes – besides the transcription for cello of the original Tenor part – the David Psalms. These are printed in the (instrumental) score of this version – to encourage the idea of the audience participating in the performance with these psalm hymns (for instance via instruction by the musicians or/and the psalm score printed in the programme).
Per Nørgård

Hör mein Beten, wenn ich rufe
Du mein viel gerechter Gott,
in Drangsal schaffest Du mir Raum.
Sei mir gnädig und höre mich.
David-Psalm 4:2

Singet dem Gotte ein neues Lied,
singet dem Herrn alle Welt!
Singet dem Gotte, lobet ihn
Und singt die Erdlösung jeden Tag.
David-Psalm 96:1-2

Lobt den Herren, Ihr Seine Engel!
Ihr, die Herrlichen an Kraft.
Ihr hört auf Sein geringstes Wort,
gleich Sein Wort zur Erde niederschallt.
David-Psalm 103:20

Lobt Ihn, Ihr Himmel der Himmel
Und Wasser hoch über ihm!
Sie singen Seines Namens Lob!
Da Er sprach, so wurden die Gestalt.
David-Psalm 148:4-5


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