the ‘Super’ Suite: working with the Bennewitzes

 I had a dream, and it came true….In march 2016 I had my first rehearsal with the Bennewitz Quartet from Prague. It proved to be an absolute joy to work with them. They show that rare combination of intelligence and muscle, of subtlety and sportmanship, of directness and and an inquisitive attitude, of deep seriousness and a wonderful sense of humour. Moreover, they show some daring in asking a new piece from a composer who is both Dutch and alive, whereas their international stature (touring the US and Japan, regularly appearing in the UK and recording for major labels) is based mainly on the repertoire of the Romantic composers from their homeland, the Czech Republic.

At that first rehearsal, we worked on the first version of ‘Super Stella’, a little ‘song’ that combines rhythmic and melodic elements from widely divergent styles (Gregorian chant and klezmer). The first presentation was in Groningen, and set off a period of intermittent collaborations on new movements as soon as I finished them.
We had a private presentation of Super ‘Mitten wir im Leben sind’, the planctus Super ‘Jusques à quand’, the final Super ‘Stella’ and part of Super ‘Spiritus’ in januari 2016 and finally a full first presentation of the final work, including the opening Super ‘Victimae’, the Super ‘Dies’ and the final Super ‘Pange, Lingua’ in september 2016. This première was a private concert, too, organized and sponsored by Richard van Remmen and Els Liebergen at her beautiful house in the historical centre of the city of Deventer.

The seven movement piece is described here.