SØREN NILS EICHBERG (b.1973): Hærværk for Piano and 10 Instruments, Scherben - 19 Etudes-Postludes for Piano, Nofretete for Piano, Natsukusa-Ya for Piano Quartet.
Catalogue Number: 09V068
Description: Eichberg's idiom is wide-ranging, grounded very firmly in tonality but capable of excursions well outside it as dictated by the expressive needs of a particular work; the one thing that never changes is its approachability, as the composer chooses his means to address the emotionally charged end as directly as possible. The piano concertino takes its title and subject matter from the 1930 novel by the poet and journalist Tom Kristensen, which describes the descent of a respected journalist into alcoholism, against a vividly drawn backdrop of Copenhagen in a state of flux. The thunderous opening and dissonant, turbulent early part of the work suggests that the disintegration has already taken place, but the work is more multi-faceted than that; out of the confusion of threatening phantasms emerge the towering consonant shapes of the city, propulsive, obsessively ostinato-driven activity, now thoroughly tonal, and then after an apocalyptic spasm of a cadenza, collapse into weary resignation. "Shards" are 19 very brief miniatures, written as competition pieces. Contestants could choose their own sequence and selection, and the works are cleverly constructed to allow a wide variety of dramatic shapes. The pieces are very tonal (apart from one pointillistic exercise), and explore a great range of techniques and textures, with a good sprinkling of technically demanding toccata-like works of various kinds. Nofretete is Nefertiti, specifically the famous painted limestone bust of the beautiful, imperiously calm woman. The piece is a wide-ranging fantasia, suggesting different aspects of the grandeur, sensuality and turbulent times of ancient Egypt. Natsukusa-Ya was written for a concert commemorating the victims of Hiroshima. The work is a somber lament with a sense of ritual, punctuated by sudden upheavals of remembered terror, based on the form and economy of Haiku. Emil Gryesten (piano) and other performers.