Category talk:Bjerre, Klaus

Klaus Smedegaard Bjerre (born 1947) Early, but far too brief, piano studies. Played in brass, concert, and big bands. Educated as schoolteacher with music and Danish literature as majors. Taught recorder and ensemble at my teachers’ college. Worked as a teacher in schools and in music schools on the Faroes and in Denmark. After my retirement studies in musicology at the University of Copenhagen (medieval music, Bach-style chorale setting, analysis of early 20th century non-serial music after the Forte method, scoring for big band with emphasis on Thad Jones’ style of setting for 5-part saxophones).

Bach talks to my brain, Mozart talks to my heart, and I like all music that is honest to itself. My selections may look old-fashioned, but there the main cause is about copyright issues.

Basically my IMSLP contributions and my own Yahoo based project are all about providing free playing and teaching material that I would have wanted being available, when I taught music myself. You will find fairly simple and fairly demanding settings. You will see that I stress the importance of playing from scores whenever possible. And you will see I am quite merciless, when it comes to choice of keys. My playing on recorders and on brasses tells me that it takes abilities all around the circle of fifths and through a plentitude of modes to play with even sound and with good intonation.

Often working in smaller environments with a limited and non-standard selection of instrumentalists I was inspired to doing modular settings, where several playing scores for various specific instrument types are compatible, so that they may be combined into well sounding ensembles, even if not all sections of woodwinds, brasses, or strings are fully manned. You will find material for instruments in A, G, C, F, Bb, and Eb and reading from treble, alto, tenor, and bass clefs.

All of my material, including the church-relevant settings and the teaching material (like extensive scale methods), is available within the Yahoo-based project. The selection within IMSLP is more directed towards performance.

I prefer working from primary sources or from good Urtext-type editions. I strive for acting as responsibly as possible from good principles of musicology. Still I take pragmatic decisions based on performance and teaching experiences. So please, use my settings as they are within their own often very flexible terms. If you have needs for parts not found, please contact me at the mail address seen in my introductions and on my music. No promises can be made, but many of my settings obviously were first made to requests from often non-standard ensembles.

A practical note:

Playing from scores has its problems. I strive to keep musical sub-sections within 2 or 3 pages, which may be placed next to each other on a stand. Longer pieces may take a few layers, which then can be removed in sequences dictated by the music. With coda forms, I often write out the full form, so that awkward page turns are avoided.