Find album reviews, stream songs, credits and award information for Louis Andriessen: De Stijl; Trepidus; Dances – Louis Andriessen on AllMusic – – The. The elements of De Staat’s ensemble demonstrate what Andriessen is The third, De Stijl (Style), is a boogie-woogie tone-poem inspired by. Pre-proceeding. In the movement “De Stijl” from his oratorio De Materie, Louis Andriessen adapts Piet Mondrian’s Composition with Red, Yellow and Blue .
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A conundrum for every conscientious 20th- and 21st-century composer has been how music relates to politics: How does one connect with, and even change, the other? And if you’re a composer who’s dissatisfied with the way the world works — anrdiessen even the way the musical world works — what can your music do to comment on it, criticise it, protest against it and possibly transform it? One answer can be found by listening to this, an excerpt from year-old Dutch composer Louis Andruessen De Staat.
For the whole piece, you’ll need Spotify, and De Staat is a better reason than most to sign up for it if andrieszen haven’t already! The title means The Republic, and this piece is an imagination of what Plato’s Republic means and meant for music; a musical discourse on how his ideas about music might relate to contemporary society.
In Xtijl own words: How you arrange your musical material, the techniques you use and the instruments you score for, are largely determined by your own social circumstances and listening experience, and the availability of financial support.
I do agree, though, that abstract musical material — pitch, duration and rhythm — are beyond social conditioning: However, the moment the musical material is ordered it becomes culture and hence a social entity. Dw piece includes settings — “declaimings” would really be a better word — for four female voices, which illustrate these ideas.
But he goes on: I deplore the fact that Plato was wrong. If only it were true that musical innovation could change the laws of the state!
Louis Andriessen – De Stijl (De Materie part III)
The thing is, Andriessen’s music really has changed the music of a state — no Dutch composer has been as influential on musical culture, especially in his home country, as Andriessen, and his importance internationally has only expanded as his career has gone on. In an inevitably reductive nutshell, Andriessen’s music is the sound of the most fruitful of collisions between political radicalism, minimalist pulsation and European modernism; at its most profound, it’s much more than that.
For me, De Staat is the solar plexus — or at least one of the solar plexi — of Andriessen’s output because it brings together the spectrum of his musical and political thinking, but also because of the sounds that it makes.
How can you resist the aggressive lyricism of this music, its moments of gigantic tension and explosive release — such as, for example, the moment when that austere energy created by the four oboes and then the four trombones you hear at the start is suddenly but inevitably shattered by the thrilling wall of sound of the full ensemble?
Ditto the fiery moto perpetuo the whole ensemble creates in unison in the middle of the piece, or the waves of strange repeated chords that pass through the music near the end — a weirdly disturbing noise that’s both static yet full of energy?
The elements of De Staat’s ensemble demonstrate what Andriessen is on about when he says that even the lineup you choose as a composer reflects a complex cultural politics.
Although it was written for a pre-existing group, the Netherlands Wind EnsembleDe Staat’s andriiessen which includes harps, pianos, three electric guitars and just four string-instruments — a group of violas reflects Andriessen’s years working with his own band, De Volharding Perseverance, named after another Andriessen piece.
That group was founded as a reproach to the existing behemoths of Dutch classical musical life, which Andriessen and his friends and fellow provocateurs, including conductor Reinbert de Leeuw and pianist Misha Mengelbergfought against in the s and 70s. They disrupted concerts given by and at the Concertgebouw, demanding greater representation of new music on Concertgebouw programmes and andrieszen that the orchestra had a duty to represent the whole of Dutch society and not just a small social fraction of it.
They were scarcely listened to, so set up their own groups that would be more flexible and radical and genuinely reflect new musical thinking.
Andriessn Andriessen, that meant what amounted to a decades-long aversion to the sustaining line of string instruments, and an almost genetic attraction to the rhythmic power and potential andrkessen brass, winds, percussion and electric instruments — a sort of souped-up version of the kind of ensemble Stravinsky loved the best. Andriessen’s profound affinity with Stravinsky has produced, as well as refractions of Igor’s techniques in his own idiom, one of the best books ever written about the Russian composer, Sstijl Apollonian Clockwork.
It’s worth saying, however, that — at least until the cuts that are now blighting Dutch musical culture — Andriessen, De Leeuw and the others have now become the de wtijl music establishment in Holland, thanks to the success of the institutions they set up and the miraculous energy and diversity of the new scene they created with their radical ripostes to the system decades ago.
De Staat’s politics and unnerving power is only one side of Andriessen’s output. His music is not always concerned with those fissile social questions, and many of his pieces explore the fundamentals of a listening experience, getting to grips with the raw materials of music.
And having inspired a generation of Dutch composers with the violence, anger and sheer energy of pieces such as De Volharding and Workers UnionAndriessen’s music has seemed to take a surprising turn towards a more conventional expression and lyricism. That includes string instruments: But if there’s one piece of Andriessen’s I want the world to hear, it’s his epic four-part cycle De Materie Material — again, you’ll need Spotify to hear the whole thing.
Louis Andriessen: De Stijl; Trepidus; Dances
The first, inspired in part by shipbuilding in Holland, is a piece that transmutes its base elements of rhythm and percussion just as the base materials of wood, fabric and metal were crafted into the carriers of Dutch colonial power, and starts with a hammered-out sequence of the same chord, repeated times.
The second, a nun’s vision of her union with Jesus, is a magnificently sensual scena for solo female singer and ensemble called Hadewijch. The third, De Stijl Styleis a boogie-woogie tone-poem inspired by Piet Mondrian’s work, and the final panel is a mesmerising meditation on death, relating musically to a work by Andriessen’s father, the composer Henrik.
On one hand, De Materie is an unclassifiable hybrid of theatre, narration, singing, instrumental music and philosophical reflection. But it’s also quintessentially itself, and quintessential Andriessen, because every bar of it has an absolutely compelling materiality see what I’ve done thereboth on the level of the four parts and the cycle as a whole.
It’s best heard together, but Andriessen — and I!
De Stijl (De Materie part III)
You’ll be as blown away by the energy of De Stijl as I was if you haven’t heard it before. Music to change the world?
Don’t bet against it, Louis; maybe Plato was right after all …. This article contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a small commission if a reader clicks through and makes a purchase. Sfijl our journalism is independent and is in no way influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative. The links are powered by Skimlinks. By clicking on an affiliate link, you accept that Dr cookies will be set. Don’t bet against it, Louis; maybe Plato was right after all … Five key links De Stijl Hadewijch Workers Union De Snelheid De Volharding This article contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a small commission if a reader clicks through and makes a purchase.
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