Author Topic: Bent Sørensen  (Read 9586 times)

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kentel

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Re: Bent Sørensen
« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2010, 02:23:46 PM »
That's a curious claim considering the music situation in Denmark. Figures like Holmboe, Nørgård and Sørensen have had a pretty similar reception: they've been accepted by the Danish concert-going public, but their work draws little interest in academic circles.

Right :)

Sean

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Re: Bent Sørensen
« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2010, 02:51:14 PM »
kentel, okay. Scelsi need not write around a tonal centre but he does understand 'tonality' as meaning some sensitivity to consonance and dissonance as given by nature, not intellectual schemes.

Sean

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Re: Bent Sørensen
« Reply #22 on: January 09, 2010, 02:53:40 PM »
That's a curious claim considering the music situation in Denmark. Figures like Holmboe, Nørgård and Sørensen have had a pretty similar reception: they've been accepted by the Danish concert-going public, but their work draws little interest in academic circles.

Well they're not cutting edge Boulezian psychosis but a cautious step back toward tonality- so the rabid modernists don't like them, and in fact nobody much likes them. Holmboe is pretty tonal though of course.

Sean

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Re: Bent Sørensen
« Reply #23 on: January 09, 2010, 02:55:53 PM »
Interesting how often this idea comes up in conversation. It's as if it had some special, magical quality, guaranteeing agreement or at least making disagreement impossible.

But what is it, really? It is no more than conjecture. There is no way to make it anything more than conjecture, either, since it's about a region which none of us can have any knowledge of, the future. We can guess only. We cannot know.

Far from being the nice knockdown argument it always masquerades as, it is a grade one chimera.

(Even, I cannot resist adding, if it were possible to know this, does anyone genuinely care what one's grandchildren's grandchildren will or will not be listening to? These are people not yet born, people none of us will ever know. I wonder why it's always assumed that these people will have impeccable taste.)

I claim to know something of what art is. Therefore I can pronounce on aesthetic merit of works with objectivity. Perhaps you can't but I can.

kentel

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Re: Bent Sørensen
« Reply #24 on: January 09, 2010, 04:03:57 PM »
kentel, okay. Scelsi need not write around a tonal centre but he does understand 'tonality' as meaning some sensitivity to consonance and dissonance as given by nature, not intellectual schemes.

I am not sure I understand : Scelsi is NOT tonal whatsoever. Consonance and tonality are two separate features.

Offline Luke

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Re: Bent Sørensen
« Reply #25 on: January 09, 2010, 04:11:26 PM »
Not sure I want to weigh in here, but the word 'tonal' needs to be defined for this discussion to go anywhere. If by 'tonal' we mean using traditional functional tonality, however extended, then of course Scelsi is not tonal; if by 'tonal' we mean possessing a tonal centre (or more than one) then Scelsi is one of the most interesting figures in 20th century tonal music. By this measure, for instance, his beautiful Anahit is clearly in G...and though not traditionally functional, in this and many other works Scelsi creates his own idiosncratic form of functionality, or at least tonal logic, through the use of what have been called tonal 'vectors' - tonal centres which have their own slowly shifting trajectory up or down a scale.

kentel

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Re: Bent Sørensen
« Reply #26 on: January 09, 2010, 04:17:26 PM »
Not sure I want to weigh in here, but the word 'tonal' needs to be defined for this discussion to go anywhere. If by 'tonal' we mean using traditional functional tonality, however extended, then of course Scelsi is not tonal; if by 'tonal' we mean possessing a tonal centre (or more than one) then Scelsi is one of the most interesting figures in 20th century tonal music. By this measure, for instance, his beautiful Anahit is clearly in G...and though not traditionally functional, in this and many other works Scelsi creates his own idiosncratic form of functionality, or at least tonal logic, through the use of what have been called tonal 'vectors' - tonal centres which have their own slowly shifting trajectory up or down a scale.

In that case, Sorensen is tonal too :)

Offline Luke

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Re: Bent Sørensen
« Reply #27 on: January 09, 2010, 04:20:43 PM »
There's a lot of this tonality stuff about still!  :)

Sean

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Re: Bent Sørensen
« Reply #28 on: January 09, 2010, 05:12:26 PM »
Not sure I want to weigh in here, but the word 'tonal' needs to be defined for this discussion to go anywhere. If by 'tonal' we mean using traditional functional tonality, however extended, then of course Scelsi is not tonal; if by 'tonal' we mean possessing a tonal centre (or more than one) then Scelsi is one of the most interesting figures in 20th century tonal music. By this measure, for instance, his beautiful Anahit is clearly in G...and though not traditionally functional, in this and many other works Scelsi creates his own idiosncratic form of functionality, or at least tonal logic, through the use of what have been called tonal 'vectors' - tonal centres which have their own slowly shifting trajectory up or down a scale.

What he said.

kentel

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Re: Bent Sørensen
« Reply #29 on: January 10, 2010, 03:10:52 AM »
OK; but if Scelsi's tonal then Sørensen is tonal too, as there is undoubtedly a "tonal logic" (as Luke termed it) in most of his works. Thus when you say in #13 :

Quote from: Sean
I'm very interested in soundscapes when they make overall aesthetic logic as well as the pink fluff of the moment, but this is only seriously possible in tonality.

- whether it is seriously possible in Sørensen's pieces, and there is no reason to dismiss them on this basis

- or it is not possible with Sørensen, therefore not  with Scelsi either and you have to dismiss both of them (as their use of "tonality" according to Luke's description is roughly the same).

or what ?

Offline mikkeljs

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Re: Bent Sørensen
« Reply #30 on: January 11, 2010, 03:45:04 PM »
Bent Sørensen is one of my favorite composers, and as there seems to be no thread about him here, I thought I could start a new one...

Well, Sørensen is Danish, born in 1958 and an ex-pupil of Per Nørgård the Great (quite a good reference for a beginning). He writes in a style rather close to George Benjamin's, with an extreme care of the resonnance, the timbre and the color of each instrument. The atmospheres are deeply influenced by Poe and Baudelaire : somewhere between dream and nightmare, beauty and evil, very aesthetic and almost sophisticated - always beautiful.

Here are a few cd's :




Violin Concerto "Decaying Gardens" (1993) : I discovered Sørensen's music with this amazing violin concerto :
I was in fact very sensitive to the climate  and the evocation of these strange and sinister "dying gardens" which I imagine with big trees loosing slowly their died yellow and red blades. The orchestration is also quite impressive, with the violin playing at the same heights as the orchestra all the time, and the incredible feeling of fear and dispear of the third mvt with its furious ostinato is incredibly expressive.

The Echoing Garden for voice & orchestra (1992) : sounds like the ghostly echoes of this strange garden. Another great piece with a cold, precise and beautiful orchestra.



This cd is one of the bests  : every single piece is great. One couldn't find a better starting point.

Minnewater (1988) : delicate and swaying like ripples on the water - amazingly evocative, magic and anxious.

Sirenengesang (with voice) : mournful moans of strings; you could almost hear the sirens through the mists.

Shadowland (1989) :  Another masterpiece. A clear and microcosmic style, with an impressive sense of details. Very sophisticated, and contrary to what the title could involve, very luminous. His shadowland sounds like a dream.

The Deserted Churchyard (1990)  : Here again, Sørensen proves to be a true sound genius : glockenspiel, bells, flute like butterflies, distant strings in the background, mysterious piano... which ends in a sort of moan from beyond the grave.

Clairobscur (1987) : aquatic ripples of clarinet - very poetic and subtle.



Birds and Bells, for trombone & orchestra (1997): not quite a concerto, as the trombone player is almost a part of the orchestra itself. Sometimes contemplative, sometimes humoristic (with a funny wow-wow trumpet ostinato in the 2nd mvt), always accurate, precise and written with a fanatic sense of details.

The Lady and the Lark, for viola & orchestra (1997): not quite a concerto either. One of my favorite, it just takes your breath away. Pure aestheticism.

The Bells of Vineta, for solo trombone (1990): this one is a little bit too experimental for my taste.

The Mask of the Red Death, for piano (1990) : after a short story by Edgar A. Poe (which I highly recommand if you didn't read it yet). Unfortunately, Sørensen who has written so amazingly beautiful pieces in the spirit of Poe, is here rather uninspired and far below the genius of the writer with this Ligeti-like little piece.



The String Quartets : in spite of the very good interpretation of the Arditti String Quartet, I think this cd is one of the less interesting. The 3 String Quartets were composed between 83 and 87, at a time when the composer had not found his personnal sound. They sound dull and gray. Moreover, Rasmussen's quartets on the same cd are not very good either (at least in my opinion).

Im a personal friend of Bent Sørensen, as he is teacher in Copenhagen. I also find his music among the most touching ever next with Allan Pettersson and Shostakovich! Glad that you know Bent Sørensen!  :) Its probably the first time he is mentioned on gmg, but not the last I hope! How did you ran into him?

Offline some guy

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Re: Bent Sørensen
« Reply #31 on: January 11, 2010, 04:09:43 PM »
I claim to know something of what art is. Therefore I can pronounce on aesthetic merit of works with objectivity. Perhaps you can't but I can.
Really? Because you claim knowledge, therefore you can pronounce, "objectively"? Now there's strange!

(Not to mention that this claim of yours has nothing to do with the post of mine you appended it to. Oh, wait. I just mentioned it!)

Sean

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Re: Bent Sørensen
« Reply #32 on: January 11, 2010, 11:48:34 PM »
Really? Because you claim knowledge, therefore you can pronounce, "objectively"? Now there's strange!

(Not to mention that this claim of yours has nothing to do with the post of mine you appended it to. Oh, wait. I just mentioned it!)

Okay, rephrase it, I know knowledge, therefore I can pronounce objectively.

kentel

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Re: Bent Sørensen
« Reply #33 on: January 12, 2010, 11:52:37 AM »
Im a personal friend of Bent Sørensen, as he is teacher in Copenhagen. I also find his music among the most touching ever next with Allan Pettersson and Shostakovich! Glad that you know Bent Sørensen!  :) Its probably the first time he is mentioned on gmg, but not the last I hope! How did you ran into him?

How lucky you are...

I have been living in Denmark during a few years, and at the local music library, they had all the Dacapo cd's. I borrowed them all :)

Actually, I remember that the first piece I heard by Bent Sørensen was the violin concerto ("Dying Gardens"). I was listening to it while riding my bike on a path bordered with trees. It was in fall, and their yellow and red blades were twirling all around : it matched so perfectly the atmosphere and the title of the Concerto... He has an impressive sense of atmospheres and orchestral colors. For me he is one of the most talented and skillful composers of his generation.

Are you teaching in kbh too ?

--Gilles


Offline mikkeljs

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Re: Bent Sørensen
« Reply #34 on: January 12, 2010, 03:54:58 PM »
How lucky you are...

I have been living in Denmark during a few years, and at the local music library, they had all the Dacapo cd's. I borrowed them all :)

Actually, I remember that the first piece I heard by Bent Sørensen was the violin concerto ("Dying Gardens"). I was listening to it while riding my bike on a path bordered with trees. It was in fall, and their yellow and red blades were twirling all around : it matched so perfectly the atmosphere and the title of the Concerto... He has an impressive sense of atmospheres and orchestral colors. For me he is one of the most talented and skillful composers of his generation.

Are you teaching in kbh too ?

--Gilles



Im only a pianist student, so I don´t teach.  :) But since all musicians in Copenhagen know eachother, I frequently talk with both Bent Sørensen, Niels Rovsing-Schow, Hans Abrahamsen and especially Per Nørgård, who call me and two of my freinds the Mafia of Odense, perhabs because we always show up at composer seminars and go to the composers whenever we get the oppotunity.  :P

The Violin Concerto was also the first Bent Sørensen piece I listened to, while sitting in a bus also in autumn, and I had a depression at that time, so the music means a lot to me too!

The first time I meet Bent was at his seminar in Odense many years ago, and I remember that in the break, people were standing inside the building, while Bent and I were standing alone  outside in the cold, since Bent wanted to smoke. So he was like the outsider of his own seminar!  ;D

kentel

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Re: Bent Sørensen
« Reply #35 on: January 13, 2010, 01:56:39 AM »
Im only a pianist student, so I don´t teach.  :) But since all musicians in Copenhagen know eachother, I frequently talk with both Bent Sørensen, Niels Rovsing-Schow, Hans Abrahamsen and especially Per Nørgård, who call me and two of my freinds the Mafia of Odense, perhabs because we always show up at composer seminars and go to the composers whenever we get the oppotunity.  :P

The Violin Concerto was also the first Bent Sørensen piece I listened to, while sitting in a bus also in autumn, and I had a depression at that time, so the music means a lot to me too!

The first time I meet Bent was at his seminar in Odense many years ago, and I remember that in the break, people were standing inside the building, while Bent and I were standing alone  outside in the cold, since Bent wanted to smoke. So he was like the outsider of his own seminar!  ;D

Actually I lived in Odense too :) That's my favorite danish city, don't like Copenhagen that much.

Nørgård,  he's just a genius. Nørgård,  Maxwell-Davies and Sallinen are for me the most fascinating living composers. But I didn't discovered his music in Denmark, he's quite famous in France too. All you tell me, it sounds to me like the Valhalla :)...

I like Rosing-Schow very much too. His music is aesthetically very close to Takemitsu's, with this sense of colored textures, that's especially true for his last cd's (Orbis, Equinoxe, Black Virgin etc.). I loved particularly "Sous les râles du vent d'ouest", "Windshape", "Archipel des solitudes" and his concerto for alto flûte & alto. It's a very poetic music.

Abrahamsen, it depends. Sometimes yes, sometimes no :)

Another composer I really love is Ib Nørholm, who wrote one of the most beautiful cycle of symphonies I've ever heard.  And many others actually - it looks like there is many thread to open here  :D

Well, I'm quite often in Denmark, it's not far from here : tell me when you've got a seminar or something like that

« Last Edit: January 13, 2010, 10:56:44 AM by kentel »

Offline UB

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Re: Bent Sørensen
« Reply #36 on: January 13, 2010, 08:07:23 AM »
"Another composer I really love is Ib , who wrote one of the most beautiful cycle of symphonies I've ever heard."

Kentel if you are referring to Ib Norholm I will agree with you 100% - his chamber music is not too shabby either.
I am not in the entertainment business. Harrison Birtwistle 2010

kentel

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Re: Bent Sørensen
« Reply #37 on: January 13, 2010, 10:37:40 AM »
"Another composer I really love is Ib , who wrote one of the most beautiful cycle of symphonies I've ever heard."

Kentel if you are referring to Ib Norholm I will agree with you 100% - his chamber music is not too shabby either.

Yes, that's him !! I Just forgot to write the surname - corrected :) You're right, the chamber music is very interesting, though I'm not enthusiastic about everything there.

I love the violin concerto too, and his small pieces for 1 instrument. I saw there was a Kontrapunkt cd with the string quartets, but I've never seen it anywhere. Too bad, I'd love to hear them.

PS/actually I didn't forget his surname, the spell checker erased it, maybe I won't use it anymore (it dit the same for "Maxwell-Davies")  :D
« Last Edit: January 13, 2010, 10:39:57 AM by kentel »

snyprrr

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Re: Bent Sørensen
« Reply #38 on: April 12, 2014, 08:18:12 AM »
Anyone find him interesting today? Tempting...

snyprrr

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Re: Bent Sørensen
« Reply #39 on: April 13, 2014, 09:32:38 AM »
I have the Andsnes disc (with the Lutoslawski PC) which has a couple of Sorensen pieces, a 'Lullaby' (under five minutes, nothing special to these ears), and 'The Shadows of Silence', a tremulous and wispy work out of what sounds like Schubert (I don't know) and even seems to have the gimmick of having what sounds like a few cello lines thrown into the middle. For me, there's too much overt quietness- the kind where you have to fiddle the volume- and overall I was as impressed as Sean seemed to be. I have heard and enjoyed other Sorensen, but I found nothing really to hold on to here. :(

The ECM, DaCapo,- and the other disc- all sound much more interesting.