Classical Contrasts

The rhythmic/cantabile contrasting themes is one the usual classical forms. Maybe it was invented by LvB and most pronounced in his 5th.

This piece is based on two such themes completing each other. But not only, there is also a separating theme which inevitable converts into a walz, creating a contrasting rhythm.

In the beginning, playing the first theme, you may here influences from Bach´s peace Air, one of my favourites. And in the end I have borrowed a few measures from the famous rhythmic Finlandia theme. After all, he is my countryman.

Played back by NotePerformer.

Hope to hear from you


Stream Come Into Being Np by Kjell Prytz | Listen online for free on SoundCloud

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  • Listened to it several times. Nice melodies, and interesting contrasting rhythms. I like the rhythms borrowed from Finlandia -- Sibelius is one of my favorite composers.

    I'd say, however, that IMO the contrasts between your themes are not strong enough. I had trouble telling between the two themes until I listened more carefully and made some effort to remember each one.  While they did differ in rhythm like you indicated, I found it hard to tell them apart, because:

    (1) The harmony remains more-or-less static in the same minor key throughout the piece, and the style of harmony also remains more-or-less the same between the two themes. So harmonically they don't really contrast each other, and it's hard to tell them apart that way.

    (2) The orchestration style pretty much remains the same as the 1st theme when the 2nd theme first appears.  As a result, the 2nd theme is heard more like an answering phrase to the first theme, rather than a contrasting theme.  This latter impression is strengthened by the change in orchestral accompaniment when the two themes appear again a second and third time, each time the change in accompaniment happens after both themes are heard, thus strengthening the impression that they belong together as a unit rather than contrast each other. The sequence is heard as variations on a single theme rather than a series of alternations between two contrasting themes.

    In LvB's 5th, the two themes in the opening movement contrast not only in the rhythmic/cantabile aspect, but the 2nd theme also appears in a different key: Eb vs. C, and major vs. minor.  Furthermore, the orchestral accompaniment is decidedly different in style and texture, so it is immediately obvious to the ear that this is a different theme, not just a continuation of the previous one.  The change in accompaniment style happens between the two themes, rather than after both are heard. This emphasizes the contrast between them, rather than their similarities, which solidifies the perception that they are two different themes rather than two parts of the same theme.

    I'm not sure if your goal was to unify the two themes, but if you wanted to emphasize the contrast between them, I'd say you should consider some kind of harmonic contrast, like a key change or just a different style of harmonic progression perhaps, and the change in accompaniment should happen between the themes rather than after both are heard each time.

    OTOH, if your goal was to make them complementary to each other as a unit, then you have indeed succeeded. :-)

    • Thank you Teoh for listening and your content rich comment. It was really nice to read your reflections and suggestions.

      Contrasts and complementarity may be different things, good to have in mind.



  • Hi Kjell,

    A lot of work...  I liked the initial theme...  Pretty.  Does not shout but still expresses... Calm.

    It would be great if you had used this theme further by for ex. inverse and/or retrograde uses...

    You have indicated postmodern but I could not find out whether or not  it is premodern...  What is the

    thing that makes it postmodern in your opinion? Except for electronic rendering(excellent)...


    By the way I loved the brass(only) color usage...  It suddenly created a colour contrast.  Welldone!

    The transition to vals tempo is beautiful.  Clever idea... with reservations of Theo which I agree.

    If I were you I would write shorter 4-5 minute works and reach a higher standard of maturity...

    This might be a more rational/practical path to excellence you are heading to.

    All the best.


    • Thank you Al,

      concerning postmodern I guess I referred to the "skip the rules" and just follow feelings/emotions. I usually work like that although I am very influenced by the classical composers, once upon a time my heroes. Nowadays, I have no heroes, just follow the path of my life. 

      I like your comment, very encouraging and still inspiring for development. I need that. 



  •  I enjoyed it.  It had a nostalgic feel and a lilt to it that made me want to keep listening.  There was even a little bit of - I want to say Jazz, but that's not quite it.  

    Fine piece.  

    • Yes, jazz indeed. Sometimes when introducing my pieces I refer to jazz, although I know nothing about it. My mother played it when I was premature but I could never figure out its purpose. 

      Nice observation you did. Thank you very much.


  •  A nice piece, Kjell, enjoyable to listen to but to me it's a continuous movement that might be variations on the thematic material. I'll have another listen (and may have to apologise if I'm wrong).

    I detected the Bach but curiously heard glimpses of Villa-Lobos - not a surprise as he was often influenced by Bach. I spent a lot of my musical youth listening to Villa-Lobos except the guitar music!

    The instrumentation came across fine but I agree with H. S. Tech here, it was typically consistent for the work but didn't emphasise contrast. The second theme of itself didn't stand out. The rhythm also seemed too consistent. As H. S. Tech gave a more comprehensice analysis, I'll leave it at that.  I found it an enjoyable extended movement, flowing harmony and tonal. It's time I had a break from atonal music.

    All good,


    • Thank you Dane,

      always nice to get your comments, full of knowledge and ideas.

      I guess I learned how to not introduce a piece. It just gives expectations that can never be fulfilled.

      Anyway, I am glad you liked it.



  • Wow Kjell, NP is very becoming on you!  Beautiful classical setting and expression here, all done very well done and impressive!

    • Thank you very much Ingo, very inspiring to read.


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