PER NØRGÅRD (b.1932): Nova Genitura for Soprano and Ensemble, Seadrift for Soprano and Ensemble, Fons Laetitiae for Soprano and Harp.
Catalogue Number: 04K118
Description: These three works from the 1970s spring from the same all-inclusive æsthetic as the epochal Symphony No. 3 (offered last month), and two are explicitly related to it in text as well as style. The absorption of tonal harmony into Nørgård's 'infinity series' fractally expansive formal schemes as a means of imposing order on a divergent, heterophonic musical universe led to a potent musical vocabulary capable of great beauty and emotional expressiveness, such as we hear here. Both Nova and Fons are 'satellite' works to the choral hymn to the Virgin Mary that provides the culmination of the symphony, and melodic and harmonic motifs from the symphony are also used here, in music of soaring lyricism and unexpected resolution arising out of the most unlikely harmonic contexts. Seadrift sets Whitman's great poem in highly expressive, free-form music that anticipates the next major shift in Nørgård's stylistic evolution, especially the desolate second part, Torn Apart. The fusion of contemporary and early music in the unusual instrumentation of the ensemble pieces (with harpsichord, recorders and other Baroque and pre-Baroque instrumental timbres) adds an additional layer of unearthly timelessness to these exceptional works. Bente Vist (soprano), Various instrumentalists; Casper Schreiber, Thomas Søndergård (conductors).