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Per Nørgård

Nuit des Hommes

Dacapo Records, 2004

In at the deep end...

This cover is from 2004, right at the start of my relationship with Dacapo Records, when I was a novice as a designer and knew next to nothing about classical music.

My assignment was to design a cover for Per Nørgård’s fifth opera Nuit des Hommes, which I learnt was an intense, dark, surreal nightmare about the First World War – or ‘A vertical dive into the underworld – without a return ticket’ as Nørgård himself described it. A challenge!

My solution was to make a collage by tearing some paper I had printed from a piece of linoleum, scan it and give it the colours of night and blood. I managed to integrate the title text into the cover artwork too. Looking back, it was an honest attempt to do right by the music, even if it was purely intuitive.

Per actually wrote me a letter to thank me: ‘Dear Denise, Thank you for the impressive cover… In brief: I’m very enthusiastic about your new, and stunningly individual way to create a front-page… References to the Tricolore are discreet but effective. Looking forward to your future work, with best wishes – sincerely yours Per’.

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