The Utrecht Requiem 2021
The Utrechts Requiem Foundation presents the third edition of extraordinary life stories set to music, framed by the Introitus and In Paradisum that I wrote for earlier editions of this project.
Songs of War & Peace, for recorder and string quartet, was baptised by master recorder player Peter Holtslag and the Ruysdael Quartet in a series of four concerts in October 2020. The piece was originally written for the Bennewitz Quartet but the Covid-crisis prevented this great Czech quartet from coming to the Netherlands. You can hear the Ruysdael’s wonderful playing in the recording made by Dutch Classical Radio. Peter Holtslag, who commissioned the piece, will take it to Germany in 2021-2022 to give it a première there in the ElbPhil in Hamburg. I am very proud of the piece and look forward to its reception in Germany.
Scènes uit ons lot (‘Scenes from Our Fate’) was premiered on June 5, 2021 in the Aegtenkapel, Amersfoort. It is a song, or ballad, on a text by former Dutch Poet Laureate Ester Naomi Perquin in which she describes our experiences of the Covid-crisis in vivid, and sometimes comical, detail. Written for Camerata Trajectina and its lead singer Nico van der Meel, it uses a renaissance mixed consort and mean-tone temperament to describe a very contemporary phenomenon.
– in which musical beauty is most important.
The beauty of melodies that, full of rhythmic energy, work together to tell a purely musical story.
From a composer who walks on the historical ground of numerous musical styles with a pounding heart, naively entranced by the way traditional melodies and new styles are able to merge.
Who instead of original wants to be personal, and for that reason relishes in simply building his music on his choice from the riches of musical heritage. Writing a counterpoint of both voices and styles, from the Genevan Psalms to New Orleans funk, from tango to Gregorian chant and from blues to Renaissance polyphony.
Who wields the historical handicraft of Monteverdi and Mendelssohn, Brahms and Dvorak, Debussy and Bartók to capture the broad palette of Western music.
Creating music for the 21st century that is grafted in a personal manner on what he values in the traditions of Western music.
As in Super Stella (Super Suite, mvt III), where a funky klezmer varies the Gregorian hymn Ave Maris Stella:
Or the Deep River sonata that traces the history of the early Afro-American spiritual:
Sonata Deep River: II – Adagio
Echoing the melody’s lyricism, but also the original rhythm:
Sonata Deep River: III – Scherzo
Beauty in music goes side by side with christian religiosity:
…with a 21st-century personal perspective:
Utrechts Requiem – Introïtus | Nederlands Kamerkoor en Ensemble Insomnio 2018
More to read or to listen to:
- a complete list of works
- 19 cd’s with recordings of works
- texts that I wrote
- Photographs in high resolution (photography: Rob Overmeer).
- Bio in PDF.