Sivertsen, Kenneth

Largo (December) in Bb minor for tenor saxophone, piano and string orchestra (score and parts)


Kenneth Sivertsen
(b. Mosterhamn [Bømlo], 16 January 1961 – d. Bergen, 24 December 2006)

Largo (December)
in Bb minor for tenor saxophone, piano and string orchestra (1981) (score and parts)

Kenneth Sivertsen was arguably the most staggering musical talent to emerge from Norway at the tail end of the 20th century. Born in the island of Bømlo (south of Bergen) he learned to play the guitar at a very young age, soon forming a pop band with two of his older siblings and becoming very active in the local music scene. He took composition lessons from Magnar Åm (b. 1952) for a year and guitar lessons from Arild Hansson for a short period. Other than this Sivertsen was essentially self-taught. He wrote his first symphony at the age of twenty. At twenty five he was the youngest Norwegian to be accepted into the Norwegian Composers’ Union. His work For Ope Hav was chosen to represent Norway in the 1986 edition of Nordic Music Days in Iceland.

Sivertsen was equally active as a composer and performer. He was a world class guitarist and an able singer and pianist. Being of a restless and inquisitive nature he worked and excelled in many different musical genres: contemporary classical music, popular song, jazz and rock. He wrote two symphonies, numerous chamber works, many songs, an oratorio, a trumpet concerto, ballet music and a Requiem, besides countless arrangements. The recordings he left behind attest to his baffling versatility. These include several CDs of songs in popular style, an album of guitar compositions, ballet music, religious songs, chamber music and three acclaimed jazz albums in which he played with some of the world’s finest jazz musicians at the time.

Kenneth Sivertsen became a very public figure in Norway, particularly from the early 1990s. Besides his musical ability, he possessed an uncanny comical talent. The latter was exploited relentlessly by the media and made him a darling of the entertainment circuit in Norway for many years. The chaos of life of the road eventually took its toll on Sivertsen’s health. After several years of intermittent illness he died on Christmas Eve 2006.

Sivertsen’s music defies categorization. Surprising and unpredictable as life itself, it often changes atmosphere and style radically, even within the same composition. Sivertsen was a master at creating moods that draw the listener close to the music. He wrote some of the most beautiful and gripping music ever to come from a Norwegian composer.

Largo (December)
in Bb minor for tenor saxophone, piano and string orchestra (1981)
Original title: Largo (Desember) for tenorsaksofon, klaver og strykeorkester

Original score available from the Norwegian National Library (

The handwritten score of Kenneth Sivertsen’s Largo states that the work was composed in 1980-81. This places the work in between the enigmatic Miniature Suite for brass trio (written half a year earlier) and Sivertsen’s first truly ambitious work, his first symphony Håp (Hope), completed in 1982. The composer would revisit Largo two decades later, when it became the Agnus Dei movement in his final composition Requiem (completed in 2003).


Read full preface written by Ricardo Odriozola  > HERE

Score No.


Special Edition

Amethyst Edition


Solo Instrument(s) & Orchestra


225 x 320 mm


Set Score & Parts


First print




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