Wesenheit ab Wesenheit

Nicolai Worsaae
Jörg Meyer
Solo voice + bass cl, perc, cb
Solo(s) + 2-8 instr
B4, 51 pages


Worsaae found inspiration for the work in a story about the German prisoner Jörg Meyer, who during the late 70’s was confined to isolation in a Danish prison. Worsaae’s father was prison chaplain and in this way met Meyer who was imprisoned for espionage for the DDR in Denmark. Meyer sat in isolation without trial and waited for a ruling for nearly a year before being exchanged with a German prisoner and given the command never to show himself in Denmark again. Under Meyer’s stay in prison he gave Worsaae’s father the collection of poems Isolationsdigte (1979), which were written while in isolation.

After nearly 30 years hidden in a desk drawer the collection surfaced again. The poems are a kind of poetic documentary of which Nicolai Worsaae has selected 7. Since the driving force behind the work is a prision story about isolation Worsaae has composed with the ascetic space of the isolation cell in mind, the room which forms the framework for a life with many restrictions and little possibility of unfolding oneself. He has allowed this to form the rules of the game for the composition of the music, which has been reduced to a minimum. In order to place focus on the room, which attains such huge meaning under isolation, Worsaae implements sections for speaking choir and moves the subject around in the ensemble so that spatial aspects are made use of and become audible.

About the title Wesenheit ab Wesenheit Worsaae comments: “When I create my titles they should be slightly twisted, contradictory and dynamic. The word absence was too direct. When one is imprisoned one is placed outside of society and on standby. One is however still there even though one has been moved from a public to an isolated and closed space. One is therefore “present not present” – Wesenheit ab Wesenheit.”

From Isolationsdigte by Jörg Meyer: Kys, Isolation II, Mørket, I sengen, Vestre, Længsel.

Listen the composer talk about the work prior to the world premiere at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival hcmf// 2011 on the Edition·S Soundcloud stream




  • Parts DKK431.25(€ ~58.00)
    (Prices incl. 25% EU VAT)
  • Score DKK330.00(€ ~44.25)
    (Prices incl. 25% EU VAT)

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