Out Of The Cradle Endlessly Rocking 'Wave Music' (2007-08) by Per Nørgård. Scored for Clarinet, Violin, Cello and Piano.
The work was commissioned by the Ebb and Flow Ensemble for premiere at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center, Kahului, Hawaii, 23 November 2008. The premiere performers will be (as of 241108: were) Scott Anderson, clarinet, Ignace Jang, violin, Mark Votapek, cello and Robert Pollock, piano.
The title is borrowed from the first line of American poet Walt Whitman’s magnificent poem, SEADRIFT, a tribute to the sea. The poem forms part of Whitman’s magnum opus LEAVES OF GRASS, which he revised, extended and worked on practically all his writing life.
I had previously drawn some lines from the poem SEADRIFT, for another work of mine, a work likewise entitled SEADRIFT (1978), for soprano and ensemble.
In this present, new piece I did not set out to depict in music ‘the soul of the sea’ or anything like that. I did, however, have an intention of making the piece a sort of outstretched hand from one small country with a multitude of islands and – necessarily – a lot of water around it (I am referring, of course, to my native Denmark) to another country with many islands: Hawaii, with its far-away exotic appeal (at least for a Scandinavian), and its remoteness, thousands and thousands of nautical miles away.
Folkloristic Hawaiian chant (alluring samples of which were kindly forwarded to me from the commissioner of the work) fascinated and impressed me so much that my melodic repertoire in the new piece sometimes echo a Hawaiian Melodybrother.
A latent wave-character is characteristic of the piece. You will hear a simultaneity of different ‘wavelengths’ and often a dense and complex melodic and rhythmic multi-layering. In the third movement a driving, metamorphosing acceleration is built up towards the end.
When I looked back at the music I had composed there was no doubt in my mind as to the title; this was certainly a music OUT OF THE CRADLE ENDLESSLY ROCKING – in my own rocking and waving way.
Per Nørgård, 2008