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Work Information

Per Nørgård : Whirls

Publisher Edition Wilhelm Hansen Copenhagen
Works for 2-6 Players
Year Composed 1980
11 Minutes
Orchestration 6 perc

Programme Note

The work integrates and combines a number of rhythms that Nørgård has used in percussion works since the 1970s, for example I Ching, Whirls, Zigzag, Nemo Dynamo, Echo Zone I-II-III and Early Spring Dance (for choir and percussion), composed for Danish percussionists like Gert Mortensen, Gert Sørensen and the Safri Duo.

In Nørgård´s infinity rhythms (a simple two tone version of his tone generating “infinity series”) every player uses only two sounds – a light and a dark sound – and stick to one or two of the many variations (by different accents and extracts of the basic patterns). The final result is a polyphonic layer of rhythms in different tempi, a complex canon of voices almost like a sounding world of fractals.

Whirls – for 6 percussionists belongs to six shorter pieces for percussion ensemble, published in “Per Nørgård: Drum Book .- edited by Ivan Hansen” (Edition WH, 1999), and may be paired with the “Whirls” (“Hvirvler”) from the same selection, with “Whirls” played first – followed attacca by “Easy Beats”.


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