by Erik Bergman


för piano

Empty sheet

Erik Bergman


Norsk Musikförlag AS


The suite Aspekter has three movements. The material of the first is divided into a five-tone and a seven-tone group. The five-tone group forms the basis of an almost passacaglia-like structure, whereas the seven-tone group plays with tones, partly improvised in character. At the same time the work reveals sonorous and dynamic aspects. The musical material undergoes a change from a pointed, transparent element towards a gradually increasing breadth of chord construction, even dynamically. Cluster-like episodes become audible, thanks to the use of the pedal. Varying acoustic shadings spread their illumination through overtones arising when certain keys are depressed noiselessly and others are struck. In the frenetic closing phase the interpreter has an opportunity to develop his virtuosity. In the second and third movements the thematic material is consistently worked out and the motives varied with versatility. In this way a three-tone form is heard.

[writer unknown: from the program leaflet for Erik Bergman Concert in Carnegie Hall, November 21, 1983]

This is one of Bergman’s most colourful works. In the first movement, Spectrum, short, melodically significant fragments are inter-changed creating effects of tension and relaxation in the tone quality. The performance is partly improvisatory. The second movement, Meditation, starts with a motif reminiscent of birdsong: c#—a#—f#—b#. This is developed into many different ornamented and harmonic shapes, which are combined to produce complex textural effects. This is a particularly effective study in tone colour with its striking use of a flageolet-like timbre. The virtuosic and energetic climax of the third movement, Metamorphosis, is, as in the first movement, built on a series of tensions and relaxations in tone quality.

© Paavo Heininen (translation: © Hildi Hawkins)

This is one of Bergman’s most colourful works. The first movement was written for a new volume of Scandinavian piano pieces published by Nordiska Musikförlaget in Stockholm, and later the Norwegian pianist Kjell Baekkelund asked the composer to add more movements to make a Suite. Spectrum is based on a twelve-note row which is mirrored in two other groups of five and seven notes respectively. Short, melodically significant fragments are interchanged creating effects of tension and of relaxation; the performance is partly improvisatory and grows to a powerful chordal climax. Meditation starts with an idea reminiscent of birdsong; differently ornamented harmonic and melodic shapes produce a complex texture. The final Metamorphosis provides a virtuosic and energetic climax to the work.

© Paavo Heininen

Sviten Aspekter (Aspects) består av tre satser. Tonmaterialet i den första fördelar sig på en femtons- och en sjutonsgrupp. Femtonsgruppen bildar basfundamentet för en nästan passacagliaartad byggnad, sjutonsgruppen åter erbjuder ett spel med toner, delvis av improvisandokaraktär. Samtidigt öppnar kompositionen klangliga och dynamiska aspekter. Från en punktuell, genomskinlig faktur genomgår materialet en förvandling mot allt bredare ackordbildningar, också dynamiskt. Clusterartade episoder uppstår tack vare pedalbehandlingen. Olika klangfärgsbelysningar sprider sig även genom de övertoner som uppstår då vissa tangenter nedtrycks stumma medan andra anslås. I den frenetiska slutstegringen har interpreten tillfälle att utveckla virtuositet.

I andra och tredje satsen är det tematiska arbetet konsekvent genomfört och motiven varieras mångsidigt. Så uppträder till exempel en treklangsbildningm genomgående i den lyriskt-meditativa andra satsen, vilken för övrigt karaktäriseras av en växlande klangkomplexitet.

© Erik Bergman




Works for Solo Instrument

Opus no.

op. 63


Kjell Baekkelund, Biennial for Modern Music, East Berlin, February 18, 1971

Commisioned by / dedications

1st movement commissioned by the Norsk Musikforlag; 2nd & 3rd movement commissioned by Kjell Baekkelund

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