The pieces all invite to a great degree of freedom of interpretation. The composer has, with intent, mostly refrained from providing metronome numbers, dynamics, and phrasing.
Bo Gunge explains: “My hope with these 12 studies, which have so little information about the performance of the music, is to create musical moments full of trust. The music should induce the trust of the musicians and the audience. The drawings made out by the notes are loaded with an energy that will inevitably shine through at any professional performance. Therefore, I am confident that the musicians can engage with the compositions in investigating, playful and diverse ways and still communicate the music’s core to the audience.”
Bo Gunge’s 12 Studies were commissioned as two sets of six by two different ensembles: Six studies for violin and accordion commissioned by Duo Askou//Andersen and six studies for alto saxophone and harp commissioned by Pihl & Schelling. Following the first performance in 2014 of the duo versions the works were re-scored as 12 straight piano studies.
In 2017 the album 12 Studies was released at Dacapo Records with recordings of Bo Gunge’s pieces by Duo Askou//Andersen, Pihl & Schelling and pianist Ulrich Stærk. The album received many great reviews.
Classical CD’s Weekly wrote: “These are glorious little piece, Gunge conveying weight and airiness simultaneously.”
ClassicsToday.com said: “The writing reveals both integrity and craft. The actual idiom is tonal, melodic, and unfailingly pleasant, while the focus on harmony produces an eclectic variety of expressive material.”
In the liner notes of the CD, music critic Andrew Mellor describes, that “in the manner of Johann Sebastian Bach, Gunge was keen that his cyclic work should embody a mild stock-taking of his musical life to date. Thus each movement carries with it a specific mood that is often coloured by an experience or encounter, in Gunge’s words, ‘from my gradually growing life in the world of music.’ In individual studies, we sniff the scent of Bach, Bartók and Stravinsky as well as rock and Latin American music.”
Find more information about each piece here >>
Listen here >>
12 Studies for violin & accordion >>