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Work Information

Per Nørgård : Ground


Work Notes The 3 works for percussion ensemble Intonation (2002) – Gendhing (1980) – Ground (1982) might form a “suite – for an east/west percussion ensemble”.
The works may also be performed separately.
Publisher
Edition Wilhelm Hansen Copenhagen
Category Large Ensemble (7 or more players)
Year Composed
1983
Arranger / Editor Ivan Hansen
Duration
6
Orchestration perc. ens. (min. 7 players)

Programme Note

GROUND (1983/2002) – for percussion ensemble (min. 8 musicians).
Ground was written with inspiration from several visits, since 1975, to Bali - for a West/East percussion ensemble of Balinese gamelan instruments (gangsas, reong, kempli, chingching, gongs) and vibraphone, marimba and drums.
Ground is based on a choral song with the title “Solen er rund” (The Sun is round”, to a poem by the Danish Inger Christensen, 1982), built upon the Balinese “pelog”-scale in a multi layered version, accompanied by the polyphonic voices of my so-called infinity rhythms.
Per Nørgård

Work information:
“Ground” could be performed together with “Gendhing” from 1980 (same instrumentation), in this order: Ground – Gendhing – Ground; or with “Intonation” (2002) and “Gendhing”, in this order: “Intonation”, “Gendhing”, “Ground”.

Material for possible programme notes for the percussion suites:
The Gamelan music of Jawa and Bali has inspired modern composers from Debussy to, among others, PerNørgård, who experienced the virtuoso ensemble playing and the vibrating sounds of gamelan orchestras in Bali, visiting the island for the first time in 1975.
The inspiration was not about certain melodies, rhythms etc. but of a structural nature within the experiments with polyphony, interlocking and interference that Nørgård had work with since the 1960s. The Bali inspiration also resulted in a new kind of nørgardian ensemble music for percussion, called “infinity rhythms” (in “A Light Hour”, “Easy Beats”, “I Ching”, “Echo Zones”, “Nemo Dynamo” a.o.). Nørgård´s specially tuned gamelan instruments were used in his opera "The Divine Circus" and in these works for percussion ensemble: Intonation (2002) – Gendhing (1980) – Ground (1982), three pieces that – in this order – might form a “suite – for an east/west percussion ensemble”: The composer writes abouit the pieces:
“Intonation” (2002) – is a dense polyphonic, chromatic piece with an often explosive expression. The network of the melodic patterns are due to the composers interest in new found ´hidden patterns´ in his so-called infinity series (dominant for instance in his Symphony no. 3”, 1975 and the opera “Siddharta”, 1979)
“Gendhing”(1980) - is based upon a slow and calm Jawanese theme, used as a point of departure for a series of variations.
“Ground” (1982) – was originally a choral song with the title ”Solen er rund” (The Sun is round”, to a poem by the Danish Inger Christensen, 1982). The tune is based on the Balinese “pelog”-scale in a multi layered version, accompanied by infinity rhythm in different tempi.

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