Allan Gravgaard Madsen in Politiken

Yesterday, Allan Gravgaard Madsen's orchestral work Nachtmusik had world premiere. In relation to this, the Danish newspaper Politiken has interviewed the composer about his inspiration for Nachtmusik. Furthermore, head of the concert hall of the Danish National Radio places the composer as one of Denmark's new talents in a feature article.

Photo of iByen-article by Mie Haugaard, photo by Agnete Schlichtkrull

Yesterday, September 5th, Duo Åstrand/Salo performed Nachtmusik with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra for the first time in DR Koncerthuset. Today, the world premiere and its creator Allan Gravgaard Madsen is front-page news on the cultural section iByen in the Danish newspaper, Politiken. 

The silence of the night will teach you to listen

The inspiration that led to the double concert Nachtmusik was a late-night stroll in Aarhus. In an article named The silence of the night will teach you to listen (Nattens stilhed lærer dig at lytte) by Mie Haugaard, the reporter and the composer imitate this on a walk in the night of central Copenhagen.

How does the city sound at night? Is the question, the reporter asks. In the article, the composer explains how the sounds of the night become music, as he imitates a deep, sweeping sound he hears somewhere. The sound is picked up by the reporter as a kind of summoning. 

“Normally,” the reporter writes, “the sound would be in the background during the daytime because we get distracted by the sound of the traffic. But in the night there is room for it to dominate our ear canals”. 

By the sound in the night, the article shows how the composer gets inspired by sounds of the night. “To me, the sound can be a deep clarinet if you pair it with a string instrument. Then it will get a more soft tone,” he says. 

In such a manner, the city can inspire new combinations of instruments and ways to play them. “The night distorts things, you thought, you knew,” the composer says. 

Read more about Nachtmusik here.

A hidden golden vein in Danish music

In a feature article head of the Danish Radio Concert Hall Kim Bohr states that although Danish composers are highly rated outside of Denmark, the Danes themselves have not yet discovered the treasure that Danish composition is. 

Although the Danes have recognised the quality of Danish cuisine and pop music internationally, Danish art music has not yet been acknowledged. One reason might be that people think, that classical music is too complex. Another reason could be that the term ‘classical music’ has become a term for a few, great, romantic composers such as Beethoven, Brahms, and Tchaikovsky. 

Whatever the reason, Kim Bohr writes, the Danes are missing out on a whole lot of great music. A couple of examples are picked out from the programme of this season of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra. Among these, Allan Gravgaard Madsen is mentioned as one of Denmark’s new talents. 

He cites the editor of American radio station NPR: »From tiny Denmark comes a big symphonic sound«, and BBC »For at least a decade and a half, some of the liveliest new music – most innovative, most free-spirited, least dogma ridden music – has been coming out of Denmark«.

And Kim Bohr agrees. 

He points to the double concert by Allan Gravgaard Madsen and states: “There are eternal riches hidden in Danish music, the new as well as the old”. 

Read the article here.

A podcast about the creation of Nachtmusik

Yesterday, just before the world premiere, a radio documentary about Nachtmusik aired. The show is available as a podcast and touches upon the initial creation of Nachtmusik, and how the composer worked closely with Duo Åstrand/Salo to tailor the piece to the musicians. 

Listen to the podcast here.