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This page is about my CD/Streaming Album Konfrontationer med Rifbjerg (Confrontations with Rifbjerg) which was released Jan 21.st 2024
The CD can be obtained here

Fire sange fra Septembersang

for mixed choir a cappella is a kind of requiem, where "someone dies" in the first song, and we follow the survivors' mourning process, where we remember the deceased in "Flugtskud", join the funeral in "Valdhornet,fætter", is involved in the strange feeling of emptiness, where time just whirls by, and one day takes another, and suddenly a month has passed without the deceased - and it feels at the same time like an eternity, and as if, he died yesterday. In "Forbi" we fly with the owl into the darkness, and the memories are slowly erased - we fly withthe owl into the darkness, as the memories slowly fade away – even though occasional recollections still are humming within the “dome of the cranium”.

Flugtskud from the release koncert 21.st, Januar 2024, Chamber Choir Hymnia Conductor: Flemming Windekilde

Valdhornet, Fætter fra Hymnias 40th jubilee, Sankt Johannes Kirke, København november 2023

Rifbjergesque Birds

for baritone and piano can also be seen as a kind of cycle, where the canary is the motto: – what can we learn from the birds? After that, the next five songs depict a kind of development story with the birds as mythological images of the different stages in a person's life – the swan is conception and sexuality, the cuckoo is a symbol of birth and upbringing – of how one moves forward in youthful irresponsibility - often on at the expense of others. The peacock is the adult's philosopher about how and why it all turned out the way it did, while the pheasant is the pretense - you are camouflaged as yourself, and suddenly in the middle of it all it is over. The pheasant is Rifbjerg's and my answer to Orff's Song of the roasted swan, but where Orff's Swan is angling for pity, Rifbjerg's pheasant is simply pug! Finally, the mournful whistle of the blackbird accompanies the end of life. The ulterior motive behind the Cycle has been to write 6 character pieces in six different "modernist" genres, which have flourished while Rifbjerg has lived - the canary is thus neo-baroque a la Stravinsky, the swan is Charles Ives/Poulenc inspired, while the cuckoo could be thought of in the direction of Darius Milhaud from Read Six. The peacock gets a pinch The Messiah and the pheasant and the blackbird borrow reverence from the New Wiener School and Hans Werner Henze.

Concert recording of Blackbird from Athelas Festival maj 2012 med Jakob Bloch, baryton and Christian Westergaard, klaver

3 Rifbjerg Songs for Choir a cappella

   Olof Palme the tribute poem to Olof Palme, which Rifbjerg wrote shortly after the murder in Stockholm on 28 February 1986 and which was printed in Politiken on 3 March and became my entrance to Rifbjerg. The murder of Palme was probably our Scandinavian Kennedy moment, where most people can remember where they were when they heard the news of the terrible assassination - I myself was very touched by it, and when a schoolmate's father read the Rifbjerg poem aloud, I was sold – or rather won for Rifbjerg's poetry. Here, 38 years later (almost to the date), the palm poem still stands for me as Rifbjerg's strongest poem, and when a new tragedy struck in Scandinavia – the massacre on Utøya on 22 July 2011, I felt the need to set the poem to music. As so often with Rifbjerg, the reflections on Palme's life come from an unexpected angle – the cartridge in the revolver's chamber.
   Aftens komme is from the poetry collection "Efterkrig", which contains some of Rifbjerg's earliest poems - the poem here is also permeated with youthful nature poetry - however momentarily interrupted by the cry of seagulls and the fluttering of bats.Den Nye Stjerne is from the debut book Under Vejr med selv - It is the last poem in the collection, which begins with the author's own conception, and ends with this evening song - a kind of reprise, which in deep erotic tones heralds that a new life has come into being where "The flagpole's white human finger points towards the new star in the north."

Konfrontation og Efterkrig

are four songs for baritone, piano and percussion, which deal with central concepts from Rifbjerg's production in yet another kind of mini-cycle.
    Efterkrig Afterwar is a small opera with 4 characters, of which only one can be heard - the antagonist has been up arguing with his girlfriend, and is now sitting in the pub philosophizing, drinking martinis and licking wounds. You can probably assume that there have been quite a few drinks since he sat down.

The "Afterwar"is a theme that appears at Rifbjerg from time to time, which is about how to move on - rebuild your country, or reinvent yourself after the "war" - be it the real war - Rifbjerg was a teenager at the end of World War II - or a life-changing event that requires you to take your life into consideration.

” If you can move the image of a person over to world history, you can say with an allusion that a post-war period is a transition period which temporally covers the difficult years of growing up. One is brought to a zero point and from there must build a new existence for the whole of humanity or for oneself..."

In  Middelaldermorgen  Middleage Morning, we meet the man from the first song the following day - with a huge hangover - In my version, he tries to freshen up by brushing his teeth - but it is not so easy to get the dirt - the coatings on the tongue, the heartburn and the conscience brushed away.

In  Livet i badeværelset  Life in the bathroom from Konfrontation, we are again introduced to Rifbjerg's characteristic technique of presenting the encounter between man and thing (Konfrontation) from an unexpected angle: The soap tells! Here we are with the protagonist in the shower - and it doesn't end well... But now it is probably not (just) the hand soap that we are confronted with in the poem - but rather, like so many of Rifbjerg's other texts, the poem is about himself and his relationship with the readers and - not least with art:
   I want to be used/is being used.I want to be used/being used. I multiply between the hands and the water/[...] and become bubbles in shiny shadings./ I am used and used up. But you shouldn't tell the modern artist what he should and shouldn't do:But don't take me too hard/ don't come with crazy hands and squeeze me. Don't try to cage him:Don't try to cage him: I'm not for retainers./ Catch me/ and I'll disappear into the water,/ slip away, flee like the fish. And once he gets to the point where you no longer have a hold on him - can no longer see through what he is doing, then the artist becomes dangerous..
   Fin de Saison – End of season is also a concept Rifbjerg likes to reflect on. Also kind of Afterwar – when people start to leave the summer country, the seasonal worker has to reinvent his winter self – what did I dream about while I was baking bread for the cottage guests? What did I want to use the money I earned while others were on vacation? And is it only the summer season that ends - or maybe another season as well?

Stream here:Konfrontationer med Rifbjerg

Forfatteren og komponisten


Klaus Rifbjerg

was born in 1931 in Copenhagen. In addition to being the country's most prolific author (with around 250 titles to his name), Klaus Rifbjerg was also a strong voice in social debates. He applied himself to almost all literary genres, and his body of work includes poetry,novels, short stories, drama, film scripts, reviews, essays, and satirical contemporary portraits.He made his debut in 1956 with the poetry collection "Getting wind of oneself". With an unusually sensual power of observation and memory, Klaus Rifbjerg could capture the moods of changing times and depict diverse environments both domestically and nternationally. Klaus Rifbjerg passed away on April 4, 2015.



Martin Palsmar

(*1970) holds a Master's degree in Musicology and Danish language from the University of Copenhagen (2005). He had private composition studies with Andy Pape starting in 1985 and later with Professor Ib Nørholm, including theory and instrumentation with Professor Jan Maegaard. As a composer, Palsmar has in particularly focused on vocal music, and his education in musicology led him to explore the relationship between music and language. Thus, a significant part of his work centers on choral music, but his portfolio also includes compositions for chamber ensembles, sinfonietta, and full orchestra. This CD represents the culmination of nearly 25 years of setting Rifbjerg's poetry to music, starting with the composition of "What is the Owl thinking?",which was composed for and performed at Ars Nova's workshop for new choral music in 1998.


Jakob Bloch Jespersen

Foto:© Reinhard Wilting

Basbaryton Jakob Bloch Jespersen

received his musical foundation and developed an interest in singing as a member of the Copenhagen Boys' Choir. This led to him earning a diploma from the Royal Danish Conservatory of Music and further studies at the Royal Danish Theatre's Opera Academy. In 2013 he was awarded the Critics'Artist Prize, in 2014, the Aksel Schiøtz Prize, and in 2020, the Danish Composers' Society Musician Prize. Alongside his extensive career both domestically and internationally with leading ensembles in early and contemporary music, he has specialized in performing newer Danish songs, often in collaboration with Christian Westergaard. These songs include works by composers like Nicolai Worsaae, Niels Rosing Schouw, Pelle Gudmundsen Holmgren, and Martin Palsmar.

Christian Westergaard

Foto:© Reinhard Wilting

Christian Westergaard

- is a pianist who received his training at the Royal Danish Conservatory of Music under the tutelage of Amalie Malling and Niklas Sivelöv. He has established his name as a partner for several leading Nordic singers. In addition to an active concert career in Denmark, He has performed in various European venues, including Wigmore Hall and Musikhalle Hamburg. He is the founder and artistic director of Liedkompagniet,which has renewed the focus on Danish Lied art by composers like Peter Heise and Herman D. Koppel. Christian Westergaard serves as an assistant professor at the Royal Danish Conservatory of Music in Copenhagen and has received grants from the Van Hauen Foundation and the Sonning Music Foundation. In 2022, he became the first pianist to receive the Axel Schiøtz Prize for his work in promoting lieder, particularly in connection with the release of "Peter Heise: The Song Edition" by the DaCapo Record Company. Rifbjergesque Birds were created at the request of Jakob and Christian, and four of them were premiered at the Athelas Festival in Copenhagen May 22nd 2012.

Lars Vestergaard Møller

holds a degree in classical percussion from the Royal Danish Conservatory of Music (2012). He studied with several teachers, including Wieland Welzel from the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and Morten Friis from "Safri Duo." Lars has been a permanent member of the Royal Danish Guards' Music Corps since 2015 and works with various orchestras in Copenhagen, including the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Danish Chapel Orchestra.

The Chamber choir Hymnia

was founded in 1983 and consists of approximately 28 singers, all of whom are engaged in music at a high artistic level . Under the direction of Flemming Windekilde, the ensemble has established itself as a significant and respected part of Denmark's choral elite, with extensive concert activity and participation in festivals and competitions, both at home and abroad, where the choir has won several awards. The choir has performed several compositions by Martin Palsmar, including a CD recording of three of the five September Songs.


Flemming Windekilde

studied at the Musicology Department at the University of Copenhagen and in the conducting class at the Royal Danish Conservatory of Music under professors Dan-Olof Stenlund, Arne Hammelboe, and Jorma Panula, among others. He is also a choral conductor and teacher at Sankt Annæ Gymnasium, and he continuously engages in projects and concert tours with the DR Vocal Ensemble and the DR Concert Choir With Hymnia, among others, Windekilde has recorded several CDs. In 1990 he premiered Martin Palsmar's composition "Dank-Choral" for sinfonietta and recitation using texts from the Book of Isaiah and Brecht at the debut of the Athelas Ensemble.