Søffren Degen’s Nocturno op. 17 for violoncello and guitar is one of ten pieces for violoncello and guitar by this composer edited by Jens Bang-Rasmussen and now published by Tecla Editions.
Here are some notes on it, by Jens Bang-Rasmussen.
Nocturno op. 17, for violoncello and guitar
Melody is the foundation of Degen’s music. The cello sings beautifully all the way though the piece. Degen truly treats the cello as an elegy. Elements of Scandinavian folk music especially fiddle music are to be found in this piece (bars 57-68).
The guitar part resembles the guitar parts of N. Paganini.
The piece is in Danish national romantic style. Degen’s use of contrast between major and minor is a mean of expression throughout most of his own compositions. The melodic material is inspired from Danish folk songs. There seems to be small inconsequences in Degen’s writing especially in the guitar part. After spending many hours with Degen’s music, this appears to be a very sophisticated way of orchestrating cello and guitar.