Author Topic: Dutch Composers  (Read 78828 times)

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Offline Dundonnell

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Dutch Composers
« on: August 11, 2007, 03:13:48 PM »
There are many countries which use their own homegrown record companies to promote their native composers. Amongst the smaller European countries Denmark, Finland, Sweden, (to a lesser extent) Norway obviously stand out in this respect. The Dutch appear to be much more reticent!

I have an Et'Cetera CD which contains rather aged versions of Hendrik Andriessen's worthy four symphonies and a Donemus boxed set of Matthijs Vermeulen's wierd seven symphonies in acceptable but certainly not particularly outstanding performances. I have also managed to pick up Willem Pijper's Symphony No.2 from Donemus and the Symphony No.3 from BBC Music Legends in a 1961 recording by Pierre Monteux. CPO is apparently planning a Julius Rontgen cycle although on the evidence of the first instalment(Symphony No.3) I am not overly excited at the prospect! A composer whose symphonies I have heard good reports of is Henk Badings. Badings did himself no favours by his apparent co-operation with the Nazi occupying forces during the Second World War.

What these-and other-Dutch composers clearly need is more championship by record companies, orchestras and conductors. I wonder why they have not had such promotion to date?

Offline sound67

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Re: Dutch Composers
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2007, 05:04:17 PM »
Chandos did release quite a lot of recordings of Dutch music in the 90s.
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Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Dutch Composers
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2007, 04:00:26 AM »
Yes, Chandos did release a couple of CDs of Diepenbrock-short orchestral pieces and orchestral songs-and there is a CD containing three Vermeulen symphonies conducted(I think) by Rozhdestvensky which I have not heard. No Pijper, Badings or orchestral Andriessen however. I also seem to remember from over forty years ago hearing some music by Bernard Wagenaar which impressed at the time.

I am just somewhat surprised that the fine Dutch orchestras do not seem to be performing and exporting such music in the way that the Scandinavian regional orchestras-I am thinking Lahti, Odense, Bergen, Trondheim, Norkopping-promote their native music.

Offline sound67

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Re: Dutch Composers
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2007, 04:53:40 AM »
They also released music by Dopper, Verhulst, Hol and Voormolen. Don't sell them short!

And the Diependbrock releases (now a mid-priced two-fer) were just superb!
« Last Edit: August 12, 2007, 05:01:09 AM by sound67 »
"Vivaldi didn't compose 500 concertos. He composed the same concerto 500 times" - Igor Stravinsky

"Mozart is a menace to musical progress, a relic of rituals that were losing relevance in his own time and are meaningless to ours." - Norman Lebrecht

pjme

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Re: Dutch Composers
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2007, 05:24:19 AM »
composers clearly need is more championship by record companies, orchestras and conductors. I wonder why they have not had such promotion to date?

The same can be said about : late 19th -early 20th century French composers. There's more than Ravel and Debussy, Poulenc and Saint Saens.
- CPO is really brave in unearthing some forgotten artists, but still, even in Germany more can be done.
- the US : apart from the odd exception, Naxos is recording American music with Russian orchestras!
- Brazil, Venezuela, Spain, Rumania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece, Croatia....there's a stagering amount of music that never get's performed. Of course I do realise that not everything is worth conserving - History is a cruel but usually rather fair judge- but a little bit of courage and curiosity would help to give us a broader view on musical history.

But -unknown- foreign music does not travel well ..and does not bring in money.

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Dutch Composers
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2007, 08:19:57 AM »
They also released music by Dopper, Verhulst, Hol and Voormolen. Don't sell them short!

And the Diependbrock releases (now a mid-priced two-fer) were just superb!

You are quite correct. I apologise to Chandos for the slight! I had forgotten the two CDs of symphonies by Cornelis Dopper; rather strange since I actually have both of them! They cannot have made much impression, I fear. The Voormolen I do not know. As for Verhulst and Hol-both were writing in the 19th century and I was, primarily, thinking of 20th century composers.
I do agree with you about the quality of the Diepenbrock I have heard.

violinconcerto

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Re: Dutch Composers
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2007, 10:32:28 PM »
A lot of the Dutch violin concertos from the 20th century are recorded and released commercially: Hans Kox 1-3, Tristan Keuris 1-2, Hendrik Andriessen, Oscar van Hemel 1-3, Tera de Marez Oyens, Guus Janssen, Willem Jeths, Otto Ketting, Robert de Roos, Willem Pijper, Jan van Vlijmen, Ton de Leeuw 2, Sem Dresden, Julius Roentgen 1-2 and a few others. I think thats quite good.

And I have to support pjme's posting: Especially the South and Middle American classical music is recorded worse and also very, very hard to find and get here in Europe. Several major works are impossible to hear due to missing recordings! (Bulgaria or Croatia on the other hand promote their music quite well. Check the national music information centre!)

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Dutch Composers
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2007, 01:26:01 PM »
A lot of the Dutch violin concertos from the 20th century are recorded and released commercially: Hans Kox 1-3, Tristan Keuris 1-2, Hendrik Andriessen, Oscar van Hemel 1-3, Tera de Marez Oyens, Guus Janssen, Willem Jeths, Otto Ketting, Robert de Roos, Willem Pijper, Jan van Vlijmen, Ton de Leeuw 2, Sem Dresden, Julius Roentgen 1-2 and a few others. I think thats quite good.

And I have to support pjme's posting: Especially the South and Middle American classical music is recorded worse and also very, very hard to find and get here in Europe. Several major works are impossible to hear due to missing recordings! (Bulgaria or Croatia on the other hand promote their music quite well. Check the national music information centre!)

Good gracious-that is a formidable list of Dutch violin concerti! I must confess to having never heard of most of these composers!

I have now found the Hendrik Andriessen on the Donemus label (and also Pijper's Cello Concerto). I cannot find the Pijper Violin Concerto however. Do you, by any chance, have a label reference?

violinconcerto

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Re: Dutch Composers
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2007, 09:30:04 PM »
I cannot find the Pijper Violin Concerto however. Do you, by any chance, have a label reference?

The Pijper is a record release many years ago. I also only have a copy from the LP from a friend, so I cannot say the label. But I saw the LP a few times at ebay.com. So if you keep your eyes open there, you may find it.

Offline JoshLilly

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Re: Dutch Composers
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2007, 10:25:34 AM »
While I'm not as familiar with more modern composers (as in, more recent than 1830 for me!!), I do have two symphonies by the Dutchman Jan van Gilse, his symphonies #2 (from 1902) and #4 (1910-1915). #4 is titled Eindrücke der Natur. van Gilse was a student of Humperdinck, which I suppose makes him a 2nd generation stem from Richard Wagner. Neither of these symphonies sound very much like Wagner at all, though.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_van_Gilse

I kinda like #2, a three-movement work that starts out a little on the pastoral side, with horns introducing melodic passages. In my own opinion, this symphony has several themes that border just on the edge of being really fantastic tunes. If, like me, you find you have a hard time with the "harshness" of the symphonic sound of the 20th century, you might be pleasantly surprised by this symphony. I know I was. Not among my favourite symphonies, but I thought it was very worthwhile.

The Symphony #4 I have a harder time with. This one does some serious stuff that would never have appeared in the 19th century, not even the very very end of it. I freely admit that I do not like practically all music termed "classical" from the entire 20th century, and that sadly includes this symphony. I don't hate it ... well, I hate it sometimes. But I never really like it either, except when it tries to bring up a melody. Then, it's another of those things where the themes are pleasant, but never quite "oh wow, I'll be remembering that one a year from now!". Hmm... I have the 4th Symphony playing again as I write this. Yeah yeah, that's not really listening, I know. But I don't dislike it nearly as much as I did the last time I heard it. It's rambly, and I don't like the REAL 20th century stuff it does, like bizarre harmonies and abnormal ... stuff.  and .. weird... yuck.... well, I just don't like that stuff. But when it's not doing that, and sounds 19th century, I like it.

Okay, well, just wanted to say a few words. Sorry it's not very helpful or informative, but if you're like me and have a harder time with a lot of 20th century music, you might like these. Start with the 2nd, and then try that 4th, which has like one foot in the 19th and two feet in the 20th. Yes, three feet. It's a 20th century symphony, of course it's deformed!!   >:D

Harry

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Re: Dutch Composers
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2007, 10:32:16 AM »
Yes, Chandos did release a couple of CDs of Diepenbrock-short orchestral pieces and orchestral songs-and there is a CD containing three Vermeulen symphonies conducted(I think) by Rozhdestvensky which I have not heard. No Pijper, Badings or orchestral Andriessen however. I also seem to remember from over forty years ago hearing some music by Bernard Wagenaar which impressed at the time.

I am just somewhat surprised that the fine Dutch orchestras do not seem to be performing and exporting such music in the way that the Scandinavian regional orchestras-I am thinking Lahti, Odense, Bergen, Trondheim, Norkopping-promote their native music.

Remember however that Brilliant licensed the Diepenbrock pieces on two cd's, for the ridiculous price of 6 euro's!
A bargain for these fantastic recordings from Chandos.
And from what I understand is that all Dutch music realeased on Chandos, will be licensed by Brilliant.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2007, 10:34:42 AM by Harry »

Offline Maciek

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Re: Dutch Composers
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2007, 10:56:03 AM »
My knowledge of Dutch music is neither broad nor deep but the first three Vermeulen symphonies I have heard and find them amazing - they really deserve to be more widely known.

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Dutch Composers
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2007, 07:39:16 AM »
Splendid news for those of us of an enquiring disposition(or insane completist collect obscure music) disposition!

CPO-that ever-enterprising company-has committed itself to recording the complete orchestral works of Henk Badings(1907-87), the innovative Dutch composer whose reputation far outweighs his current exposure-which until now has been virtually zero! The first CD with his Symphonies Nos.2, 7 and 12 is to be released in a few days time played by the Janacek Philharmonic Orchestra of Ostrava(who??) conducted by David Porcelijn. Badings merits a full page in Mark Morris's 'Dictionary of Twentieth Century Composers'.
I had no idea that his symphonies extended into double figures!

Ah, another neglected composer at last sees the light of day! Who knows, maybe we could interest CPO in Havergal Brian yet!

Harry

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Re: Dutch Composers
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2007, 07:46:42 AM »
I just ordered the Badings......

Offline Cato

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Re: Dutch Composers
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2007, 02:24:18 PM »
My knowledge of Dutch music is neither broad nor deep but the first three Vermeulen symphonies I have heard and find them amazing - they really deserve to be more widely known.

Vermeulen seems to be a kind of Dutch Charles Ives (the Ives of the Robert Browning Overture) or Karl Hartmann.

You used to be able to get the score and a recording of selected works by Dutch composers from a group called Donemus.  I have therefore - from the 1970's - a record of Vermeulen's Second Symphony and the accompanying score.

Is Donemus still around and offering CD's with scores?
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Offline Brewski

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Re: Dutch Composers
« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2007, 02:31:37 PM »
Vermeulen seems to be a kind of Dutch Charles Ives (the Ives of the Robert Browning Overture) or Karl Hartmann.

You used to be able to get the score and a recording of selected works by Dutch composers from a group called Donemus.  I have therefore - from the 1970's - a record of Vermeulen's Second Symphony and the accompanying score.

Is Donemus still around and offering CD's with scores?

Donemus is definitely alive and kicking, see here.  A friend of mine ordered Louis Andriessen's Workers Union from them last summer, and it wasn't all that expensive, either.  (Don't know if CD's come with the scores, though.)

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« Last Edit: November 15, 2007, 03:02:47 PM by bhodges »
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Offline Cato

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Re: Dutch Composers
« Reply #16 on: November 15, 2007, 03:04:38 PM »
Donemus is definitely alive and kicking, see here.  A friend of mine ordered Louis Andriessen's Workers Union from them last summer, and it wasn't all that expensive, either.  (Don't know if CD's come with the scores, though.)

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Thanks for the link!  Their font, however, is very difficult to read, at least on my computer here at school.

And yes, they still offer scores, but not apparently in combination with CD's.

For example, you can buy Vermeulen's First Symphony for c. 40 Euros.  And you can see the opening pages of the scores:

http://catalogus.donemus.nl/minisis/files/m039197.pdf
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Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Dutch Composers
« Reply #17 on: November 15, 2007, 03:05:07 PM »
While I'm not as familiar with more modern composers (as in, more recent than 1830 for me!!), I do have two symphonies by the Dutchman Jan van Gilse, his symphonies #2 (from 1902) and #4 (1910-1915). #4 is titled Eindrücke der Natur. van Gilse was a student of Humperdinck, which I suppose makes him a 2nd generation stem from Richard Wagner. Neither of these symphonies sound very much like Wagner at all, though.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_van_Gilse

I kinda like #2, a three-movement work that starts out a little on the pastoral side, with horns introducing melodic passages. In my own opinion, this symphony has several themes that border just on the edge of being really fantastic tunes. If, like me, you find you have a hard time with the "harshness" of the symphonic sound of the 20th century, you might be pleasantly surprised by this symphony. I know I was. Not among my favourite symphonies, but I thought it was very worthwhile.

The Symphony #4 I have a harder time with. This one does some serious stuff that would never have appeared in the 19th century, not even the very very end of it. I freely admit that I do not like practically all music termed "classical" from the entire 20th century, and that sadly includes this symphony. I don't hate it ... well, I hate it sometimes. But I never really like it either, except when it tries to bring up a melody. Then, it's another of those things where the themes are pleasant, but never quite "oh wow, I'll be remembering that one a year from now!". Hmm... I have the 4th Symphony playing again as I write this. Yeah yeah, that's not really listening, I know. But I don't dislike it nearly as much as I did the last time I heard it. It's rambly, and I don't like the REAL 20th century stuff it does, like bizarre harmonies and abnormal ... stuff.  and .. weird... yuck.... well, I just don't like that stuff. But when it's not doing that, and sounds 19th century, I like it.

Okay, well, just wanted to say a few words. Sorry it's not very helpful or informative, but if you're like me and have a harder time with a lot of 20th century music, you might like these. Start with the 2nd, and then try that 4th, which has like one foot in the 19th and two feet in the 20th. Yes, three feet. It's a 20th century symphony, of course it's deformed!!   >:D

Apparently CPO intends to record all five of van Gilse's symphonies as well! The company further intend to record some of the music of van Gilse's bitter enemy/rival Willem Pijper.

So-at last-some proper recognition is being given to the Dutch music of the first half of the 20th Century.

I used to think that being an orchestral conductor must be one of the best jobs in the world. Now I am beginning to think that being the repertoire manager for a record company like CPO must rank pretty high up too!

Offline val

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Re: Dutch Composers
« Reply #18 on: November 17, 2007, 02:04:04 AM »
May Sweelinck be considered a Dutch composer?

If he does, then he was the greatest, with no doubt. Just listen to his Fantasia Chromatica, or his Ricercar, for organ, played by Serge Schoonbroodt.

Offline some guy

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Re: Dutch Composers
« Reply #19 on: November 17, 2007, 02:32:00 AM »
There's a whole handful of Andriessen's.

Konrad Boehmer usually gets called a Dutch composer, even though he was born in Germany.

Dick Raaijmakers is as close to the top of the heap as one could wish for.

Leo Smit.

Cruising around the Internet, I was struck with how few Dutch composers I know.