Wenn Die Rose Sich Selbst Schmückt, Schmückt Sie Auch Den Garten (When The Rose Beautifies Itself, It Beautifies The Garden ) was composed by Per Nørgård in 1971.
Chamber Cantata for four performers
Scored for Soprano, Alto Flute, Double Bass and Percussion (all playing also Crotales).
Composed for and dedicated to Dorothy Dorrow.
Parts available: KP01092
Preface / Programme Note
The title of the work is borrowed from a fragment by the German poet Friedrich Rückert.
This fragment, this short sentence (which Rückert apparently never elaborated upon) is the entire basis of the work. I was inspired by the meaning as well as the sound of these words.
I perceive the meaning of the sentence as being a defence for the refinement of an individual’s personal gifts - far from the present hostility toward individuality and the senseless praise of impersonal success in society. Personal refinement can, so the fragment in my interpretation, at its best be accompanied by a deep sense of responsibility, and become an active and positive influence in society.
The sound, the timbre, of the individual words and characters is employed both in
straightforward text-sequences, as well as in the exploration of individual vowels and consonants as pure sounds. The soprano is often used purely instrumentally, echoing and pre-echoing discreetly the notes of the flute and the harmonics of the double bass, often imperceptably stealing their notes and altering them into human sounds, which then yet
again are absorbed into the instrumental tapestry.
Per Nørgård, 1971