- String Quartet No. 7
- String Quartet No. 8, "Night Decending"
- String Quartet No. 9, "Into the Source"
- String Quartet No. 10 ("Høsttidløs")
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Per Nørgård: String Quartets Nos. 7-10 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Per Noergaard has a lot of interesting ideas about music, and one of the most interesting I found on the web site pernoergaard.dk is that of music that your proverbial auntie can understand. In the composer's own words: "There is nothing wrong about music being complex, but there should also be a layer that is immediately accessible - the auntie layer. There are of course days when one is just an aunt and has no desire to be anything else. A piece of music should possess this generosity, that it opens itself up to all and sundry. The music should not just stand there saying: 'Now you listen properly to me, or else you can just leave!' ". He's not saying music must be simple - just that there has to be a way in for the non-expert. As a non-expert myself, I very much appreciate this sentiment, and it's one that is wholly borne out by this new disc. Having said that, auntie must bring something to the table too: I'm not sure if I could convince any of my own aunties of the ethereal microtonal beauty of the middle movement of the seventh quartet, or the fascination of the scales of the third movement. In the dark eighth quartet, based on Noergaard's World War I chamber opera Nuit des Hommes, I could probably get them to agree that the fourth movement really, genuinely does sound like the quartet's title, Night Descending like Smoke, and whatever they think of the ninth, surely they would accept that the rapid figurations towards the end, rising up into nothing, are indeed what Noergaard promises, the music disappearing back into its source, like backwards film of the creation of the universe. Unfortunately my aunties know nothing about Mahler and so won't be in a position to discuss the idea that, in its opening at least, the lyrical tenth quartet is not unlike something he might have composed. In the end, sad to say, it's unlikely that my particular aunties will share my belief that these four quartets are utterly absorbing, dramatic, complex yet accessible, sometimes beautiful, sometimes thrilling, sometimes unsettling, and always rewarding. The young Kroger Quartet, dedicatees of the seventh and tenth quartets, sound like they are at one with this music, and as a bonus the booklet notes by Jorgen I. Jensen are highly informative and enlightening. This is one of those rare occasions when I hear the music of a composer for the first time and want to hear everything else he's written.