background image

Hans Abrahamsen lecture

February 9, 2005

Yesterday I attended a presentation by the Danish composer Hans Abrahamsen at the Grieg Academy. I didn’t know his music beforehand but I really liked it in particular the 10 studies for piano. Afterwards we all went out to eat.

It’s very seldom that composers living in Bergen meet in this way but we have to do it again. Very nice evening.

I’m not always impressed with record labels releasing contemporary music. The sound on some of the recordings was awful way to much mid range fequency and no hi at all. In addition their philosophy seems to be very simple: “Let’s cram as much as we can into it.” There seems to be a fundamental lack of understanding that the CD medium should be approached as a way of presenting art works in itself and not just as a documentation of existing music.

I suggested to Hans that he should try to get the 10 piano studies released as a set of four CDs or mini-CDs. The studies are grouped into 4 sections with a lot of cross-references and symetrical conserns in the over-all form:

  • IV: 1-4
  • III: 5-7

  • II: 8-9
  • I: 10

Although the studies doesn’t last more than approx. 20 minutes altogether this would have communicated the form of the music in a much stronger way. Also there should be more silence between the tracks.