Per Nørgård FOR A CHANGE
The title 'For a Change' refers to the Chinese 'Book of Changes' ('I Ching'), which has been consulted in situations of choice for millenia. In the I Ching, 64 states of being determine the full cycle of the phases of life. From these I selected four, the sequence of which progresses from a situation from which there is apparently no solution, to a (temporary) relief.
In the first movement 'Thunder repeated, the Image of Shock', a vicious circle of claustrophobic, closed circuits is represented by the tom-tom part. This is followed by tam-tams and wood sounds, but returns full-circle to the tom-toms.
The second movement 'The taming Power of the small' has its origins in the violence of the first movement, but this time lets it resolve in a long glide upwards which stars with voice sounds 'borrowed' from the Beatles' 'Revolution no 9' which are then transmitted to the other instruments.
The third movement is 'The Gentle, The Penetrating' in which lyrical poetry dominates with gentle bell-like sounds and delicate tunes. Finally the sovereign, many-layered world of rhythm triumphs in the fourth movement: 'Towards Completion. Fire over Water', the main movement of the work.
'For a Change' was premiered on 27.2. 1983 with the Sealand Symphony Orchestra conducted by Tamás Vetö. Soloist was Gert Mortensen whom the work is dedicated.