PER NØRGÅRD (b.1932): The Organ Book, Canon.
Catalogue Number: 10T069
Format: SACD hybrid
Description: The Organ Book is a 2015 collection of Nørgård's shorter organ works written over a period of more than fifty years, suitable for church use. The pieces are in traditional forms and many draw on themes from the Danish Hymn Book, to which Nørgård contributed the hymn Aret, here the subject of an appealing series of chorale preludes, which along with the early Preludio Festivo are the closest works here to traditional harmonic thinking. Throughout, though, the works are thoroughly accessible, the hymn melodies and chorales clearly presented with very recognisable harmonizations and counterpoints characteristic of the composer, in some cases using his Infinity Series to generate unexpected but euphonious harmonies. The jolly little Toccata sounds like Nørgård having a bit of fun with the tenets of minimalism, with reference to Bach and of all things, Ravel's Bolero. The large Canon in seven sections is based on an infinity series. As one might anticipate from the composer's fascination with unrestricted series, in this work he also makes use of rhythmic proportions based on the golden section, which makes perfect theoretical sense in canonic writing, and leads to almost insuperable notational and performance difficulties as an irrational ratio. In practice, the piece grows in complexity as it progresses to a huge climax, then recedes again. Jens E. Christensen (organ of Our Saviour’s Church, Copenhagen).