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date: 05 December 2019

Abrahamsen, Hanslocked

  • Anders Beyer

Extract

(b Copenhagen, Dec 23, 1952). Danish composer. He first studied the horn and was later trained in music theory at the Royal Danish Academy of Music. He also undertook private studies in composition from Nørgård and Gudmundsen-Holmgreen, among others. Abrahamsen was active for a period in the Gruppen for Alternativ Musik, a forum for musicians who wished to perform new music in alternative forms; the group also aimed to develop socially and politically committed music, and Abrahamsen was thus able to cultivate his interest in political issues expressed through music. (His first symphony was originally entitled Anti-EEC-Sats (‘Anti-EEC Movement’); it became Symphony in C after the composer came to the realization that ‘music cannot be against’.) In 1982 Abrahamsen became a teacher of instrumentation at the Royal Danish Academy of Music. He has also been artistic director of the Esbjerg Ensemble since 1988.

The composer’s first works adhered to the style of the Danish ‘new simplicity’ movement of the mid-1960s. For Abrahamsen and other composers such as Gudmundsen-Holmgren, Christiansen and Ole Buck, this stylistic attitude, which marked a break with serial music, was a Danish response to the complexity emanating from central Europe, particularly the circle around the Darmstadt School. In Abrahamsen this aesthetic anchorage came to mean an almost naive simplicity in musical expression, as exemplified in his orchestral piece ...

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