Photo: Foto: Nikolai Østergård

Three generations of danish vocal music


Sankt Johannes Kirke

3/6 2021, 17:00

Blegdamsvej 1A, 2200 København N


Please note: New venue

Danish vocal music has been central to the vocal ensemble Ars Nova, ever since it was founded in 1979. In the decades that followed, not least Per Nørgård was a great collaborator, and since then new generations of composers have had several works premiered at the highest international level at Ars Nova.

Therefore, with three generations of Danish composers at the center, Ars Nova is visiting KLANG Festival. They are joined by the Copenhagen Messian Quartet, both in Nørgård's undulating Rilke retelling Singe die Gärten - which ended up finding its way to his third symphony - and in Peter Bruun's The Rain at Sea.

Bruun's work draws its text from Don Paterson's poem of the same name. Here the Scottish poet sits in a waiting train and sees sky and sea merge in the storm, a mighty scenery whose surfaces and waves are reflected in the music. The maritime theme continues in Bruun's Merman on the Shore, written for the Messiah Quartet after the legend of Agnete and the Merman.

Niels Rosing-Schows Where the Willows Meet is written over a gallant love poems by James Joyce, and like the lyrics, the music has clear references to the 17th century. In Rosing-Show's own words in an attempt to "with this hint of pastiche hit the special bittersweet charm of love poems".

Love is differently familiar in Juliana Hodkinson's GRENZLAND / GRÆNSELAND (Border land), which was written for Ars Nova in connection with the reunification anniversary in 2020. Here the music portrays the alternately harmonious and grating sibling relationship between Danes and Germans at the border, but also the music culture's ability to transcend all boundaries. Even if wild boar fences have been set up.


Per Nørgård: Singe die Gärten (1974)
Peter Bruun: Merman on the Shore (2019)
Niels Rosing-Schow: Where the Willows Meet (2012)
Juliana Hodkinson: GRENZLAND / GRÆNSELAND (2020)
Peter Bruun: The Rain at Sea (2020)


At this concert, Juliane von Hahn will perform as a guest on cello.