Piano Quintet

by Pehr Henrik Nordgren


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Pehr Henrik Nordgren

Piano Quintet

Music Finland


I finished my Piano Quintet in September this year [1978]. I feel it very difficult to describe my work. I do not want to bother the listener with the same problems which occupied me while composing the music — that is, while I was trying to find the correct way of expressing my thoughts and feelings. Those problems are technical; they are connected with knowing and not knowing. My work is not an exploration of new — avantgarde — techniques, but of how to manage to give the emotional background a concrete shape. The music is perhaps a strange combination of different influences which I have felt touching me strongly. I have tried to testify that they can all be mixed together into a musical unity, since they have, in fact, been the experiences of one person.

The elements are simple: (1) ‘Europe’: both tonality, (some major and minor chords are used) and atonality (a twelve-tone row belongs to the main elements of the music); (2) ‘Japan’: an old ritual Buddhist song is used (it is an imitation only); (3) ‘Lapland’: I use melodic elements, which could be near to the joiku [yoik] music of the suppressed minority of the Saame population of northern Finland, Sweden and Norway. And the last element is of course the composer and what he reveals by his choice of those particular elements for expressing something in a one-movement composition.

© Pehr Henrik Nordgren, 1978


2vln, vla, vlc, pno


Chamber Works

Opus no.

op. 44

Premiere Fp: Liisa Pohjola, piano, Voces Intimae Quartet (Jorma Rahkonen, I violin, Ari Angervo, II violin, Mauri Pietikäinen, viola, Veikko Höylä, cello), Edinburgh, October 17, 1978
Commisioned by / dedications Commissioned by the Scottish-Finnish Society
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