Louis Andriessen – Image de Moreau

Still available: The ‘Andriessen Box’. The best gift to celebrate Louis’ 80th birthday!
Ten years ago Donemus, by then part of Music Center the Netherlands, brought great box containing 9 scores of Louis Andriessen selected by himself. These pieces give a representative overview of more than forty years of composing. The front of the box contains Gustave Moreau painting ‘Dalila’. The luxury box is still available at Donemus…   

Pieces are: Image de Moreau, Base, Etude Pour Les Timbres, Trois Pieces, Caecilia’s Contrapunt, Ricercare, Trepidus, Feli-citazione, Blokken.

The basic assumption for Bas Mantel was to design something different to the traditional piano book, something special, retaining its original functionality at the same time. The front of the box, which holds nine piano booklets, represents the Gustave Moreau painting Dalila, this picture being Louis Andriessen’s personal choice.

So as to emphasize graphically the connection between the image and the nine works by Andriessen, Mantel has divided the painting into nine parts, one for each cover. Enlargements of these cuts will stress the details and the figurative symbols in addition to the abstract colour spaces. The composition, the painter’s touch, colour, rhythm and texture of the autonomous images are, so to speak, an interpretation analogous to the piece of music. In an indirect manner, Image de Moreau refers by its choice of cover to the Andriessen work Souvenirs d’enfance, which was also published in a box in 1969.”

More about Bas Mantel

Buy the box




Vanessa Lann wins Buma Award Classical!

On March 11th, Vanessa Lann got the Buma Award Classical during the Buma Awards Event in Hilversum. She was the most successful Dutch classical composer in 2018. Especially her ‘Dancing to an Orange Drummer’ had many performances…   

The title Dancing to an Orange Drummer comes from the expression “moving to the beat of a different drummer.” The piece was inspired by the challenge of moving to a new country (in this case, the Netherlands), and for the composer, this meant feeling, and enjoying, the very different beat and energy of new people, places and customs. Lann uses two contrasting elements that gradually merge: simple melodies in the brass begin the work, against a repeated rhythmic pattern in the other instruments. The two groups do clash with each other, but eventually, the brass instruments take over aspects of the rhythmic pattern, while the others imitate the brass melody. This climaxes in a new unity in orchestral sound by the end of the piece. The original big band version of this work was written in 1993 for the Dutch ensemble De Ereprijs; the version for symphony orchestra was completed on request of the Boston Pops Orchestra on the occasion of their performance in May 2015 in Symphony Hall (Boston, USA).

The work was frequently performed by the Philharmonie Zuidnederland, as part of their youth project Heartbeat with conductor Peter Biloen.

Listen to Dancing to an Orange Drummer, version for ensemble:

Homage to Luc Brewaeys

On March 15, the Spectre Ensemble will bring a Homage to Luc Brewaeys at the Bijloke in Ghent. In December 2015, Luc Brewaeys passed away. He was one the most prominent composers in Flanders and an heir to spectralism. Philippe Hurel dedicated So nah, so fern, that will be premiered in this concert, to his memory. Years before, Brewaeys dedicated his Fêtes à tensions: (les) eaux marchent to his French friend and colleague. This piece contains numerous musical references from Tchaikovski and Debussy to Goeyvaerts, amongst which a meditative repetition of a funeral march. Where does a circle end?   

Fêtes à tensions: (les) eaux marchent” for 20 players was composed in 2012 as a commission from Ensemble Intercontemporain (Paris). They gave the first performance of the work on October 28, 2012 in de Stadsschouwburg (City Theatre) of Leuven during the Transit Festival and the ISCM World Music Days. The EIC was conducted by Jurjen Hempel. The score is dedicated to Brewaeys’ friend and colleague Philippe Hurel.

The title is a play on words. Translated literally, it means ‘Feasts with tensions: (the) waters march’. When reading fast with the omission of the word between brackets (“Faites attention aux marches”) it means ‘Watch your step’. Because of this title, Brewaeys included quotations of and references to march (or march-like) music. The attentive listener will thus recognize fragments by Ives (Three Places in New England, 2nd movement), Tchaikovsky (The Nutcracker, March), Berg (Three Orchestra Pieces, 3rd movement) , Goeyvaerts (Aquarius, introduction), Beethoven (9th & 3rd Symphonies), Varèse (Arcana) and Stravinsky (L’histoire du soldat). Just before the conclusion of the piece he also quotes a bit from Fêtes (from the Nocturnes) by Debussy, after all, the title obliges me to…

The work consists of two more or less interlocked sections followed by a brief coda. The first section is fast and rather nervous whilst the second is very slow and meditative even if one can always feel some tension underneath it. The coda is moderately fast, based on a percussion ostinato. Most of the rather complex harmonies are derived from ring modulated bell sounds, which means that the sounds are enriched with the sums and differences of their distinct frequencies. In the second section combinations of woodwind multiphonics create the harmonic fields.

The whole music has a certain atmosphere of obstinacy. This is achieved in the first section with moto perpetuo-like motives in the piano (and sometimes the harp) and vibraphone, a nod to the music of Philippe Hurel, the work’s dedicatee. The second section presents a possibly ‘funeral march-inspired’ meditative repetition. The repeated percussion motive launches the final coda.

Fêtes à tensions: (les) eaux marchent at Donemus

More info

Rick van Veldhuizen – cōnflārī

On Friday, March 8 (Edesche Concertzaal) and Saturday, March 9 (Orgelpark), Doris Hochscheid, Frans van Ruth and Gonny van der Maten will give the premiere of Rick van Veldhuizen ‘cōnflārī’ in their new project ‘Nieuwe Registers’…   

Rick van Veldhuizen and Donemus recently signed a publishing contract. Cōnflārī is his first work published at Donemus. The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra commissioned him for their prestigious Mahler festival in 2020. On May 16, 2020 they will perform a new work of him along with Mahler IX.

The work cōnflārī, now in March 2019 is written for the combination of cello, piano and organ.

Concert March 8 at the Edesche Concertzaal

Concert March 9 at the Orgelpark

cōnflārī at Donemus

Kris Oelbrandt at the Orgelpark

On Sunday, March 17th Kris Oelbrandt will be at the ‘composer’s portrait’ in the Orgelpark. Ralph van Raat will perform his ‘Catharsis’ and Jan Hage his ’12 Interludes’. He leads a silent life as a monk but his works do reach more and more listeners…   

Kris Oelbrandt had a mystical experience at the age of 17 that has changed him forever. At one point he decided to enter the monastery, but he continued to compose. As a result of four concerts and new CD recordings, in December 2018 Klara Radio made an interview with Oelbrandt. (Listen here)

In the interview, he tells about the death of his father (‘a trauma’), about his vocation as a monk (‘you are caught at the collar’) and the unease that the concerts might cause (‘not pleasant for the monastic soul’). ). Monastic life has a strict planning of time – Oelbrandt composes between 3 and 6 pm – which stimulates his musical universe: ‘Silence arises through structure, the monastic order of the day.’ When asked whether he is more of a monk or composer, Oelbrandt replies: ‘The monks’ existence creates a fertile field, the music is the flower that flourishes from it.’ The music of Oelbrandt moves between two extremes: Olivier Messiaen and Arvo Pärt.

More info about the concert

Pieter van Loenen on tour with ‘Jutters’ by Jan-Peter de Graaff

Starting on March, Pieter van Loenen will have a tour in the Netherlands as part of the ‘Dutch Classical Talent Tour & Award’. He will perform the new work ‘Jutters’, composed for him especially by Jan-Peter de Graaff…   

Jutters is a work by Jan-Peter de Graaff for violin solo, commissioned by Stichting De Suite and dedicated to Pieter van Loenen. The piece will receive its premiere during Pieter’s Dutch Classical Talent Tour in 2019. The composition is based on two folk songs from the isle of Terschelling, where the composer was raised. In the piece, the two folk songs slowly emerge and dissolve again in a dense ‘seashore’-like texture, like pieces of wood drifting ashore. The title is derived from the plural of the Dutch word ‘Jutter’, meaning ‘Beachcomber’.
Concert dates:

DONDERDAG 7 MAART 2019 – 12:30
Wilminktheater en Muziekcentrum Enschede (WP)

WOENSDAG 13 MAART 2019 – 12:30
Het Concertgebouw, Amsterdam

DONDERDAG 14 MAART 2019 -21:00
TivoliVredenburg Utrecht

ZONDAG 17 MAART 2019 – 11:00
Willem Twee Concertzaal, Den Bosch

ZONDAG 24 MAART 2019 – 11:30
Theater aan het Vrijthof

WOENSDAG 27 MAART 2019 -20:30
De Harmonie, Leeuwarden

ZONDAG 31 MAART 2019 – 11:30
Zwolse Theaters, Zwolle

DINSDAG 2 APRIL 2019 – 20:30
Theaters Tilburg, Tilburg

DONDERDAG 4 APRIL 2019 – 12:30
Muziekgebouw Eindhoven

ZATERDAG 6 APRIL 2019 – 20:00
Theater Orpheus, Apeldoorn

ZONDAG 7 APRIL 2019 -15:00
Vereeniging, Nijmegen

WOENSDAG 10 APRIL 2019 – 20:15
Philharmonie Haarlem

More about Pieter van Loenen

More about Jan-Peter de Graaff

More about the Dutch Classical Talent Tour & Award

Jutter at the Donemus webshop

Rieteke Hölscher – Disturbing Light

Ensemble Cross Meeting with Kirsti Apajalahti – violin and Rieteke Hölscher – piano will present the multidisciplinary work ‘Disturbing Light’ on April 4 at KUUB in Utrecht. In cooperation with Gaudeamus…   

In a co-production of visual artist Marij Janssen and composer Rieteke Hölscher, a natural moving installation is floating in the air. The artist designed a cloud of figures that confuses the light and creates strange shadows on the wall. Meanwhile, you will hear the music of acoustic instruments – violin and piano – and electronic music with the sounds of nature, like seagulls, thunder, waves and wind.
During a performance of half an hour image and music enter into a dialogue. Inverted ‘musique concrète’ and recognizable minimalistic motifs will create a synergy between image and sound that reflects the illusion of endlessness and almost undeniable raises questions about the universe and life itself.

Read the full article…

More info about the concert

Hans Kox †; loss of a great composer

On Monday, February 25, composer Hans Kox died at the age of 88. This June the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and the Groot Omroepkoor will perform and record his Symphony VI. Unfortunately, Hans Kox can’t be present at this world premiere anymore.
Donemus will treasure his impressive oeuvre…   

Read the articles at
the NRC
and the Parool

Klas Torstensson – Lantern Lectures by Norbotten NEO

In March the ensemble Norbotten NEO, conducted by Christian Karlsen will perform the complete cycle ‘Lantern Lectures’ by Klas Torstensson at several locations in Sweden. The four volumes have over the past fifteen years been performed in a number of countries by ensembles such as ASKO|Schönberg, Klangforum Wien, Ensemble Modern, Oslo Sinfonietta, KammarensembleN, Nouvel Ensemble Moderne and Sinfonietta Riga, conducted by conductors such as Etiënne Siebens, Koen Kessels, Lorraine Vaillancourt, Christian Eggen, Hans Leenders and Normunds Sne. Now at Culture house Luleå, Sweden…   

After having completed his opera The Expedition (1994-1999), Klas Torstensson felt a need to write music which was ‘lighter’ and of a smaller format. At the same time, he realised that he himself and his creative work would never be the same again after he had written an opera about Death and Love!
While working on the opera, he received commissions from several ensembles: Asko Ensemble (Amsterdam), Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne (Montréal), KammarensembleN (Stockholm) and Klangforum Wien. He decided to write a cycle of works for all these ensembles – a cycle where every single work could be performed independently, and where each piece, when the cycle was completed, would function as a ‘movement’ in a larger whole.
The different ‘volumes’ are introduced by a ‘brass link’ for trumpet, horn and trombone. These ‘brass links’ can also be performed independently as Four Brass Links.

Volume I
Volume I was commissioned by Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne and has a bass drum as its main character, a bass drum which is played with brushes. The title Solid Rocks refers to the layers or stratas that can be found in the music: veins being forced into the flow of the music. Volume I was premiered in May 2001 in Montréal by Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne.

Volume II
In Volume II the division in layers is maybe even more striking. Moments of freeze are projected against an active, massive and percussive row of events. Raw surfaces opposed to playful gestures. This volume was commissioned by Südwestrundfunk Stuttgart, and it was premiered in February 2003 by Klangforum Wien.

Volume III
As most of us know, the northern lights, the Aurora Borealis, do not produce any sound, despite myths telling the opposite. Several years ago Klas Torstensson received a recording of distorted radio waves, the distortion caused by the northern lights. These recordings were treated until he obtained something which he experienced as beautiful, multilayered electronic sound: the sound of the northern lights, if the northern lights had produced any sound!
In his opera The Expedition this sound plays an important role. In some of the parts of Aurora Borealis, he has transcribed and orchestrated one of the incoming layers for ensemble.
Volume III was commissioned by the Swedish Concert Institute and is dedicated to Göran Bergendal. Its premiere took place in Stockholm in February 2002.  

Volume IV
Giants’ Cauldron – or potholes – are cylindrical holes in the bedrock of a glacier, created by rotating stones in the water running underneath the glacier. In this work, we hear musical loops rotating in a similar way.
Volume IV was premiered in the Festival Éclat in Stuttgart in February 2003 by Klangforum Wien.

More info

March 7 – Norrlandsoperan (Konsertsalen), Umeå, 19:00

March 10 – Studio Acusticum, Piteå, 16:00

March 11 – Kulturens Hus, Luleå

March 13 – Tonhallen, Sundsvall, 19:00

March 17- Stockholms Konserthus (Grünewaldsalen), 16:00, Stockholm

Jadwiga Kotnowska in Hanna Kulenty’s Flute Concerto Nº 3

On March 30the the famous flute player Jadwiga Kotnowska will give the world premiere of Hanna Kulenty’s Flute Concerto nº 3 at Katowice by the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra (NOSPR). Read more about this exciting premiere…   

“Flute Concerto No.3” was commissioned by the outstanding flute soloist Jadwiga Kotnowska and the Symphony Orchestra of the National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra. the world premiere will be on March 31.

A one-movement piece lasting about 25 minutes. It is written in Hanna Kulenty’s new technique, which she called “Musique Surrealistique”. She has been using this technique for several years. This is an attempt to embrace the sounds of mathesis, space-time – which she always did – but this time in a more perfect form.

“Musique surrealistique” is a juxtaposition of sound and time structures in a way to give the whole work a new kind of feeling. Kulenty does not reject so much all components of musical ingredients used so far, such as the language of music, compositional techniques, etc., but she rejects, all the types of construction techniques needed to arrange these elements. She just reassembles them. That’s why she is not afraid of “rubbing” against the so-called conventions.

First of all, she is reassembling emotions. She builds a trance, where intuition doesn’t play the main role so much, but injury – this kind of insight, which everyone has, although not everyone knows about it, and which reveals the presence of some greater than human strength, some unity above differentiation, despite everything.

Hanna says about her music: “We sail. The water level rises or we immerse ourselves. Water space slows down movements, words; drowns them out. The details and colours are exaggerated, which leads to a new, one might say inhuman face”. Of course, the form controls the musical content in the best possible proportions and balance, which is needed to sharpen the more spiritual aspects of the work and less technical ones.

“Flute Concerto No.3” is a cascade of very fast sound sequences – “times”, which gradually slow down – albeit unpredictably – creating a new kind of narration, a new kind of “time”, an increasingly slowed time until it stops almost completely. “Almost” makes a difference here, because if we stopped this narrative – this “free time”, the work would end, but it does not. The narrative is like “frozen”.

The releasing sound cascades of the solo flute are supported by an electronic delay, which is only occasionally switched off in order to reduce the reflective, overlapping layers of music. The flute also has a so-called “glissando head” attachment, which allows you to play a smooth glissando to a greater interval range – even to a quarter, which in the case of a flute without this attachment is impossible. The orchestra is composed in such a way as to be (as if) a natural “delay” of the solo flute.

All these layers transform each other, exchange structures, “reflect” their structures and finally slow down but do not stop to finally reveal themselves with pseudo-cadence, not so much with the solo flute, but with the whole form. It is like a surrealist waltz. Jazz? Pop? Rock? We are in a different “slow time-world”, which turns into a new kind of music, and thus a new kind of narration. This new narration also starts to slow down. The new “very slow time” keeps you in suspense, because you never know when it will slow down or when it will accelerate when it will “freeze”. The unpredictability is in the details. However, predictability is such that we slow down and, what is interesting, we are waiting for it! (It’s as if we watched the sunset where the movement of the Earth can be seen. We seem to know what will happen, but we look at one point and wait in tension for what is inevitable…. ).

After such a “suspension”, a pseudo-cadence of form – consisting in the greatest release of material, the whole gradually returns to the starting point. So we speed up the whole form. This takes place much faster and smoother than in the case of the release process. The sound cascades of the solo flute, interwoven with a heterophonically treated orchestra, return almost immediately after a surrealist waltz. They are modified and are the culmination of the work. Created by these “time turbulences”, the trance holds in suspense from the beginning to the end of the work.

That’s why she doe not focus on the technical aspects of composition, but tries to deal with those aspects that are most important to her: metaphysics and the kind of magic that is supposed to touch us, move us and enrich us spiritually.

More info about the concert

Link to the score