Per Nørgård's Tidsrum / Spaces Of Time for Orchestra with obligate Piano, dating from 1991.
Spaces of time is a 20-minute long one-movement orchestral piece “with piano”, signifying that the piano not only, as in my other orchestra works, is part of the ensemble, but also, in a major passage, attracts almost all attention. This passage is only one of the ´spaces of time´- spaces which give the work its title and represent individual musical perspectives.
Relations of tempo and scale characterize such a space (besides the mentioned “piano-concerto” or other intrumental features), and in this way associate with, say, a small room - with close-ups of the musical objects - or perhaps to an infinitely great space - a cosmic one, where all is far away and vibrating.
One motive, marked mainly by ascending stepwise movement, unifies the spaces, but the very varied scales may let the outines of the motive change between say, 1/4-tone steps, 1/2-tone steps, diatonic and other scale steps up to such ambient steps that each one comprises almost a third of the total orchestral range. Very often 2 scales are woven together in a way that lets the “hidden tone” inside a major step in one of the scaels become a part of the other scale. By dynamic means one scale may be highlighted as a “figure”, the other one as a “ground” in one passage - and vice versa. In this way a 12-tone chromatic scale may as well contain a Japanese 5-tone scale as a European 7-tone scale. In the final “space” the tones literally take leave of the listeners - by streaming down - as water sucked down into the ground by gravity - into the bass octaves and - into silence.
Spaces of time was comissioned by “Suntory Hall” in 1990-91 (artistic director Toro Takemitsu) in October 1991 with Aki Takahashi (piano), Kazufumi Yamashita (conductor) and Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra.
Per Nørgård (1991)