Compiled by our Classical Music desk.
Two concerts, both featuring French music from the twentieth century – yet they differ considerably.
For many people, modern music remains something of a mystery. We want to make an effort to make it more accessible to our listeners. Over the course of this programme, we will hear modern music in many different shapes and sizes. There is both serious and cheerful music, there are short and long pieces, there are conservative and progressive composers – just like with any style. These contrasts make it easy to get a better grip on modern music. Moreover, it allows you to get to know several composers at once. Two for the price of one!
During the first concert, performed by the Nieuw Ensemble, we hear what we have come to expect: Great Works by Great Men. Olivier Messiaen is on the bill with his Cantéyôdjâya, a piano work in which Hindustani rhythms feature prominently. The ‘main act’ of the concert is Pierre Boulez with his Le marteau sans maître from 1955. A true classic of the avant-garde, it is as much a part of the canon as Lohengrin or Don Giovanni. Not a bite-size piece of music, we admit, but its clear texture and distinct melody lines make it more accessible.
During the second concert, we hear what we want to hear. Not all composers are equally prominent or well known, and the works on the programme are usually not conceived as masterpieces. It is a kind of art music variety show, in which short pieces by various composers alternate. We hear moving guitar pieces by Frank Martin, and a clownish piece by Chiel Meijering. Furthermore, there is a world premiere by Ton de Leeuw (this concert is from 1985, when all featured composers except Martin were still alive). In between, we hear short pieces for harpsichord and guitar by Bruno Giner. Bribes pour un ritel oublié he calls them, ‘crumbs (or remains) for a forgotten ritual’. These pieces may seem trivial, but Giner subtly ensures that we won’t forget him and his Bribes any time soon…
1. Olivier Messiaen – Cantéyôdjaya
2. Pierre Boulez – Le marteau sans maître
3. Bruno Giner – Bribe 1
4. Frank Martin – Quatre pièces brèves (Prélude – air – plainte – comme une gigue)
5. Bruno Giner – Bribe 2 & 3
6. Chiel Meijering – Sexshop in a desert
7. Bruno Giner – Bribe 4
8. Francis Miroglio – Choreïques 1 & 2
9. Bruno Giner – Bribe 5
10. Francis Miroglio – Choreïques 3 & 4
11. Ton de Leeuw – Interlude (world premier)
12. Bruno Giner – Bribe 6 & 7
13. Tristan Murail – Tellur
14. Bruno Giner – Bribe 8 & 9
15. Egberto Gismonti – Central GuitarProduced by: