Joey Roukens – Angeli

No Biennale would be complete without the Cello Octet Amsterdam – an ensemble that has graced us with their presence since the very first edition. Joey Roukens wrote ‘Angeli’ especially for them…   

‘Recently, I’ve been composing several energetic works, but there’s a serene, more spiritual side to me, too. I think the ability to offer comfort is the greatest power music has to offer.’ During discussions, an idea arose to combine the Cello Octet with the five-part female a capella Wishful Singing. Roukens selected two passages from the Requiem Mass’s comforting ‘In Paradisum’ (‘Into Paradise’) and used the cello’s higher register to emulate the human voice.

Joey Roukens wanted to present a more meditative side, having recently written several highly rhythmical works. He made a deal with Cello Octet Amsterdam and Wishful Singing’s musicians and singers very early on in the composition process, ‘I wanted to know what their strengths and weaknesses were, and what they absolutely didn’t want to perform. I didn’t listen to their music too closely either, otherwise, I’d have inhibited myself, but it’s great that Cello Octet Amsterdam has since released a CD with music by Arvo Pärt and that Wishful Singing has been singing Gregorian chants. In terms of affinity, I’m certainly on the right track.’

Angeli at Donemus
Joey Roukens at Donemus
More info about the concert

Grote Archipel – Daan Manneke

Daan Manneke (Kruiningen, 1939) is the nestor of contemporary music in Zeeland. Evenmore, he’s one of the leading composers in the Netherlands. Manneke decided to write his magnum opus for the instrument, which in his opinion he didn’t use enough in the past, namely the piano…   

In this large work, Daan Manneke reflects on his oeuvre, from youth work to recent compositions, and does not hesitate to comment, even to make “improvements”. The work is titled “Grote Archipel” and is divided into six parts, each part separately dedicated to a pianist, with whom the composer has a special relationship, namely Jelena Bazova, Kelvin Grout, Daniel Kramer, Geoffrey Madge, Hannes Minnaar and Ralph van Raat.

These pianists will come together in concert on Friday 12 October to play “Grote Archipel” as a kind of relay concert. An exceptional situation requires a live recording, and that is exactly what will happen. The 6 pianists will also contribute to the first part of the concerts, presenting composers who had influences on the work of Manneke, from Claude Debussy to Ton de Leeuw.

Grote Archipel” was dedicated to the province of Zeeland, particularly to the six most important regions of it. At the request of the composer, this concert is organized in the Zeeland Concert Hall, not only because of the good acoustics and recording studio there of course, but also because of the fact that his first concert actually took place in this room, but a five decades ago, in 1968.

The PZC already existed and wrote the following:

“The composer present in the hall thanked for the audience for their applause. With these ‘Stages’, he, Daniël Manneke, is on his way to a career of craftsmanship.

And with that, the PZC, already in 1968, exactly predicted the career of Manneke.

More info

Willem Boogman – The Road to Here

The Road To Here (2018) for brass quartet and organ was commissioned by the Ottoni Quartet on the occasion of their 25th anniversary, with financial support by the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts, Orgelpark Amsterdam and the Ottoni Quartet. In addition to the premiere of this new work, OTTONI also plays various works by early Baroque Italian composers…  

In ‘The Road To Here‘, Willem Boogman explored various applications of musical ‘readymades’. In this case, he used popular melodies from different musical genres, given by the wind players of Ottoni and organist Wybe Kooijmans. With this he built up the composition, transforming and interpolating the melodies at the level of the elements of music, their ‘DNA’. Another starting point was ‘Die Nelken-reihe’ by Pina Bausch on music by Louis Armstrong: Willem set her portrayal in a dance of the four seasons to music as a recurring refrain. In this way, he created a festive procession in music in which remains of familiar musical styles are still recognizable.

At the same concert the Ottoni Quartet and Wybe Kooijmans will perform Marius Monnikkendam – Concerto per organo, due trombe e due tromboni

More info concert at the Orgelpark October 19)
More info concert in Hilversum (October 21)

LP Duo performs Meijering in NY Oct 23

After their debut at Carnegie Hall, LP Duo (Sonja Loncar & Andrija Pavlovic) are coming to New York to present a US premiere of their specially designed hybrid pianos. Performing music by famous Dutch composer Chiel Meijering, the LP Duo will drive you through the journey of XXI century music where the borders between chamber ensemble and rock band are being erased. …   

More info and tickets here

Olga Victorova – Quinlong Azure Dragon

‘Quinlong Azure Dragon’ for orchestra was written in 2012 by the Russian composer  Olga Victorova on a commission of her husband, conductor Dmitry Liss. The piece has been performed at many music festivals, from Ekaterinburg till Lille, and this month will reach the Netherlands…   

It is a dragon, but also a benefactor. A wonderful, mythological creation that scatters pearls and rare stones flying over the country. In my work he does not only appear during his flight. The second part, for example, is inspired by the famous Chinese festivals with those enormous dragons – which people come to in large numbers. There you see these powerful creations in their full glory. ”

Concert info & tickets

Read the interview (Dutch) by Olga de Kort-Koulikova

Een draak is geen zwaan en zelfs geen nachtegaal. Wat trok u als componist aan in deze felgekleurde verschijning?

‘Het is een draak, dat klopt, maar ook een weldoener. Een wonderlijke, mythologische creatie die al vliegend boven het land parels en zeldzame stenen rondstrooit. In mijn werk komt hij trouwens niet alleen tijdens zijn vlucht voor. Het tweede deel is bijvoorbeeld geïnspireerd op de beroemde Chinese feesten met die enorme draken – waar mensen massaal op a omen. Daar zie je deze krachtige creaties in hun volle glorie.’

Hoe wordt uw draak door het publiek in het Verre Oosten ontvangen

‘Het lijkt erop dat deze speci eke muziek in het Verre Oosten als mijn muzikale visitekaartje wordt gezien. Door Quinlong Azure Dragon kreeg ik de opdracht voor de ouverture Harbin, die ik componeerde voor het Russisch-Chinese concert in Palais des Nations in Genève. Op dit moment ben ik ook weer met China bezig; ze hebben mij gevraagd om de muziek te componeren voor de 110e verjaardag van het Harbin Symphony Orchestra.’

Welke muzikale bronnen hee u bestudeerd of gebruikt bij de voorbereiding van deze compositie?
‘Eigenlijk helemaal geen; ik componeerde Quinlong Azure Dragonintuïtief, vanuit mijn gevoel. Maar toeval of niet; ik krijg nu toch de kans om mij in de oorspronkelijke Chinese volksmuziek te verdiepen. Tijdens mijn recente kennismakingsreis in China heb ik tien dagen lang het land doorkruist. Overal waar ik kwam sprak ik met plaatselijke componisten, die mij vervolgens met meer dan honderd liederen uit hun regio lieten kennismaken. Zo zie je, vanuit de vleugels der verbeelding kom ik toch bij de authentieke volksmuziek terecht.’

Staat de oosterse levenswijze en filosofie dichtbij u?

‘Ja, het Verre Oosten met zijn bijzondere kijk op de wereld trekt mij veel meer dan het Westen. In elk land vind ik de spirituele kracht die mij inspireert en helpt in het leven. Dat kunnen heel simpele dingen zijn, zoals het Japans spreek- woord “Iedere dag is de beste”. Daar spreekt liefde en dankbaarheid uit. Als ik in Japan ben, sta ik er versteld van hoe men elkaar continu aan het bedanken is. Alles draait om dankbaarheid. Dat spreekt mij bijzonder aan. Geen kritiek, geen wens om jezelf boven een ander te verhe en, maar leven met een open hart vanuit je intuïtie.’