Sven Erik Werner

Sven Erik Werner

(1937-)

Sven Erik Werner holds a Master's degree in musicology and Nordic Literature from the University of Copenhagen. He worked for the Danish Radio for six years before moving to the Academy of Music, Odense, where he was appointed in 1970 and became principal in 1974. He retained this post until 1989 and has discharged many other administrative and organizational functions in Danish musical life, in which he plays the unusual role of a critical intellectual who participates energetically in public debate. He is recognized far beyond the ranks of specialists in music as a critic of political compromises in culture, and as an enemy of mediocrity in all its forms. Werner is autodidact as a composer and made a fairly late debut, having been a successful broadcaster for several years before his wind quintet Jubilus was accepted for first performance at a festival in Italy. That was in 1968 when he was 31 years old. Werner thus made his entry on to the new music scene at a time when the Polish avantgarde headed by names like Witold Lutoslawski and Krzysztof Penderecki was exerting great influence on young Danish composers. Polish avantgardism of the sixties was welcomed by many as a reaction to the sterile elitism of the modernist movement, particularly because of the way in which it sought for a meaningful dialogue between various stylistic options. The latter was something with particular appeal in Denmark where leading composers had already begun to practice stylistic pluralism.

Polish avantgardism of the sixties and Danish stylistic pluralism are in fact parallel responses to the same problem. They reject the modernistic notion that it is possible to compose, experiment, and calculate one's way to an absolutely genuine, pure, and unsullied form of musical expression. From now on it was permitted to transgress the various stylistic boundaries and make voyages of discovery into the inexhaustible treasure house of historical forms. Yet at the same time it seems to have been demanded of the works as such that they should ponder the expressive potential of music and the great issues of musical authenticity and truth. This starting-point in the situation around 1970, where younger composers were compelled to think about many of the aesthetic problems that have since been summed up under the title of Postmodernism, may serve as a key to the understanding of Werner's complex musical output.

The opus list is not very long; too much of Werner's time has been devoted to organizational activities for that to be feasible. Nevertheless, he has worked in a great variety of genres - a fact that expresses his cultural political stance from a different perspective. His compositions range from difficult scores for traditional orchestral and chamber combinations by way of music for teaching purposes to innovative and experimental works for television, the mass medium par excellence of our age. Of his four television works, three are operas.

By Søren Møller Sørensen

Available Works

All categories Solo 2-6 Instruments 7+ Instruments Choir Orchestra Music Drama and Stage Music

  1. In Nocte

    2019 • Sven Erik Werner

    2-6 Instruments

  2. In Diem

    2018 • Sven Erik Werner

    2-6 Instruments

  3. Gurre/Hvor Nilen Vander....

    1997 • Sven Erik Werner

    Choir

  4. In Aurora

    2015 • Sven Erik Werner

    2-6 Instruments

  5. Tango Interrotto

    2015 • Sven Erik Werner

    2-6 Instruments

  6. Innocent Songs

    2008 • Sven Erik Werner

    7+ Instruments

  7. True Love

    2007 • Sven Erik Werner

    2-6 Instruments

  8. Seguito

    1990 • Sven Erik Werner

    Solo

  9. 7 Motets

    2010 • Sven Erik Werner

    Choir

  10. Be it so

    2007 • Sven Erik Werner

    2-6 Instruments

  11. Magnificat

    1995 • Sven Erik Werner

    2-6 Instruments

  12. “Be it so”

    1991 • Sven Erik Werner

    2-6 Instruments

  13. “Tunger af ild”

    2008 • Sven Erik Werner

    Solo

  14. Jeux de Bayeux

    2006 • Sven Erik Werner

    2-6 Instruments

  15. Fadervor

    2004 • Sven Erik Werner

    Choir

  16. Cæcilie-messe

    2009 • Sven Erik Werner

    7+ Instruments

  17. Piktogram

    1991 • Sven Erik Werner

    2-6 Instruments

  18. Vilja-Parafrase

    2006 • Sven Erik Werner

    2-6 Instruments

  19. Siv, vand og måne

    1997 • Sven Erik Werner

    7+ Instruments

  20. Tango Interrotto (version for sinfonietta)

    1993 • Sven Erik Werner

    7+ Instruments

  21. Tango Interrotto

    1993 • Sven Erik Werner

    2-6 Instruments

  22. Truyên tho' hài

    2004 • Sven Erik Werner

    Orchestra

  23. Fabliau

    2004 • Sven Erik Werner

    Orchestra

  24. Efter Trinitatis

    2002 • Sven Erik Werner

    Choir

  25. Som landet ligger...

    2003 • Sven Erik Werner

    Choir

  26. Visse vejrdage

    1990 • Sven Erik Werner

    7+ Instruments

  27. Eclair

    1997 • Sven Erik Werner

    2-6 Instruments

  28. True Love

    1995 • Sven Erik Werner

    7+ Instruments

  29. For a Symphony

    2001 • Sven Erik Werner

    Orchestra

  30. Stabat Mater

    1993 • Sven Erik Werner

    Choir

  31. Affare

    1994 • Sven Erik Werner

    2-6 Instruments

  32. Sound-alike

    1998 • Sven Erik Werner

    2-6 Instruments

  33. Postludes

    1992 • Sven Erik Werner

    Solo

  34. Hvor Nilen Vander

    1997 • Sven Erik Werner

    Orchestra

  35. Det utroligste

    1997 • Sven Erik Werner

    Orchestra

  36. 12 Tango Studies

    1993 • Sven Erik Werner

    Solo

  37. 4 Tango Studies

    1995 • Sven Erik Werner

    Solo

  38. Tie break

    1984 • Sven Erik Werner

    2-6 Instruments

  39. Noget for dig?

    1983 • Sven Erik Werner

    Solo

  40. Dramma giocoso

    1981 • Sven Erik Werner

    Solo

  41. Triplum

    1983 • Sven Erik Werner

    2-6 Instruments

  42. Aperture

    1985 • Sven Erik Werner

    2-6 Instruments

  43. In nocte

    1981 • Sven Erik Werner

    2-6 Instruments

  44. Meantime

    1995 • Sven Erik Werner

    Orchestra

  45. Measure for measure

    1994 • Sven Erik Werner

    7+ Instruments

  46. Det hemmelige ægteskab - kammeropera

    1994 • Sven Erik Werner

    Music Drama and Stage Music

  47. Windfall

    1993 • Sven Erik Werner

    Orchestra

  48. Recovering

    1993 • Sven Erik Werner

    Orchestra

  49. Tricotage

    1992 • Sven Erik Werner

    7+ Instruments

  50. Toil and Trouble

    1990 • Sven Erik Werner

    Orchestra

  51. Skrålys

    1986 • Sven Erik Werner

    Orchestra

  52. Fynsk Salme

    1982 • Sven Erik Werner

    Orchestra

  53. Sjællandske Afgrunde

    1981 • Sven Erik Werner

    Orchestra

  54. Cello Concerto

    1980 • Sven Erik Werner

    Orchestra

  55. Ground

    1980 • Sven Erik Werner

    Orchestra

  56. Conditiones per due cori a capella

    1969 • Sven Erik Werner

    Choir

  57. Various

    1981 • Sven Erik Werner

    Solo

  58. Monumenter

    1974 • Sven Erik Werner

    2-6 Instruments

  59. Epluchure III

    1972 • Sven Erik Werner

    2-6 Instruments




Advanced works search

News

  1. Premiere · Sven Erik Werner string quartets

    general

    Premiere · Sven Erik Werner string quartets

  2. Save 25% on all solo pieces

    general

    Save 25% on all solo pieces

  3. The memoirs of Sven Erik Werner

    general

    The memoirs of Sven Erik Werner

  1. Edition·S composers home and abroad

    general

    Edition·S composers home and abroad

  2. Sven Erik Werner’s Cæcilie-messe in November

    general

    Sven Erik Werner’s Cæcilie-messe in November

  3. Sven Erik Werner turns 75

    general

    Sven Erik Werner turns 75

Show More News