Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Family Revisited, Review and Concert Video

Frits van der Waa sends the translation of his November Music concert review published in De Volkskrant on October 11th. What follows are fragments of Clazz ensemble playing live at the Dutch Classical Music Meeting - Muziekgebouw aan het IJ - Amsterdam - on October 17th 2011. "The Family Revisited"(1973-2011) and "That happens in Vietnam" are included.

Den Bosch is now the place to be for new music lovers. The annual festival November Music presents an overview of the latest developments in composed and improvised music. Incongruentially, the first evening of the festival focused on music from the past. The concert by the Clazz Ensemble, labeled His Master’s Choice, offered a concise overview of mostly older works by Louis Andriessen, at 72 still the foremost Dutch composer. The protagonist managed to slip in some new notes, though: only the evening before the concert he tossed off a new violin accompaniment for an Italian song singer Cristina Zavalloni had planned as an in-between. Typically, even a casual composition like this contains the poignant harmonies that are among Andriessens musical fingerprints. Zavalloni and Monica Germino, her peer on the violin, who did some lovely singing as well in Xenia Fragments, gave strong performances of several Andriessen compositions.
There was a real premiere as well, Monument for Graettinger, especially composed for the Clazz Ensemble. Robert Graettinger, arranger for the Stan Kentons Orchestra and composer of a few strikingly revolutionary pieces, is one of Andriessens long-standing idols. The new piece is a short but strong statement, full of gritty, complex harmonies, countrerbalanced with melancholy melodic lines. The Clazz musicians, operating on the boundaries between classical and jazz music (hence the name), had opportunity to add improvisations of their own.
One of the more substantial pieces in this program is The Family Revisited, a forceful new version of the music Andriessen wrote in 1973 for the movie The Family. Arranger Dick de Graaf took the position of the great saxophone player Piet Noordijk, deceased only a month ago, who played many solo parts in the original score. The performance was accompanied with scenes from the movie, which unfortunately turned out to be rather old hat and mainly distracted from the music.

The Family Revisited (1973-2011)

That happens in Vietnam (1972-2011)

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