Thursday, December 31, 2009
(Photo of Amsterdam I made in March 2009)
This is a bit of Andriessen Year-in-Review:
"Garden of Eros" by Attacca Records
"La Passione" by BMOP/sound
Image de Moreau Box by MCN
The Hague Hacking
Christiaans Andriessens uitzicht op de Amstel
Andriessen@70, Music on Main, March, Vancouver
Louis Andriessen - Jongensjaren, May, The Hague
Birthday concerts on June 6 (Nocturnen, The Hague Hacking, Vermeer Pictures, La Passione), Amsterdam
Carnegie Hall Residency
Louis Andriessen has been appointed to hold the Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair at Carnegie Hall for the 2009-2010 season. Celebrating his 70th birthday in 2009, Andriessen will have works performed by longtime champions, including the Bang on a Can All-Stars, the Asko/Schoenberg ensemble, Reinbert de Leeuw, and John Adams, as well as protégés and recent muses such as Greetje Bijma, Martijn Padding, and Christina Zavalloni. Spring performances at Carnegie Hall will feature key Andriessen works in their New York premieres, other works by Andriessen as well as composers he has mentored, and a series of intimate late-night concerts devoted to improvisational music—a key influence on the composer himself. Program details here.
Monday, December 28, 2009
Other 2010 honorees are: Joshua Bell - Instrumentalist of the Year, Elina Garanca - Vocalist of the Year, Warren Jones - “Collaborative Pianist” of the Year, conductor Riccardo Muti - Musician of the Year.
Los Angeles Times music critic Mark Swed's article on Andriessen retrospects his art and life.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
The video combines an interview filmed at Andriessen's apartment in Amsterdam with extracts from key works including De Staat, M is for Man, Music, Mozart, and Writing to Vermeer.
Monday, November 30, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
I made few more pictures:
Louis Andriessen and pianist Nada Kolundzija talking about performance details of Image de Moreau (2004)
Portrait of Louis Andriessen walking along river Danube in Zemun, Belgrade (2004)
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
"Only in the case that every player plays with such an intention that his part is an essential one, the work will succeed, just as as in the political work".
Here you can see Bang on a Can All Stars performing this piece.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
It looks like in "Man is for Man, Music, Mozart" Peter Greenaway already had that in mind.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Annette den Heijer and Louis Andriessen
Ron Ford and Reinbert de Leeuw
Louis Andriessen, Gerard Bouwhuis, Stanley Hoogland, Ronald Brautigam, Annette den Heijer
Andriessen and Ronald Brautigam working on "Menuet for Marianne"
Louis Andriessen and Freek de Jonge working on "Commentaar"
Werner Herbers recording "Vergeet mij niet"
Annette den Heijer, Louis Andriessen, Ron Ford
Tomoko Mukaiyama playing "The Memory of Roses"
Walter van Hauwe playing "Ende"
Reinbert de Leeuw and Louis Andriessen playing "Jolie commentaire"
Margriet de Moor and Ron Ford, who plays "Deuxième Chorale"
Caecilia Andriessen and Louis Andriessen
Stanley H, Willem, Louis Andriessen and Frits van der Waa
Vera Beths playing/singing "La Voile du Bonheur"
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
This is short excerpt of Zavalloni performing "Racconto" last year in Budapest.
Monday, September 21, 2009
This picture (Louis Andriessen and flute player Govert Jurriaanse in the early 60s) appeared in the programme book for the Dag in de Branding festival "Jongensjaren" on May 23d 2009 which was devoted to Andriessen's early works.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Recordings are from the world premiere of the piece in 1989.
Beppie Blankert, dancer/speaker
James Doing, tenor
Materie Orkest, Netherlands Chamber Choir, Reinbert de Leeuw, conductor
Robert Wilson, staging director
The Netherlands Opera
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
"The music you write is about the composers you like’: Intertextuality in the work of Louis Andriessen” by Maarten Beirens (KU Leuven, Belgium).
Complete program of the conference is available at the conference web site.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
And there is already detailed review of Prom 58 here.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Labeque sisters, Photo by David Rose
Descriptive reviews from Guardian, The Independent, Evening Standard and Telegraph. As most often is seen, reviewers are more occupied by describing formal issues, than by denoting what new work problematizes in broader context of music and culture.
Hot discussion about "The Hague Hacking" developed on rec.music.classical.recordings Google Group. Although occasionally banal, it offers more contextualization than official reviews.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
A Very Sharp Trumpet Sonata
Chris Evans, trumpet
A Very Sad Trumpet Sonata (UK premiere)
Chris Evans, trumpet
Image de Moreau
Richard Uttley, piano
Alexandra Rahlina, violin
Bells for Haarlem
Richard Uttley [piano], Thomas Besnard [celesta], Catherine Ring [percussion]
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
More about double piano concerto "The Hague Hacking" by Andriessen himself and the text by John Henken.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
"De Staat" performance of Nederlands Blazers Ensemble (Nederlands Wind Ensemble) conducted by Lucas Vis is on CD published in 2008 by the ensemble's own label NBElive. CD review by Liam Cagney is available here. The same crew will perform "De Staat" on August 28 in Royal Albert Hall, London.
On August 17th and August 28th The Proms feature two Andriessen's compositions in Royal Albert Hall, London.
Prom 43 programme
"Esa-Pekka Salonen makes his first Proms appearance as the Philharmonia’s new Principal Conductor.
The Labèque sisters return for their third and final appearance this season, (see Proms 1 & 32), to celebrate the 70th birthday of the Dutch composer Louis Andriessen with the UK premiere of his new concerto – partly inspired by a Tom and Jerry cartoon, partly by a hardcore brand of house music – which they and Salonen premiered in Los Angeles in January. (Andriessen’s 1970s classic De staat is performed in Prom 58.)
Dance drives the rest of the programme, from Falla’s fiery flamenco vision of a midnight exorcism to Ravel’s magical fairy-tale evocations and the relentless crescendo of his Boléro".
Prom 58 programme
"The Netherlands Wind Ensemble, 50 this year, marks the 70th birthday of radical Dutch Minimalist Louis Andriessen and the 50th of his leading British pupil Steve Martland with performances of Andriessen’s classic polemic De Staat and Martland’s jazz-rock ‘dance fantasia’ Beat the Retreat, commissioned by the BBC for its 1995 Purcell tercentenary celebrations.
Another former pupil of Andriessen, Cornelis de Bondt creates an idiosyncratic death ritual in Doors Closed out of a fusion between the funeral march from Beethoven’s ‘Eroica’ (Prom 25) and Dido’s Lament from Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas (Prom 76). Two of tonight’s works call for two or more pianos, in a nod to our Multiple Pianos celebration".
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Caption: "..and he doesn't even slow down!"
Frits van der Waa made this cartoon in 1993, explaining:
"I would say the figure on the left doesn't need any explanation. The tiny figure on the right is Louis Andriessen, at the moment the most succesful Dutch composer, who composed several impressive works with even more impressive titles, like Time, Matter, Contra Tempus, Velocity and so on, all of which can be found in this drawing".
It would be interesting to see how from today perspective similar cartoon would look like.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
April twenty-seventh, nineteen sixty-four
Do not worry about me. Sometimes bad situations can change one's life into a better one. Thank God I have passed the worst part. Being back in Europe, and Milan, has made everything else seem like a nightmare that I want to forget as soon as possible.
In the meantime, I am working like a beaver.
Concerning my concerts in Los Angeles: Stravinsky came especially to hear me do "Circles". We went the next night to his home for dinner. He kissed my hand and both cheeks and said I was marvelous, etcetera and that my voice was "peut-être trop unique pour écrire la musique pour elle - après tout, si vous n'y êtes pas, qui pourra le faire?"
A lovely compliment but it cut my legs short since I had been aiming to ask him to write a small piece. He had just finished a piece for baritone and three clarinets which he said I could do fantastically. Three days later Robert Craft said that Stravinsky decided to change the piece for me: mezzo soprano and three flutes! I just heard today that the new version is already finished and that I will perform it in New York in November, at the same time that I will do the other Stravinsky pieces for Columbia Records. Not bad, huh! I miss Amsterdam and its wonderful streets and fantastic people and Louis and Jeanette and Hotel Cok, bami goreng and beefsteak tartare.
...I send you both my blessing and Love
Here you can see short excerpt from director Carrie de Swaans' 1994 VPRO production "Cathy Berberian: Music is the Air I Breathe". Documentary includes interviews with Louis Andriessen, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Luciano Berio and Cristina Berio.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Garden of Eros. Complete works for String Quartet by Louis Andriessen
- Quartet in two movements, 1957
- Facing Death, 1990
- Garden of Eros, 2002
- ...miserere... , 2006
- Johann Sebastian Bach’s Prelude in b minor from the Well-Tempered Clavier BWV 869 arranged for string quartet with the first six bars augumented with a viola part by Igor Stravinsky, now completed by Louis Andriessen, 2006
Janneke van der Meer, violin
Wim de Jong, violin
Henk Guittart, viola
Viola de Hoog, cello
Friday, July 17, 2009
The new BMOP/sound release (date of June 2009) includes Andriessen's "Bells for Haarlem" (2002), "Passeggiata in tram in America e ritorno" (1998), "Letter from Cathy" (2003) and "La Passione" (2002). Performers are extraordinary Cristina Zavalloni (mezzo-soprano) and Monica Germino (violin) with Boston Modern Orchestra Project conducted by Gil Rose.
More info here.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Frits van der Waa sends this story and illustration:
When Louis was ten years old and the Andriessen family moved to The Hague, Peter Vos [now a well-known illustrator] was his bosom friend. He often came to stay and they would play Pirates, and Indians, and football. Louis had an album in which he collected pictures of football players. He had a complete set, but one got lost. Peter drew a suitable replacement for him.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Filmmaker Hal Hartley was interviewed by Oliver Kerkdijk for Odeon Magazine (DNO's house magazine) in March 2008 about film opera "La Commedia" premiered last June in Amsterdam. Article contains nice pictures of the performance.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
I made these photos in Amsterdam while walking along river Amstel in June 2008: vivid atmosphere around Carre theatre where the world premiere of film opera "La Commedia" by Louis Andriessen and Hal Hartley took place.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Excellent interview with Andriessen made by David Pay, Artistic Director of Music on Main in Vancouver festival, Andriessen @ 70.
Listen to "Radio Andriessen" at the festival website.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Ecstatic chords and bitter dissonances
Precisely at the point where the music reaches its buoyant climax, an enigmatic figure emerges from the wings and pounds an enormous tam-tam. Then he comes forward and reads the last paragraphs of Kees de jongen [Young Kees] by Theo Thijssen: "It was a happy, ringing music, a jubilant march, that resounded within him."Amsterdam's mayor Job Cohen has chosen an apt quotation. Composer Louis Andriessen, on whom Cohen is about to bestow the Silver Medal of the City of Amsterdam, has never forgotten what it is like to be a boy, although he has turned seventy this very day. And the music that resounds within him has found its way to the outside world during at least half a century, and especially on this occasion, a musical marathon, organized by the Holland Festival to celebrate his anniversary.
The oldest work on the program, Ricercare, dates from 1949, when Andriessen really was a boy. It is a composition by his father Hendrik. By hindsight, the older Andriessen's music reveals some predilections of the younger one: references to Bach, long, ascetic melodic lines, and bittersweet dissonances. Nevertheless, it is clearly music from another era. The world of Canticum Sacrum by Igor Stravinsky, Andriessen's 'other' father, has a much more topical feeling to it, and from Andriessens's Nocturnen, composed when he was 20, it is evident that this world had quite an appeal for him. Soprano singer Barbara Kozelj projects straight, yet expressive tones that fit Andriessens music to a T.
Together with the Asko/Schönberg Ensemble, the piano playing sisters Katia and Marielle Labèque give a streamlined performance of The Hague Hacking, Andriessen's most recent composition. The word 'hacking' refers to the hoquet, his favorite compositional technique, where the instruments engage in a crossfire of rapidly interlocking notes and chords. Starting from a bare and austere beginning, the music embarks on some detours and interludes and finally unfolds into an almost ecstatic hymn - its major chords are still spiced with oblique pitches, though. Preludio all'Infinito, a new work by Diderik Wagenaar, with Andriessen one of the founding fathers of The Hague School, boasts similar ecstatic harmonies. For a piece from The Hague it is remarkably multidimensional. The clearly discernible segments are welded together by sophisticated correspondences, resulting in an unrelenting absorbing quality.
In a series of shorter compositions, written as homages for the septuagenarian, De Kruisfiguur, a quatre-mains work by Cornelis De Bondt stands out as a typically Haguian work with harsh traits. Thereupon singer Cristina Zavalloni and violinist Monica Germino take the limelight in La Passione from 2002, in which Andriessen confronts their soloist qualities with a robust ensemble. On texts by Italian poet Dino Campana, Andriessen practically condenses all of his compositions in one piece. It leads to a music that seemingly flies off the hook all the time, while maintaining a crushing impact which continues even when the final notes of this resounding birthday party have died away.
Frits van der Waa
Louis Andriessen 70. Concerts by the Radio Filharmonic Orchestra, Groot Omroepkoor and Asko/Schönberg Ensemble conducted by Reinbert de Leeuw and Jurjen Hempel. 6 juni. Concertgebouw and Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ, Amsterdam.
Original Dutch version published in De Volkskrant, June 8, 2009.
and can be found also on Frits van der Waa personal web site:
Monday, June 8, 2009
Saturday, June 6, 2009
1. Greeting Prelude/Igor Stravinsky
2. Ricercare/Hendrik Andriessen
3. Nocturnen/Louis Andriessen
4. Canticum Sacrum/Igor Stravinsky
1. Preludio all'infinito/Diderik Wagenaar (firstperformance)
2. The Hague Hacking/Louis Andriessen (Holland première)
3. Vermeer Pictures/Louis Andriessen (arr. Clark Rundell)
20.30 Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ
1. La Passione/Louis Andriessen
2. Various works especially for the occasion of Louis Andriessen's birthday
3. Folksongs/Luciano Berio
For the announcements of the concerts see this link at Boosey & Hawkes.
See more about the two piano concerto The Hague Hacking (Haags Hakkûh, 2008) performed by Katia and Marielle Labèque at Boosey & Hawkes.