Per Nørgård: A Light Hour
01 September 2010
American Record Guide
When Per Norgard conceived A Light Hour
in 1986, it was entirely improvised. In 2008, he and Ivan Hansen developed it into a fully composed and notated work. Each of its four movements has a basic character, and although a single tempo prevails almost from beginning to end, energy levels and subdivisions of the beat come and go.
I is slow and steady, with deep-sounding drums and ringing metallic instruments. II has fast subdivisions, an Afro-Cuban feel, and a much higher energy level, along with more varied percussion sounds. A different, often quirky set of instruments is heard in an Asian-tinged III, and Balinese sounds predominate in IV.
If you enjoy long, slow-to-unfold Balinese gamelan or minimalist pieces like Riley's In C or Reich's Music for 18 Musicians, you will enjoy this.