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Sunleif Rasmussen

Publisher: Edition Wilhelm Hansen

Territorial Songs (2009)
Publisher
Edition Wilhelm Hansen Copenhagen
Category
Soloists and Orchestra
Sub Category
Soloists and Large Orchestra
Year Composed
2009
Duration
23 Minutes
Solo Instrument(s)
rec.
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Programme Note
Sunleif Rasmussen Territorial Songs (2009)
Like many other composers I have often associated the recorder with the song of birds. However, I did not want to write a recorder concerto where the solo instrument should imitate bird song directly.

The idea behind the concerto is therefore the special kind of bird song called “Territorial Song”. This is when a group of birds individually sing a similar tune in order to show that the particular territory where they live belongs to them. When I was searching on this subject I found out that also human beings through the times have had their own way of singing or playing tunes, scales and rhythms in order to mark their territory. We are also familiar with this phenomenon in the Faroe Islands, where there in earlier times could be several versions of the same tune in one village. Those versions were all performed at the same time while dancing the simple Faroese Chain Dance. Also, in the churches a tune could be sung in different tempos at the same time, according to the mood or the present life-situation of the single person.

In the case of a solo concerto the soloist per definition has his or her own territory, standing out from the orchestra, and I got the idea to extend this to the orchestra as well: At times the single musicians within a group (ex. violins, celli, percussion) play a given phrase freely in time and tempo and so to speak take their own territory within the group they belong to. Thus the group as a whole together also marks a territory. In the middle of third movement, it is actually only the recorder who follow the beat of the conductor - contrary to a normal concerto where the conductor’s role is to get the orchestra to follow the soloist. I also developed the idea further by asking the flutes in the orchestra to take place in the hall and have a territory there.

This solo concerto is therefore about marking territories within the fields of melodic phrases, rhythmical patterns, tempo and space – both individually and group-wise.




  • Ensemble
    Aalborg Symphony Orchestra
    Soloist(s)
    Michala Petri (recorders)
    Conductor
    Henrik Vagn Christensen
    OUR Recordings:
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