Piano Quartet premiered at the Nordic Chamber Music Festival

The premiere of Frederik Magle's Piano Quartet

My Piano Quartet was premiered at the Nordic Chamber Music Festival held in Hillerød, Denmark, July 24-28, where I was the festival composer of the year – or “house composer”. A great honor and pleasure for me! It was premiered by the outstanding musicians Christian Ellegaard (violin), Mette Brandt (viola), Joel Laakso (cello) and Rikke Sandberg (piano).

The Piano Quartet consists of three movements and is a deeply personal work, largely written while my daughter was hospitalized – which had a significant influence on the expression and character of the work. But just as my daughter has come home and recovered, the work moves towards light and ends full of joy and excitement.

Here’s a clip from the end of the 3rd movement (from the premiere)

And one more clip from a rehearsal on the 2nd movement, three days earlier:

In addition to the Piano Quartet, which lasts about 21 minutes, I also had three other smaller works premiered during the festival. All three adaptations of existing works. At the opening concert, pianists Rikke Sandberg and Kristoffer Hyldig premiered a new version of my Præludium for organ for four-handed piano, and the following day a new version of my Threnody – for clarinet and piano four-hands – was premiered by clarinetist August Finkas together with Sandberg and Hyldig in a beautiful way. The concert was broadcast live on DR P2 radio and can (for a while) be heard here: https://www.dr.dk/lyd/p2/p2-koncerten/p2-koncerten-carl-nielsens-blaeserkvintet-og-espansiva-for-firehaendigt-klaver

This last performance was a version of my Fanfare and Hymn “Skyward” for piano four hands, which I premiered myself together with Rikke Sandberg, as a little surprise in the program.

All in all, it was a fantastic experience for a composer to have so many different works performed during one festival, allowing the audience to get to know many sides of my music.

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