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Anders Nordentoft

Publisher: Edition Wilhelm Hansen

On This Planet (2002)
Edition Wilhelm Hansen Copenhagen
Opera and Music Theatre
Sub Category
Year Composed
1 Hour 10 Minutes
Programme Note
Anders Nordentoft On This Planet (2002)
An ancient mythology arises in all its power and glory, and some of its many characters are united in and speak through its principal figure. He is both an independent, present-day individual and a representative of something eternally human.

He is a kind of shaman who, in a pact with the music, conjures up and lives through episodes from a life. The eternal fear of the unknown, the difficult art of love, sympathy, joy, hatred and reconciliation are themes in his narrative, which is put into perspective and commented on by the elevated poetic dimension of the texts "Earth, Love after Love" and "Missing the sea". Our protagonist was sent off by St. Peter after taking a good "piece of the cake"; he becomes part of the mighty earth again. But fortunately life goes on. The tale continues. The ants crawl busy and unperturbed over him.

The form of the opera is defined as a labyrinth where the director can freely compose the order of the various numbers (the interior of the labyrinth) until the final scene "Lucid King" (the exit from the maze), which has been fixed by the composer. In this way the most important aspect of the overall form of the music and drama is ensured - a movement from one experience of time to another, from a relatively fast "present" to a kind of "time of eternity".

The music is characterized by various kinds of circular movements: millstones, grindstones, wheels, turntables (the firmament, the planet, the cycle of life). The ecstatic, which was once part of the process of the creation of the world, is of course only the top of the iceberg. After this comes the cooler working phase, which is all about the greatest possible precision in the communication of the musical expression. The simple, the so-called banal, is for me a kind of shuddering leaning-out over a deep, beautiful abyss. But as with the scream, the sound of the electric violin and other powerful musical resources, one can home in on a calmer way of listening where other layers of the music also catch the ear.

Anders Nordentoft.

  • Ensemble
    Athelas Sinfonietta
    Thomas Sandberg (vocals)
    Morten Ryelund Sørensen
Effektiv er også musikken, og meget anderledes end Nordentofts tidligere ting. Fra en lyrisk og måske let anæmisk ekspressionisme har han kastet sig over den korte form, ofte med referencer til både rocken og poppen. Her synes han at have fundet en hylde, der passer ham godt. Man høre hans fine, ædle værker med nye ører. Og han glemmer ikke det, som en klassisk baggrund og mange års erfaringer med ny musik har givet ham. På den ene side glædes man over Athelas Sinfonietta Copenhageng smukt udarbejdede partitur, på den anden over Thomas Sandbergs bevidst uskolede sang … alt i alt er " On this Planet" blevet en rigtig smuk forestilling - professionelt gennemført af samtlige medvirkende og ualmindelig tankevækkende at gå hjem på.
Søren Hallundbæk Schauser, Berlingske Tidende,02/12/2003
“The songs with their rumbling rough, madly poetic and beautifully sensitive universe are about life. The whole life. About childhood, children, falling-in-love, death and faith in salvation. If one’s the kind of person that simply not locks the shutter down to the cellar regions of sense, but insists in having view into all ones inner chambers, also where pain, loss and broken happiness are hidden, then the performance is a touching response, that sends one home with a certain warm feeling in the stomach and tracks of moisture in the corner of the eye. …”
Thomas Michelsen, Politiken,02/12/2002
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