by Magnus Lindberg

Empty sheet

Magnus Lindberg


Chester Music


Away (1994) for clarinet, percussion, piano and strings is a short (5') piece that contains all the standard features of Lindberg's music of the 1990s. Chorale-like, rich chord sequences throb with rhythmic drive, now taking the form of lively tremolos or scale figures, now dances ticking away. The vitality of Lindberg's musical idiom has inspired other contemporary Finnish composers, too. It is worth making the point, however, that harmonic sequences and surfaces are also the main point of departure and structural element of many other masters of the latter half of the 20th century. These composers are united by a certain 'French quality' contrasted to 'Teutonic' counterpoint; one of the leading composers of this group was Witold Lutoslawski, in memory of whom Lindberg's AWAY was composed.

© Chester Music Ltd.

Over the years, Lindberg has developed a solid composition technique that enables him to write coherent pieces even in a very short period of time, if necessary. This was the case at the beginning of 1994, when the Avanti! Chamber Orchestra decided to organise a concert at a very short notice to commemorate the late Witold Lutoslawski. Lindberg was still working on Aura, so it is natural to find the big piece's material reworked in Away. Conversely, some ideas from Away later sneaked back into the score of Aura, as well.

Lindberg is known to have problems finding titles for his pieces, and the original title for Away was in fact Aura, which Lindberg then took for the orchestral piece. He first rebaptised the smaller piece Fragments of Aura before choosing Away as the definitive title, after making some corrections for the second performance. The title refers to the clarinet soloist who has to be in a different part of the concert hall to the orchestra, in other words 'away'.

Away's origins as a tribute explain the fragments from Lutoslawski's Third Symphony in the score. The Polish composer's formal and harmonic thinking has already inspired Lindberg in the past. According to Lindberg, Away continues in the wake of Corrente as far as form is concerned, whereas its dramatics are more related to pieces like Kinetics, Kraft or UR.

© Risto Nieminen, ca. 1994

translated by © Nick Le Quesne

© Ircam - Centre Georges-Pompidou

(From Magnus Lindberg, Helsinki 1996)


cl solo, perc, pno, str


Works for Soloist(s) and Orchestra


Avanti! Chamber Orchestra, cond. Sakari Oramo, Helsinki, February 16, 1994.

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