Für Irma

Für Irma

2020; String Quartet; Score at Norsk Musikforlag

Für Irma was commissioned by Oslo Quartet Series and the Vertavo String Quartet. It was composed with financial support from The Norwegian Composers’ fund.


The piece is inspired by the 6. movement, the calm and beautiful Adagio quasi un poco andante, from Beethoven's string quartet no.14, op.131.  At the same time, the work also incorporates much of the larger framework for the whole op.131: all the keys and time signatures in Beethoven's quartet are encountered, and much of the formal structure is based on the number 7.


Op. 131 is the first work of Beethoven in which, as far as I know, quotations are fully integrated into their new context instead of appearing as an explicit quotation. This was a rarely used compositional method at the time. In Für Irma, the quotations from Beethoven's music are recomposed using new notational, technical and timbral tools, seeking to integrate the quotes into new structural and sonorous contexts rather than make the music unrecognizable. I have also used rhythmic and sonorous quotes from Norwegian folk music, which is a method that I use in many of my works.


Für Irma was composed during the first lockdowns in the Corona pandemic, while enjoying paternity leave and caring for my daughter Irma, to whom the work is dedicated.