No 1: Ljod 'Sound'
No 2: Toneflod 'Tonal tide'
No 3: Leikande lokka 'Playful call'
No 4: Englar kveda 'Angels sing'
No 5: Hoyr den gleda 'Hark the joy'
No 6: Loyndomens slatt 'Hidden treasure'
No 7: Til hogtid 'To a new feast'
The work is permeated by a three-note rising phrase, derived from the opening notes of the tune. The second variation, ‘Tonal Tide’, makes two different uses of this fragment: melodic, as in the scurrying figuration in the manuals or harmonic, underpinning the chordal refrains that punctuate the piece. The gently tolling bell of the first variation ushers in isolated melodic fragments, this music is the most remote from the final goal of the piece. The attentive ear may hear the tune as the bass line in ‘Playful Call’ or nestling in the accompanying harmonic background of ‘Angels Sing’. The wistful melody of this variation is an elaboration of an old Norwegian children’s song. ‘Hark the Joy’ takes us back to the world of Bartók’s folk dances, while ‘Hidden Treasure’ is an original and inspired study in texture and colour. The toccata finale cleverly suggests the build-up of overtones redolent of pealing bells, moving easily from precisely notated pitches to exuberant tone clusters running up and down the keyboard.
from notes by Stephen Westrop © 2001