Landscapes (Danish Chamber Players/ Svend Aaquist Johansen) (Dacapo Classical: 8.224034)
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Landscapes is a series of works, four in all, written for the same ensemble, Danish Chamber Players.
There are considerable differences in the characters of the four pieces, bur they also have important features in common. The Landscapes all have an inward, meditative character, a kind of reflection on something infinitely enigmatic. The composer has said that in all four Landscapes he has striven for a simplified basis on which to work, using just a few tones to produce timbres, order in durations etc.
Perhaps the simplified basis and the composer's economy of tonal material should be related to his wish to get behind the ten thousand things of objective reality, to see the landscape not as the myriad of details that it also is, but as a unity and totality, in fact a 'landscape'.
Landscapes No. 1 (1992, premiered 30.4.92) consists of a series of transient visions, directly inspired by Chinese landscape painting. The composer has tried as naturalistically as possible, with purely musical resources, to evoke nature's own rhythm, transformation and resonance, ringing out like the last vibrations of a deep bell.
As a kind of contrast to the wealth of detail and firm contours of the first landscape, Ole Buck has tried in Landscapes No. 2 (1994, premiered 1.5.94) to call forth a misty, unfocused picture whose contours can only be glimpsed, where they are fluid instead of emerging clearly.
In Landscapes No. 3 (1994-95, premiered 4.2.1995), Ole Buck attempts to paint a Zen Buddhist winter landscape of the type one often sees in pictures - without going into too much detail, and without emphasizing anything at the expense of the totality. But the piece can as easily be seen as an inner landscape, a piece of abstract music without descriptive function.
In Landscapes No. 4 (1995, premiered 19.8.95) the composer returns to the inspiration of the first landscape in Chinese landscape painting, transformed into timbres and musical structures. But in the fourth landscape there is an additional hint of spring and centrifugal movement, suggesting a meditative internal observation of nature and an urge to follow one's impulses.
Ole Hansen, 1995