Matias Vestergård's emerges onto Denmark’s new music scene as a major new voice
On 26 August, Matias Vestergård's debut album Idylls, elegies with chamber works will be released.
Matias Vestergård (b. 1989) is a rarity on the new music scene – a composer fluent, flexible, prolific and poly-stylistic who draws on genres ranging from hymnody to cabaret while probing some of the basic theories of sound and its production.
Now Vestergård is releasing his debut album Idylls, elegies with chamber works written during Vestergård’s formative years and charts a process of self-discovery described by the composer as ‘my younger self trying to deal with the serious classical music heritage I love.’
There is no doubt that Matias Vestergård is a highly versatile composer, freely drawing on a variety of genres. His works show invention and inspiration in equal measure while revealing a meticulous musical brain. His pieces from the 2010s contain unmistakable traces of his teachers Hans Abrahamsen and Simon Løffler while occasionally smiling in the direction of the late Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen.
Before graduating from the Soloists' Class of the Royal Danish Academy of Music in March 2022, Matias Vestergård had written three operas and a complete ballet, the latter for the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen.
In August 2022, Vestergård's new opera Lisbon Floor is premiered at Copenhagen Opera Festival. The opera has a libretto by Danish poet Lea Marie Løppenthin, who also wrote the libretto for Vestergård's first opera Titanic and for the Two Løppenthin Songs which can be found on the new album. His discovery of the work of Lea Marie Løppenthin was a pivotal moment for the composer, who describes the poet’s work as ‘extremely lyrical and very silly, in a profound way.'
The new album presents instrumental works, often with scattered, splintered and hidden chorales are strewn about the music: 'I want to write nice melodies, but it’s not that satisfying just to present nice melodies; they need to be broken, hidden or placed behind obstacles.’
His Three Idylls was written for the ten instrumentalists of the Esbjerg Ensemble and Six Elegies was born during a workshop with the ensemble. The elegies are bound together by its common basis in two chorales – one by Bach, one by Vestergård himself.
The album also contains the string quartet Træk (its Danish title alluding to draft, draught, touch, trait, move, migration, flight) which imagines the quartet as a single avian organism. There are explorations of bird sounds and of feathered wing movement, asking for considerable virtuosity and acrobatics.