NTR makes audible 2011/2012

Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ, Amsterdam

1.Heavenly and devilish

23 September 2011

Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmony and Netherlands Radio Choir
Brad Lubman, conductor
Anja Nina Bahrmann, soprano
Maarten Engeltjes, countertenor
Jan Rokyta, cimbalom

Akira Nishimura
Rainbow Body (2008)
Florian Magnus Maier
– Cimbalom concerto (2011)
Gavin Bryars
The War in Heaven (1993) for soprano, countertenor, choir and orchestra
(Dutch premiere)

When a Buddhist master attains enlightenment and dies, his soul separates from the body to pass into an eternal light of peace. The material body transcends the earth and takes on the colours of the rainbow. This state is called Rainbow Body. Composer Akira Nishimura wrote a meditative fantasy about this. Gavin Bryars’ The War in Heaven is certainly not about peace. His sweet-voiced cantata uses two contrasting text sources about the fall of rebellious angels. Composer and former flamenco guitarist Florian Magnus Maier considers the sound of cymbal and orchestra a heavenly pleasure. Perhaps he will even add ‘heavenly’ voices via samples.

2. Movements

11 November 2011
Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmony
Michael Schønwandt, conductor
Rolf Hind, piano

Régis Campo
Ouverture en forme d’étoiles d’après Zapp’art (2004)
(Dutch premiere)
Unsuk Chin
Piano Concerto (1997)
(Dutch premiere)

Mindaugas Piecaitis
Catcerto (2009) for chamber orchestra and video
(Dutch premiere)
Györgi Ligeti
Melodien (1971)
HK Gruber
Zeitfluren (2001)

Music consists of movement. Composers organise movement. Take for example Zeitfluren in which HK Gruber organises his infectious, jazz-like music with mathematical models. Györgi Ligeti, after a period of slump, emerged with surprising piano etudes characterised by tightly ordered, regular movements. His star pupil Unsuk Chin was influenced by Ligeti’s now influential etudes in her beautiful piano concerto. Melodien, a classic, does not yet have that regular, pulsating motorism of the later master, but consists of a more meandering, polyphonic interplay of lines. Régis Campo is the cheerful and impulsively ordering composer of the evening, leaning on the tradition of the Groupe des Six. Speaking of movement: a cat can also play the piano.

3. Mountains, clouds, earth and homeland

2 February 2012
Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmony
Jonathan Stockhammer, conductor
Arditti Quartet

Ton Bruynèl/Ad Wammes
Cours des nuages (1998) for strings and tape
Pascal Dusapin
Quatuor VI ‘Hinterland’ (2010) hapax for string quartet and orchestra
(Dutch premiere)
Gija Kancheli
Trauerfarbenes Land (1994)

Landscape art in music. Recently, the in our country slowly acclaimed Pascal Dusapin wrote ‘Achterland’ or the mountain range behind the mountain range behind the mountain range. String orchestra and string quartet hide behind each other: a world of allusions and parables. Ton Bruynèl liked to be inspired by nature and landscape when he was alive. In the aesthetic ‘Corridor of clouds’, he combines ‘string clouds’ with string-like sounds on tape that slowly drift over. Landscape art in the soul. Georgian Giya Kancheli left his homeland in 1991, settling first in Berlin and later in Antwerp. You could count him among the wandering souls without rest. His sad and hushed music echoes loneliness. Kancheli longs to return to his homeland but prefers to stay in Belgium.

4. Religion and worldview

29 March 2012
Netherland Radio Chamber Philharmony and Netherlands Radio Choir
James MacMillan, conductor
Rolf Hind, piano

James MacMillan
Cantos Sagrados (1989/orchestration 1997)
(Dutch premiere)
Rolf Hind
Maya – Sesha (2007) for piano and orchestra
(Dutch premiere)
Toshio Hosokawa
Ceremonial Dance (2000) for string orchestra
Jonathan Harvey
Tranquil abiding (1998)

The deeply religious James MacMillan, regular guest conductor of the Radio Chamber Philharmonic, is one of Scotland’s leading composers. His political commitment resonates in Cantos Sagrados in which he uses texts from the Latin Mass and the Foolish Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo. Pianist/composer Rolf Hind draws inspiration from Eastern philosophy and mythology. Maya-Sesha is not a traditional piano concerto. Besides extremely difficult passages on the keys, the pianist elicits the most unusual sounds from the inside of the grand piano, reminiscent of temple gongs. Buddhism is an important source of inspiration for compatriot Jonathan Harvey. His Tranquil Abiding is a kind of orchestral guided breathing in and out. Hosokawa’s imaginary dance is inspired by the long, slow dance movements of Gagaku, Japan’s oldest traditional art. In this calligraphy of sound, birth, maturity, groundedness, connection with the universe, passing into the composer’s performance pass by.