Alfred Gammelsæter (b. 1955) — Pax (Norsk partita), op. 2 (2001) for organ
The title of “Pax (Norsk partita)” (2001) is the Latin word for “peace” and gives a hint as to the musical concept and trajectory of the work. The subtitle, “Norwegian Partita,” refers to the distinct influence of Nordic folk music. A partita is generally a suite or a set of variations. This work is a set of “fantasy variations,” meaning that individual variations do not necessarily follow each other as discrete and contrasting; some of them return more than once or become interleaved with others. The main theme is heard immediately at the beginning; this serves as the basis for the all the following music. Its various expressive dimensions are explored across contrasting moods and colors, finally arriving at a place of tranquility.
Norwegian composer Alfred Gammelsæter (b. 1955) was born in Risør. His teachers included Antonio Bibali, Kjell Mørk Karlsen, and Einar Steen-Nøkleberg. In addition to his primary studies in composition and piano, he also studied organ, harpsichord, and improvisation. In 2003 he received the Oslo Griegselskaps Composition prize for his extended piano work “Ucelli.” Gammelsæter finds special affinity with the music of his countryman Edvard Grieg; he has written several works in explicit homage, and in 2011 a CD of his piano music interleaved with pieces by Grieg was released. Gammelsæter’s style draws on influences from Norwegian folk music; however, unlike Grieg’s romanticism, they are explored through a largely post-modern (and sometimes post-tonal) lens. Careful attention to subtle expressive details and a use of free modality, in the manner of much 20th century Scandinavian music, is found throughout his work. Gammelsæter has published works for piano, organ, and chamber ensembles and is also an active piano teacher and technician/tuner.
Published by Lyche Musikkforlag A/S