Per Nørgård's Gennem Torne / Through Thorns (2003) Harp Concerto No. 2 - Passage for Harp Solo with Flute, Clarinet and String Quartet.
Premiered by Tine Rehling (Harp) and the Esbjerg Ensemble, conducted by Kaisa Roose at the Concert Hall of the Western Jutland Academy of Music, Esbjerg, 28th January 2004.
THROUGH THORNS has a duration of about 20 minutes, in one continuous movement, thus the subtitle "passage". The work is scored for harp solo, flute, clarinet and string quartet. The title is borrowed from the lines from an old Virgin Mary Hymn: "Mary wanders through thorns", a hymn which ends with the following line: "then roses grew forth amongst the thorns". I only came across the poem after finishing the composition, the "passage" of which is a journey of sometimes dramatic events, concluding with a "rose-blooming", as does the hymn.
For THROUGH THORNS to borrow its title from a Virgin Mary Hymn has to do with the musical material and current of the piece, which brings motives from an earlier choral piece of mine, FLOS UT ROSA (Latin for "a flower like a rose"), and the rose in question is of course the one which grew forth when the Virgin Mary gave birth to the Infant Jesus in a hitherto unheard-of fashion, a NOVA GENITURA (new birth), which is the title of another work of mine that also derives its material from my original "rose"-melody from 1975.
THROUGH THORNS is dedicated to Tine Rehling, and together with her I have tried to expand the sonorities of the harp, by exploring existing techniques and their more remote regions, in order to gain access to new territory and new soundscaoes, as realised by the constantly experimentally-minded and virtuoso player.
Per Nørgård, 2004.