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Thomas Agerfeldt Olesen: Trennungsbriefe · world premiere

Over the course of two decades, Thomas Agerfeldt Olesen has experienced two different faces of love: falling in love and separation. These contrasts have formed the starting point for two personal, wild and different works written for Århus Sinfonietta

Over the course of two decades, Thomas Agerfeldt Olesen has experienced two different faces of love: falling in love and separation. These contrasts have formed the starting point for two personal, wild and different works written for Århus Sinfonietta: Liebesbriefe and Trennungsbriefe.

In 2009, Thomas Agerfeldt Olesen was in love and exchanged love letters, and in the same period he wrote the work Liebesbriefe for Århus Sinfonietta, in which he explored how music could also "speak".

"I have not looked at other composers' use of 'speech music', but have invented a special way of notating linguistically gestural music, which in some ways can remind us a little of the way we humans hear birdsong", says Thomas Agerfeldt Olesen and continues: "So the musicians don't have specific notes they have to play, but instead a framework within which they should make their instruments 'speak'".

Today, the love letters have been replaced by "divorce letters", and Agerfeldt Olesen has composed the more ill-fated Trennungsbriefe, which will be premiered as an extension of Liebesbriefe.

"The two works are an imprint of my private life, but at the same time an imprint of two phenomena that millions of people have in common. I have tried to create a balance between the private (so that it does not become revealing) and the general (so that it does not become ordinary). Specifically, excerpts from our joint letters are partly sung (when the content is common), and partly played (when the content is private). This is how the interaction between language and speech music should occur," Thomas Agerfeldt Olesen explains.

The works are performed by Århus Sinfonietta, Niels-Ole Bo Johansen, Anders Larsen and Jenny Thiele.

18 September in Koncertkirken, Copenhagen >>
20 September at Godsbanen, Aarhus >>