Some Danish composers from 1600 to the 1960's
SOME DANISH COMPOSERS from 1600 to the 1960's
(in alphabetical order)
Bentzon, Jørgen, 1897—1951
Graduated in law 1920. From 1933 clerk of the supreme court. Became the pupil of Carl Nielsen 1915. 1920-21 studies at the Academy in Leipzig under Karg-Elert. Received the Ancker Grant 1929.
J. B. was extremely active in organizing, he was the co-founder of the Folk Music School of Copenhagen, and he has written a number of pedagogic compositions.
His works include: The opera "Saturnalia", 1944. For orchestra: 2 symphonies, 1940 and 47, "Intermezzo espressivo" 1930, Variations op. 28, 1935, Sinîonia Séria, 1937 and Sinfonia Buffa, 1939.
In his early works J. B. was very much preoccupied with the problems of the 20's, constructive-objective music, the new matter-of-fact attitude, whereas the ensuing compositions have a more lyrical character.
Bentzon, Niels Viggo, b. 1919
in Copenhagen He entered the Royal Danish Conservatory in 1938 and emerged as an organist-pianist-composer. He was recognized immediately as an exceptional talent, and since then he has composed works in almost any imaginable genre and stylistically he has always expanded quite freely, inspired by the dialectic tension between tradition and renewal.
His work list nov/ comprises about 300 compositions in all genres, including music for the stage, films and theatre, educational music and about 25 compositions for rock group. Some of the most important are: Toccata, op. 10, Partita, op. 38, Passacag-lia, op. 31, and 9 sonatas for the piano. — 5 wind quintets, 7 string quartets and numerous other chamber works. — 13 symphonies, 7 piano concertos, 2 violin concertos, Torquilla (oratorio), accordion-concerto, flute concerto. — Faust ill (opera).
Berg, Gunnar, b. 1909
B. at Set. Gallen in Switzerland of Danish parents. Studied in Copenhagen with Knud Jeppesen, Herman D. Koppel and Herbert Rosenberg. Lived 1948—57 in Paris, where he was a pupil of Honegger's. Took part in the Darmstadt courses in the 50's where he was inspired by composers such as Messiaen, Boulez, Nono, and Stockhausen.
Works: The ballet Mouture 1953. For Orchestra: 5 études for orchestra 1955, El Triptico Gallego 1957—59. Spoon River 1959. Chamber music works for various groups of instruments. A number of piano works: 2 sonates, Habanera, Feldspat, Toc-cata-interludium-fuga. Gaffky's for piano and orchestra (first performance 1966). Songs with various instruments, e.g. 10 Japanese woodcuts.
One of B's most interesting works is Gaffky's for piano. It is notated In three systems which move along in 2 contrasting layers, the two upper ones being staccato ,hords, the lower system mostly legato. One basic musical idea develops in varying structures. This technique of composition is related to serial technique, cf. B's studies in Darmstadt, but to a higher extent than most serial composers he employs repetition of tones.
Borup-Jørgensen, Axel, b. 1924
Grew up in Linköping in Sweden. Studied from 1946 at the Royal Conservatory, composition with Poul Schierbeck and Jørgen Jersild. Has followed closely the musical and literary development in Sweden and has been inspired strongly by modern Swedish lyrics.
Among his works the following can be mentioned: For orchestra: Somma-Svit 1957, Nordic Summer Pastoral (won the first prize in the composer competition arranged by Denmark's Radio 1965) and Cretaufoni 1960—61. The piano composition Winterpieces 1959. Torso for 2 string quartets 1965 (one plays in natura, the other recorded on tape). B.-J's music is characterized by endeavours towards the expressive, sometimes the meditative and static (e.g. Nordic Summer Pastoral). The Colourlstic plays a part in the treatment of the orchestra. But also dramatic elements are found in B.-J's production e..g. in Torso and in Cretaufoni through the opposition of clang explosions and pauses.
Buxtehude, Diedrich, 1637—1707
Son of the organist Hans Jensen B., who was an organist, at first in Hälsingborg, then in Elsinore. D. B. himself organist in Hálsingborg, 1657—60, and in Elsinore, 1660 —-68, at Set. Maria Kirke, which was the parish church for the German community. 1668 he was employed at the Mariakirke in LUbeck, then he disappeared out of Danish musical life.
In his Danish period D. B. may have been influenced by Johan Lorentz and Kasper Förster, who was royal conductor in Copenhagen 1652—55 and 1661—68.
D. B. is one of the great Baroque composers. His Baroque music can be most appropriately described as an extension of Italians such as Carissimi, Legrenzi; the organ and the harpsichord music have been influenced by the Dutchman, Sweelinck and the latter's pupils.
D. B. became of great importance for the German late Baroque and J. S. Bach.
Works: From the Elsinore period is extant the cantata "Aperite mini portas justitiae" for alto, tenor, bass, 2 violins and continue, but D. B.'s major composition work was done in Lübeck: cantatas (118 ecclesiastical, 8 secular), organ and harpsichord works, trio sonatas.
Gabold, Ingolf, b. 1942
in Germany feabold studied music theory and history at tfie Royal Danish Conservatory, and composition under Per Nørgård at the Conservatory in Arhus, where he received the Diploma in composition. He is now solfeggio teacher to the Danish Radio Choir. '
In 1969 Gabold described his endeavours in the following words: "My chief concern is an attempt to combine music with C.^B. Jung's depth psycology. I want 'to''reflect depth psycologica! dynamic processes in music. So far, the terminus of these experiments is my opera, "7 Scenes to Orpheus", which interprets the Orpheus-problems in seven ritual sketches."
Works: Für Louise, for soprano and chamber orchestra (1967). Visione (1962) for contralto and choir, "Your Sister's Drown'd" (1969) for soprano and male choir, both choral; "7 Scenes to Orpheus" (1968), opera produced by Danish TV 1970 in colours, the score permits stage performance. — "Atlantis" for rock group and symphony orchestra. Will be available on record, concert performance not possible I
Gade, Niels W., 1817—90
B. in Copenhagen, son of Søren Nielsen G., a carpenter and instrument maker. The pupil of A. P. Borggren, theory, and royal musician T. Th. Wexschall, violin. 1834 pupil at the violin school of the Royal Orchestra. 1840 he wins with the Ossian Overture a competition arranged by the Music Society. Stays — with trips 1844 to Dresden, Praha, Vienna and Rome — 1843—47 in 'Leipzig as second conductor, later as leading conductor, in the Gewandhaus concerts. Was strongly supported by Mendelssohn and Schumann in German musical life. Returns to Copenhagen 1848. 1850 director attached to The Music Society, conducting a total of 426 concerts. 1851 organist at Garnisons Kirke, 1858 at Holmens Kirke. 1856 titular professor. 1866 leader of and teacher at the newly established Royal Conservatory in Copenhagen. Concerts in Germany, the Netherlands, and England. Through his versatile efforts on the organisation and artistic fields G. became of immense importance for Danish'musical life in the 19th cent. Introduces composers such as Berlioz, Liszt and Wagner in Denmark.
Works: 8 symphonies especially known is no. 1 "På Sjølunds fagre sletter" (On the "Fair Plains of'S.). Ouvertures: "Oš-si'àn", "f Højlandet" (In the Highlands), "Imellem Fjeldene" (Between the Mountains'),' "Michel Angelo", "Hamlet". Violin cortcerto. A great deal of chamber music, especially for strings. Works for soli, choir and 'orchestra, most famous: "Elverskud" (Elf-Shot) 1854.
G's music is characterized by a classi-ciatic lucidity related to "Mendelssohn1^ and often combined with a passionate, dynamic undertone.1 Specifically Nordic moods are found in some of G's best works like the "Ossian overture", the first symphony, and "Elverskud".
Gudmundsen-Holmgreen, Pelle, b. 1932 in Copenhagen.
P. G.-H. was educated at the Royal Danish Conservatory and is now a teacher of composition at the Conservatory in Arhus.
G.-H.'s works from 1954—59 are"ail clearly influenced by Béla Bartók and Danish composers following the same "stylistic trend, from 1959—64 G.-H. was working with serialistic methods of composition. '
But-about; 1964 things-changed radically: with other well-known Danish artists P. G.-H. placed himself in the concretistic camp. He took up a sceptical attitude towards the anecdotal qualities in music, such as gestics, "persuasive" dynamics, organic development, beginning, middle, end etc. - Since then his musical style has been characterized by an extreme simplicity in the material, which is most often composed in fixed patterns of repetition and brought together from many and different stylistic spheres.
Works: Symphony (1962—65), 5 Pieces (1966), Tricolore IV (1969), all orchestral. — Chamber Orchestra: Collegium Musicum Concerto (1964), Variations for Aunt Rix (1968), Piece by Piece (1968), Three Movements for String Orchestra and Sheep Bells (1968) and other works. — Songs 'and choral music. ~ String Quartets, Tetrace iri 5'stages (wind quintet) ;(1969), Plateau'pour deux, for cello, car horns and cow' belts (1970). — Piano music. : '
Heise, Peter, 1830—79
B. in civil-servant home in Copenhagen. Student 1847, gave up Law one year later to /ivote himself to musici Studied theory witi, A. P. Berggren. 1852—53 studied at Leipzig (Moritz Hauptmann), later for a short time with N. W. Gade. Composing member of the Student Society. Director of the Student Singers 1854—58. 1857—65 organist at Sorø and choir master at Sorø Akademi. Settled in Copenhagen 1865. Journeys to Paris 1865 and to Rome 1061— 62, 1867, 1868-69.
H. is first of all a composer of songs. With bis romances and songs edited in 3 vols. tf.ter his death he occupied a leading positior» among romantic composers. Characteristic is H.'s ability to feel the poem and give expression to it both in the vocal part and in a lively and varied accompaniment. Main works are "Dyvekes Sange" (D's Songs) and the opera "Drot og Marsk", 1878.
Holm, Mogens Winkel, b. 1936
Studied at the Conservatory in Copenhagen 1955—61, graduating with a diploma as an oboe soloist.
Some of his early works are marked by a distinctive kind of-musical pomtilism, sometimes combined with the specifically Danish "style pluralism". This is true of e.g. his Sonata for Wind Ouintet, op. 25, and his Sonata for Four Opera Singers, op. 29:
In Winkel Holm's most recent works (Galgaria for orch., Overtoninger and others) a new style has developed. These works aim at creating a quietly floating stream of music, consisting of very short melodic motives of different duration and constant slight variations, which assure that the music changes all the''time, slowly and meditatively.
Works (apart from the ones mentioned above): Cumujus, Ricercare (orchestral). — Tropismes, 'Chronicle (ballets). — String Quartet.
Holmboe, Vagn, b. 1909 in Horsens, Jutland, Denmark
At the age of twenty, he abandoned his training at the Conservatory and devoted himself to free compositional activity. He has studied in Berlin with Ernst Toch, and undertaken research tours, studying folk music, esp. that of Rumania.
His chief field of labour has always been the large instrumental forms, and he soon attained an exceptional mastery in "symphonic development", which he led towards a rather individual technique that he has called "metamorphosis".
As an author, composer, critic and professor, Holmboe has been a very considerable influence on Danish musical life. Amongst his pupils are Per Nørgård and Ib Nørholm, both at the forefront of modern music In Denmark.
Works: : most important symphonies possibly nos. 3 (op. 25), 4 (op. 29), 8 (Sinfonia boréale, recorded, op. 36), 9 (op. 95). — 4 Sinfonie for string orchestra and 3 for chamber orchestra. — Monolith and Epilogue (both symphonic metamorphoses for orchestra). — Requière for Nietzsche. — The Knife (chamber opera). — Numerous works of chamber music, esp. 10 famous string quartets; which' are to be recorded. — Songs.
Horneman, C. F. E., 1840-1906
B.'in Copenhagen - a son of Emil H., the composer. Studied 1857—60 at the Leipzig Academy of Music as a pupil of among others Moscheies, Hauptmann and F. E. Richter. Opened 1860 music shop with publishing house and composed some "sales musik" for it, also under a pseudonym. Sold the shop 1872 and the music house 1875. Founded with among others Edv. Grieg and G. Matthison-Hansen the music society'Euterpe, 1865, which was intended as a forum for new music. It survived bnly for a couple of years, however. Conducted 1867 in Leipzig his Aladdin ouverture, which made H.'s name known in Europe. 1874 co-founder of the Concert Society. Founded 1880'an Institute of music that existed until 1920.
H. has written 2 string quartets, 1859, 1861, a number of piano pieces, the Aladdin ouverture, 1864, the opera "Aladdin"; 1880, music for plays e.g. for "Gurre" 1902, »Kampen med Muserne« (The Fight against the-'Masés) 1897, "Kaianus" 1890, romances and songs.
H. is a universally influenced composer open to contemporary movements in Europe. His music has more often than not a wide gamut of expression from the tragic to the light and humorous, but it did not obtain recognition in contemporary Denmark.
Høffding, Finn, b. 1899
Studied composition with Knud Jeppesen and, in, .Vienna, with Joseph Marx. Teacher at .the Royal Danish Conservatory in theory, musical forms,, and composition from 1931, from 1949 professor and 1954—55 director at the same place. 1929—39 chairman of The Society for Music Teaching, member of the committee until 1947. Member of the committee of The Danish Composer Society 1942—64. Founded with Jørgen Bentzon The Folk Music School of Copenhagen 1932. Was awarded the Ancker. Grant 1936 and the Carl Nielsen Prize 1958.
Works: 4. symphonies,. 4 .symphonic orchestral phantasies,. Chambermusjc, e.g. string quartets and the well-known Dialogues for oboe and clarinet. Songs, choral works and the operas Kejserens nye Klæder (The Emperor's New Clothes) Kilderejsen (The Fountain Journey) and Pasteur.
H. has. done a great deal of work within the fields of amateur music and music teaching, e.g. the school opera Pasteur (cf. a performance of Brecht/Weil l's "Der Jasager" in Denmark 1931). And already in the 20's H. had come into contact with the teaching activities of Hindemith and Jode.
H.'s music is characterized by sincerity and simplicity. Traditions from the C. Nielsen period play a major part. In the works written for amateur performance diatonics? homophonics and syllabic treatment of the text prevail.
Jersiid, Jørgen, b. 1913 in Denmark
J. Graduated 1940 as M. A. in musicology from the University of Copenhagen. Studied composition with Poul Schierbeck and later in Paris with Albert Roussel. He is now a professor at the Royal Conservatory in Copenhagen.
In Jersild's earliest composition, the style is diverting and lyrical at the same time, not uninfluenced by the composer's studies in France. In the later works, the style has grown nipre intense, expressive, and the forms of the movements broader. This is the case in e.g. Pezzo elegiaco for solo harp.
Jersild activities within the pedagogical sphere has contributed significantly to Danish musicological research, and his books on aural training are used all over Scandinavia.
Jørgensen, Erik, b. 1912
Musical educatipn with P. S. Rung-Keller (organ), A. Rachlew (piario), K. Jeppesen1 (theory), F. Høffding (composition). Has further studied with H. Scherchen in Geneva and in Paris. From 1949 teacher at the Royal institute for the Blind in Copenhagen.
Has written some chamber music, works for chamber orchestra, a concerto for violin find strings, choral music and songs.
E. J. composed his early works in a moderately modernistic style. In his later works, however, he has followed the international -development over a rather classical dodekaphone style in Modello per archi 1957 to. a more improvisatory style of composition in. Astrolabium for 11 instruments 1964. E. J. has, like -so many others., taken a great interest in the young Polish composer Penc Jerecki and the latters "new acoustic means".
Koppel, Herman D. b. 1908
Educated at the Royal Danish Conservatory. Début as composer 1929 and as pianist 1930. Studies in Germany, England and France. 1949 teacher at the Conservatory, from 1955 professor of piano playing. Was awarded the Ancker Grant 1945, the Lange-Müller scholarship 1946 etc.
Works: 7 symphonies, 4 piano concertos. Clarinet concerto, cello concerto and concerto for violin, viola, and chamber orchestra. 4 string quartets and other chamber music. For soli, choir and orchestra: Three David's psalms, the oratorio Moses and a Requiem. The opera Macbeth (performed at the Royal Theatre 1970). Songs with words from the Bible. Music for films and radio plays.
K.'s musical style is distinguished by solid, often polyphonic texture. Ostih'ato technique is frequently used. Other characteristics are motory ,r Hythm, expressivity, but also more melodious works can. be found (e.g. Sextet for piano and wind instruments). Three David's psalms 1949 have a painful and pathetic quality. In his early works K. showed an interest in jazz e.g. Music for Jazzorchestra 1932.
K.'s music lies within the Danish Carl Nielsen tradition, but he Has received important impulses from composers such as Bartok, Stravinsky, and Prokofiev.
Kuhlaa; D. F. R., 1786—1832
B. in Uelzen near Hannover as son of a military musician. Shortly after 1800 K. settles in Hamburg where he makes his début as a composer and pianist, 1804; but 1810 he moves to Copenhagen in order to avoid being draughted under Napoleon. Makes his appearance 1811 in a concert at The Royal Theatre with among other things a piano concerto later dedicated to Weyse.
1813 he is appointed chamber musician without salary, 1818 with., a salary. 1816—17 singing master at The Royal Theatre. Numerous journeys: Stockholrh 1815, Hamburg 1818, Vienna 1821—22 and 1825 (meets Beethoven), Norway 1828, Berlin 1829.
K.'s music can be said to be characterized by the cosmopolitan w.ith influences from composers such as Beethoven, Weber, Cherubini. In his music there can be something sinister and dramatic, with hectic modulations, but other works have an almost idyllicalty light tone.
Works: Operas: Røverborgen (The Rqb-bers' Castle), 1814, Trylleharpen (The Magic Hárp), Í8Í7, Elisa, 1820, Uilü, 1824, music for play»: among other things J. L. Heiberg's "Elverhøj" (The Elf-HHfy 1828*
the Danish national play, in which K. used "old Danish folk songs". A number of chamber music .works, especially various combinations with flute. Piano sonatas and sonatinas.
la Cour, Niels, b, 1944 In Copenhagen . Niels la Cour studied at the Royal Danish Conservatory of Music in Copenhagen and is now a teacher of musical theory at the Conservatory in Odense, Funen. , .
Works: Imago, for six instruments, Sti.l-leben for viola and piano, Mythos for string orchestra, Archetypen for organ. — Three string quartets: "Das innere Licht", "Miid und leise", "Communio".
Lange-Müller, P. E., 1850—1926
B. in civil-servant home in Copenhagen. Began in 1870 but did not finish the study of political science. Was taught piano and theory by G. Matthison-Hansen. The Royal Conservatory 1871 as piano student, but broke off. because of a migrainelike pain from which he suffered for the rest of his life. Founded 1874 with O. Malling and C. F. E. Hornemann the Concert Society where „he worked as assisting conductor 1879—83.
L.-M. has composed operas, music for plays, 2 symphonies, a violin concerto, a piano trio and choral works such as "Tre Madonnasange" (Three Madonna Songs) for a capella choir. Today he is almost exclusively known for his songs and romances (about 250 in all). L.-M. can here reach the sublime in lyrical atmosphere. Particularly words by Thor Lange and Holger Drachmann were by L.-M. made the subject of musical treatment. The songs are characterized by broad melodies supported by colourful and richly modulating harmonics, whereas contrapuntal devices are used to a lesser degree.
Langgard, Rued, 1893—1952
Composer and organist. Pupil of Johan Svendsen and C. F. E. Hornemann. From 1914 work as conductor in Denmark and abroad 1926—30 organist at Christiansborg Slotskirke. From 1940 cathedral organist in Ribe. 1951 professor at the Académie St. Cécile in Lausanne.
L. has written 15 symphonies, the most well known probably no. 2 "Vårbrud" (Awakening of Spring), no. 4 "Løvfald" (Leaf Fall) and no. 6 "Det himmelrivende" (The Heaven-Tearing). Besides chamber music, piano and organ music, choral works and songs.
L. continued Danish and German late romantic traditions, especially Bruckner and Wagner, and forms an opposition to the anti-romantic currents that start with Thomas Laub arid Carl Nielsen.
Lewkovitch, Bernhard, b. 1927
in Denmark Lewkovitch graduated from the Royal Danish Conservatory of music in Copenhagen. In 1950 he was appointed choirmaster and organist at St, Ansgar's Church in Copenhagen, and here He Utilized his great knowledge and understanding of liturgical music from its origin to the present day. Naturally enough, his most important works are liturgal music.
Works: 4 piano sonatas, songs. — Choral music: 3 Salmi (1952), 3 Motets (1952), 5 Danish Madrigals (1952), Missa Brevis (1955), 3 Madrigals after Tasso (1955), 10 Latin Motets (1957), Improperia per voci (1962), II Cantico de i le Creature per otto cantori (1963), A Notre Dame (1970), Stabat Mater (1970), Sub Vesperum (1970) and others.
Lorentzen, Bent, b. 1935 in Stenvad, Denmark
He studied at the Royal Danish Conservatory in Copenhagen and is now a teacher at the Music Conservatory in Arhus.
His teacher in Copenhagen was Jørgen Jersiíd, and Lorentzen was originally influenced by Jersild's neo-classical style. After having finished his studies, however, Lorentzen has strongly opposed this influence.
Bent Lorentzen is very active within the field of electronic music. A lot of his works are partly or totally electronic, and he has set up several courses of electronic music in Arhus. He has written some recorder primers and a school songbook, and he has done some succesful experimenting with modern means of expression in small compositions for school choirs.
Works: Shiftings, The Unconscious, Tide (all orchestral and rewritten by the composer for very small orchestra). — Dissonances, Euridice (Prix Italia 1970, Danish State Radio Production), Music Theatre for Three and other chamber operas. — Zyklus für Streichinstrumente. — Several works of chamber music. — Interferences, Random Ringing, The Mountbank of Man, Medea Suite, Space Music (all electronic/concrete music).
Lorentz, Johan, 1601—89
Organist and composer. The son of the German-Danish organ builder Johan L. the elder.
1629 organist at Frue Kirke in Copenhagen. Then he studied in Italy and Germany. 1635 organist at Nikolai Kirke, whose organ has been built by the father. For a couple of short periods also organist at Holmens Kirke.
J. L., as the first in Denmark, performed frequent organ concerts, in Nikolai Kirke.
Of his works a number of small compositions are extant.
Maegaard, Jan, f. 1926
Graduated from the Conservatory in theory and the history of music. Exam, in the teaching of music 1953. Studies in Los Angeles 1958—59, 1964. Appointed professor of music at the University of Copenhagen 1971. Music critic at various newspapers.
Honorary offices in the Danish branch of I.S.C.M. and the Society for Publishing Danish Music. 1962 adviser to Denmark's Radio.
Literary: A number of encyclopedia articles. A Study in the Chronology of op. 23—26 by A. Schønberg (Danish Yearbook for Musical Research, 1962). Musical modernism, 1964. Thesis on Schönberg (accepted, but not yet defended summer 1971).
In his début work as composer, "Pigens møde med Pan" (The Girl's Meeting with Pan) for soprano, flute, clarinet, piano 1947, M. joins the Carl Nielsen tradition, but later dodekaphone technique has been an intense preoccupation with him, Jævn-døgnselegi (Equinox Elegy) for mezzo, cello, organ 1955. Preludes for solo violin 1957, organ chorales. Other works are 2 chamber music concertos 1949, 62, "Gå udenom sletterne" (Go round the plains) (cantata for choir and string orchestra) 1953. Music for a TV production of Sophocles' Antigone 1967, and chamber music works, e.g. the piano trio O alte Duft aus Märchenzeit (1960).
Strictly serial technique is found in Due tempi for orchestra 1962, while 2nd chamber concerto is "in variable form with strict and free sections".
Nielsen, Carl, 1865—1973
B. at Nørre Lyndelse on Funen the son of an artisan and village musician. Learnt to play the violin we!! enough to join his father's group of village musicians. Military musician in Odense. 1884 admitted as pupi! to The Royal Conservatory in Copenhagen and taught there by V. Tofte to pîay the violin, his main subject, and theory by O. Rosenhoff. 1889—1905 violinist in The Royal Orchestra. Went to Germany, France, and Italy 1890; married on the journey Anne Marie Brodersen, a sculptor. Went to Germany and Austria 1895 where he met Brahms and R. Strauss. 1908—14 conductor of The Royal Theatre following Johan Svendsen. 1915 teacher at the Conservatory. 1915—27 conductor of the Music Society. 1918—22 deputy director in Göteborg. 1931 director of the Conservatory following Anton Svendsen.
Works: 6 symphonies, 1892, 1902 (De fire temperamenter) (The Four Temperaments), 1910 (Espansiva), 1916 (Det uudslukkelige) (The Inextinguishable), 1922, 1925. Violin concerto 1911, flute concerto 1926, clarinet concerto 1928. Piano music: Chaconne 1916, Theme with variations 1916, Suite op. 45, 1919. "Commotio" for organ. 4 string quartets, wind quartet, 2 violin sonatas. Operas: "Saul og David" 1898—1901, "Maskerade" 1904—06, for soli, choir and orchestra. "Hymnus Amoris" 1896. and "Fynsk forår" (Springtime on Funen) 1921. About 250 songs.
Literary: Living Music, 1925 and My Childhood on Funen (Min fynske barndom), 1927.
C. N.'s point of departure is the Danish nature, the country music, the popular songs of the folk high school movement, and the classic ideals of form. A constant consciousness of all this enabled C. N. to compose songs that touched the heart of the Danish people. At the same time this meant a dissociation from the neo-romantic currents that C. N. got to know on his travels. This can be seen in his disrespect of the cromatically vague and in his love of the diatonic interval, of the lucid and concise melodies. His rythmics often have an inciting dynamic effect. The harmonic must be seen in relation to his contra-puntally marked texture and the dissonant strictness in the construction of the culmination and the release into the broad and fully-toned. Characteristic is the shading when major and minor change.
C. N.'s work had an enormous importance on Danish musical life both before and after his death. It was not a propitious time for neo-romantic music and its ideals, and only much later did the works of this period reach Danish concert repertory.
Nørgård, Per, b. 1932 in Denmark
Began composing at the age of ten, received his first professional training from Vagn Holmboe. Studied at the Conservatory in Copenhagen from 1942—46. Studied with Nadia Boulanger in Paris, rewarded the "Lilli Boulanger Prize" 1957. Apart from teaching composition at the Conservatory in Århus, Nørgård has devoíed himself entirely to composing.
Nørgård has always been occupied with different layers of rhythm or pitches that interfere when played simultaneously. And he has always been a very intent explorer of his own ideas and material, so in his later works he has developed a special serial technique. The series employed obeys certain simple rules which enable it to expand literally for ever, starting from only one initial interval, most often a semitone. The inexorable logic of this process is still more openly revealed in Nør-gård's works, as is quite audibly the case in the 2nd movement of "Voyage into the Golden Screen" (starting point g-a flat) and in his 2nd Symphony. Works in all genres, some of the most recent are: Iris, Luna and 2nd Symphony (all for orchestra), Voyage into the Golden Screen (chamber orchestra), Grooving (piano), Sub rosa (mezzo and tenor with guitar), Inscape (string quartet).
Norholm, Ib, b. 1931 in Copenhagen.
He studied at the Conservatory in Copenhagen under Bjørn Hjelmborg and Vagn Holmboe and has graduated in theory, musical history, music teaching and organ. He is now a permanent organist in Copenhagen and teacher at the Conservatory in Odense, Funen.
Nørholm's career as a composer and his stylistic development present a lot of apparent antagonisms. But all of these contradictions are only superficial, Nørholm's versatility is due primarily to his un-dogmatic openness, characteristic of Danish music in the late sixties, a willingness to accept that all known musical styles hold specific means of expression, so that a composer should be free to compose with styles as well as with tones, rhythms, dynamics etc.
Nørholm's production is huge, but a few samples should be mentioned: Invitation to a Beheading (TV-opera), The Young Park (chamber opera). — Symphony, op. 10. — Fluctuations for stringed instruments, Exile (music to a composition for large orchestra), Isola Bella (= Symphony no. 2). — Several works of chamber music, including 4 string quartets. — Stanzas and Fields for piano. — Organ works for solo voice (including Flowers from the Flora of Danish Poetry, and Tavole per Orfeo), choral works.
Pederssøn, Mogens, c. 1585—c. 1623
Vocal student in the royal chapel. Together with his teacher, Melchior Borchgrevinck he studied in Venice with G. Gabrieli 1599 —1600, and again the same place 1605—09. 1603—05 singer in the royal chapel. Stayed in England 1611—14. 1618 he was appointed vice-director.
Works: "Madrigali a cinque voci", 1608 (5-voice madrigals). "Pratum Spirituále", 1620 (masses, psalms, motets). Both collections re-issued by Knud Jeppesen in "Dania Sonans" ! (Copenh. 1933).
M. P.'s musical style is charactiristic of the time of fermentation and transition between Renaissance and Baroque.
Riisager, Knudaage, b. 1897 B. in Estonia.
1927—50 employed in the Ministry of Finance. Violin tuition with P. Møller and theory and composition with O. Mailing and P. Gram. Studied 1921—23 under Paul le Flem and Albert Roussel in Paris. Was strongly impressed by the ideas of »Les Six«; obtained personal contact with Ravel. Studied 1932 with H. Grabner in Leipzig. 1937—62 chairman of Nordic Council of Composers. 1956—67 director of the Royal Danish Conservatory. 1963—66 president of the Union of European Conservatory Directors. Numerous other honorary offices. Was awarded the Ancker Grant 1931 and the Wilh. Hansen distinction etc.
Works: Operas: "Susanne", 1948. Ballets: Benzin 1928, The Cocktail-Party 1930, Stævnemødet (The Assignation) 1933, Qarrisiluni 1938, Tolv med Posten (Twelve by Post) 1939, Slaraffenland (The Land of Milk and Honey) 1940, Fugl Fønix (The Phoenix Bird) 1945, Etude 1947, Månerenen (The Moon-Reindeer) 1957, Galla-Variationer 1967. Music for plays and folk music. Some orchestral compositions, 4 symphonies. Overtures: Erasmus Montanus 1920, Prima-vera 1930 etc. Concertos for trumpet and violin. Works for small orchestra and strings. Choir (soli), orchestra: Florenz and Blanzeflor 1921, Dansk Salme 1942, Sang til Solen (Song of the Sun) 1947, Forårskantate (Sspirngtime cantata) 1949. A good deal af chamber music for various groups of instrumernts.
Characteristics include rythmic resilience, colouristic elements and humourous and grotesque devices. Polytonal passages are frequent. One-movement, variation-rich, or suitelike works are preferred to broad symphonic forms.
Rovsing-Olsen, Poul, b. 1922
Graduated 1946 from the Royal Danish Conservatory in theory and piano. Graduated in law 1948. Studied 1948-49 with Nadia Boulanger and Olivier Messian in Paris. 1950 exam. in music teaching. From 1949 music critic at varoius newspapers, the same year employed in the Ministry of Education. 1960 music ethnologist and 1964 archivist af the Danish Folklore Collection. Research journeys to Kuwait and Bahrain 1958, Greenland 1961, India 1962-63. Was awarded the Ancker Grant 1956 and the Carl Nielsen Prize 1965.
Has written a number of scientifically valuable articles and papers and questions of music ethnology.
Works: Balleets: Ragnarok, La Creation, Belissa (first performance 1966). Piano concerto. Symohonic variations. Au Fond de la Nuit. Capriccio. A L'Inconnu. Susudil. Paino works. Songs. Music for films, TV, radioplays and plays.
R.-O. wrote his early works in an expressive neo-romantic style, but with rythmical effects that draw the attention to e.g. Batók. In the 50's R.-O. has used dodekaphone technique, but the same time a different tendency is manifest, i.e. to take oriental melody and rythm formsas models; it is not a question of imitationbut a basis af inspiration, e.g. Alapa-tarana for mezzo and percussion 1959. A L'Inconnu (for tenor, strings, harp and guitar) exists in a blending of the oriental and post-Webern technique.
Syberg, franz 1904-55
Composer and organist. Son of Fritz Syberg, the painter. Studied at the academy of music in Leipzig and under Karl-Ehlert and W. Hübschmann 1923-28. 1933-55 organist in Kerteminde. S.´s marked by expressivity and clarity of form. His composition activity lies in continuation of Carl Nielsen, coming to and end in the early 40's.
Works: Sinfonietta 1934, Symphony 1939, trio 1933, wind quintet 1940, and music for plays.
Thybo, Leif, b. 1922
1940 student at the Royal Conservatory as pupil of among others Finn Høffding and Poul Schierbeck. Graduated 1944 in theory and history of music and got his organist diploma. 1945 examination in teaching of music, 1948 organist at Vedbæk Kirke. 1952 teacher at the Conservatory. 1960 organ teacher at the same place and 1965 professor. T. has given organ concerts in the scandinavian countries, in England and Netherlands. Was awarded the Ancker Grant in 1961.
Works: Concertos for cello, organ, piano, flute, and violin. A number of works for organ, e.g. Præludium, pastorale e fugato, Concerto I and II, Passacaglia con intermedios, Contrasti per organo, Liber organi, and a transscription of Stravinsky's Dumbarton Oaks. A number of chamber music works. Propheta for choir, soli and organ. Markuspassion (first performance 1964).
T. has made a great contribution to modern church music. The stylistic impression is often reserved, objective and economical, but all the same the impact is strong. Such as Markuspassionnen must be seen in the light of the passion form known from Schütz or even earlier. The recitative is objective, only in one place it becomes subjective, and the protestant chorale is not used.
Weis, Flemming, b. 1898
Organist 1920. 1923 graduated from Hochschule der Musik in Leipzig. 1929-68 organist at Annakirken. 1953-61 music critic in Dagens Nyheder, and from 1964 in Politiken. 1942-56 president of the Danish branch of I.S.C.M. (DUT), from 1967 president of the Danish Society of Composers. Was awarded the Ancker Grant 1942.
Weis has writtenworks for orchestra, e.g. 2 symphonies and "In temporis vernalis"; chamber music, e.g. 2 wind quintets and 4 string quartets. The vocal works include " Det forjættede Land" (The Promised Land) and "Sinfonietta proverbium" for choir and orchestra.
Weis' music is under the influence of Danish tradition, German "Sachlichkeit" and French neo-classicism. The works from the 50's and 60's rely on the expressive to a greater extent that the early works.
Weyse, C. E. F., 1774-1842
Born in Altona, which belonged to Denmakr then. Went to Copenhagen in 1789 and became a pupil of J.A. P. Schulz, the royal conductor. 1792 organist substitute and 1794 organist at Refomert Kirke. 1805 organist at Frue Kirke. 1816 appointed titular professor. 1819 court composer. 1842 Ph. D. Copenhagen University.
Works: Operas and ballad operas: Sovedrikken (The Sleeping Draught) 1800-09, Faruk 1812, Ludlams Hule (Ludlam's Cave) 1814, Et eventyr i Rosenborg Have (An adventure in R. Garden) 1827, Festen på Kenilworth 1836. Music for plays such as Macbeth. Festival cantatas, university cantatas and other occasional cantatas. Romances and songs, selected edition in two vols. 1853 and 1860 by the Music Society (a great originate in dramatical works and cantatas). 7 symphonies, 1795-99. Piano Études, 1831 and 1837, and piano sonatas.
W.'s early works are influenced by the Classical style of Haydn and Mozart. This can be heard in the symphonies as well as in the ensembles, for instance "Sovedrikken". The late works approach a more romantic way of expression. In the romances we come across a specially Weyseian and a specially Danish tone.