Contemporary Music | Concertzender | Classical, Jazz, World and more
Search for:

Contemporary Music

wed 19 jun 2024 20:00 hrs

This is the fourth and last episode in a series on City Composers. Today, two very different people meet…

15 June marked the Day of the Composer. Music by living composers sounded everywhere in the Netherlands. Many cities now have their own city composer. The New Music NOW Express, a train converted into a traveling concert hall, visited six of these cities.

After featuring music by Renske Vrolijk (Almere), Yannis Kyriakides (Amsterdam) and Bart van Dongen (Den Bosch), we will visit two more city composers today: Lucas Wiegerink from Arnhem and Toon Hagen from Zwolle.

Lucas Wiegerink (*1985) studied in The Hague with Roderik de Man. Even while he was still studying, we attended various concerts where his work, often performed alongside pieces by his fellow students, was showcased. For instance, in 2009, his piece Broken Lines was performed by the Nieuw Ensemble at the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ. The foundations of his style were already apparent. Various fragments—short and long, tonal and atonal, melodic and fragmented—come together to form larger structures. While it’s not all easy listening, it is still relatively accessible for the listener.

Later we will hear Wiegerink at a concert by Ensemble ELECTRA. The concert was called “Whirly Girls”, and all the performers were women. So what was a man doing at that concert? He was writing a piece on women’s rights. In Shame!, we hear references to demonstrations for women’s suffrage and other rights, whether already achieved or still being fought for.

In 2014, on the sidelines of the Gaudeamus Festival, we heard Wiegerink with a composition for harp and Disklavier, Yamaha’s hybrid piano. The piece had the rather prosaic title Sonata for 10 Pedals (seven on the harp, three on the piano). But then there’s The Occult Beauty of the Finite! Wiegerink wrote this piece for a clarinet, violin, cello, and piano ensemble—the same instrumentation as Messiaen’s Quatuor pour la fin du temps—and that is surely no coincidence. Both the themes of beauty and finitude point in that direction. The piece was performed at an anniversary concert for Roderik de Man, who turned 75 that year.

Organist Toon Hagen (*1959) is the city composer of Zwolle. Unlike the other city composers, we don’t find him in our recording archive. Hagen comes from the world of Protestant church music, which is a different circuit than the avant-garde music scene we explore. In this respect, it’s a good thing that the Day of the Composer breaks down barriers and brings together not only different music styles but also different kinds of people!

We’ll also feature two organ pieces (from CD): a chorale prelude on Psalm 150 and a piece titled Shalom. Psalm 150 – Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! – was composed by Hagen when Nelson Mandela was released. This joyful occasion is aptly accompanied by an abundance of typical African syncopations. Shalom has a Jewish melody. The message of peace in this work is, of course, more relevant than ever.

Finally, we would have liked to introduce Annabel Schouten, city composer of our very own Utrecht. Unfortunately, we don’t have recordings of her and no CDs of her music have been released. But good things come to those who wait. We have already made contact with Annabel, and once we have recordings, you’ll be the first to hear them.

1. Lucas Wiegerink – Broken lines
2. Lucas Wiegerink – Shame!
3. Lucas Wiegerink – Sonata for 10 pedals
4. Lucas Wiegerink – The occult beauty of the finite
5. Toon Hagen – Psalm 150
6. Toon Hagen – Shalom

Produced by:
To use this functionality . If you don't have an account yet, register first.

Create your account

Forgot Password?

Don't have an account yet? Registreer dan hier.

Change password