Wolfgang Plagge: In Arduis


Piano Solo


IN ARDUIS – Piano Sonata IX
This piece was written for pianist and composer Christian Hundsnes
Grøvlen on commission from KODE Art museums and Composer homes in Bergen, Norway.

The work contains no specific program but reflects the demanding times we
are experiencing on the planet right now. The Corona pandemic, a chilly political climate
and towering environmental problems are commanding every minute of our lives.
As we are in the middle of proceedings we have no way of knowing the outcome of all this –
we linger on, somewhere between hope and despair, resolution and passive acceptance.
This is why IN ARDUIS possesses two different endings. The performer can choose –
or conditions may choose for him.

19th century Romantic Art often stated the connection between personal freedom and suffering
as vital for any kind of artistic creativity. In Literature and Music from this period we can and
an extensive use of Frei-Aber-Einsam quotes. Works of music frequently contain whole chains
of motifs, melodies and episodes entirely constructed around the notes F, A and E.

In this new sonata I have been inspired by these romantic ideas: F-A-E motifs are essential to
the entire piece, but as the city of Bergen has given birth to three of the most outstanding
Norwegian musical geniuses og all time – Harald Sæverud, Edvard Grieg and Ole Bull –
I decided to honour their memory through combining the F-A-E motifs with the capital
letters of all their surnames

S (E flat)-G-B (flat).

!e artistic output of all of them sprung out from romantic thinking and all three lived through
di$erent periods of hardship. !us, their legacy can live on in a contemporary piece of music
re#ecting our desperate and arduous times – IN ARDUIS.

Wolfgang Plagge 2021