An Ox on the Roof | :: Radio

An Ox on the Roof

sun 7 nov 2021 17:00 
Composer: Ivo van Emmerik

An introduction to contemporary music in ordinary language.

An ox on the roof 32: The Ox in times of Corona #19

Today we present the thirty-second episode of An Ox on the Roof by Thea Derks, inspired by her book Een os op het dak: moderne muziek na 1900 in vogelvlucht. In december 2020 verscheen de tweede druk.The second edition was published in December 2020.

Even though 85% of the population has been vaccinated, many people still end up in hospital with corona. Especially those who refuse to get vaccinated. A dark scenario for the performing arts once again unfolds. Concert halls and theatres were only fully reopened on 25 September, and now new restrictive measures are looming…

Fortunately, the musicians’ entrepreneurial spirit has not been significantly affected by the ongoing uncertainty. The Oerknal Ensemble, for example, released their album Canto with three works by the American composer Lewis Nielsen (1950). In the album booklet, Lewis is called a ‘thinking person’s composer’, because he tirelessly addresses topical and philosophical themes in his music.

The Cilice, which lasts more than half an hour, addresses the theme of penance and forgiveness and combines texts from the Psalms with poetry by poets such as Baudelaire, Hölderlin, Celan and Dante. Remarkably, the musicians not only play their instruments, but they sing as well. For the CD recording, Oerknal joined forces with the four-piece Damask Vocal Quartet.

The Hague String Trio, founded in 2006, released the album Celebrating Women! with four previously unrecorded pieces by female composers. One of these is the Suite for violin, viola and cello, which Emmy Frensel Wegener (1901-1971) composed in 1925. It is a fresh and sparkling piece, performed with a lot of passion by The Hague String Trio.

The fact that 2020 marked the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth was hardly lost on anyone, even though many of the celebratory concerts were cancelled due to Corona. German pianist Susanne Kessel asked 250 composers to reflect on Beethoven in a new piece. Kessel not only premieres these pieces but also puts them on record. Today a selection from Dorothea Hofmann, Ivo van Emmerik, Adrienne Albert and Markus Kropp.

The first edition of An Ox on the Roof has been sold out, but you can get a copy of the second edition on


1. Lewis Nielsen. Cilice.
Oerknal Ensemble & Damask Vocal Quartet.

2. Emmy Frensel-Wegener. Suite for violin, viola and cello.
The Hague String Trio.

3. From cd ‘250 Piano Pieces for Beethoven’
a. Dorothea Hofmann. “… nach dem Sturm”.
b. Ivo van Emmerik. Wiesengrund.
c. Adrienne Albert. Homage to B7.
d. Markus Kropp. Beethoven’s Minimalism.
Susanne Kessel, piano.

Compilation, presentation and technique: Thea Derks.

Produced & presented by: