Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Composer At Ease With Conflict

A fascinating article up recently on Dutch composer Louis Andriessen...

Excerpt Below // Full Article Here

The Dutch composer Louis Andriessen has a gift for embracing conflicting values, musical and otherwise, and making it seem as if they fit together naturally. He has, for example, written 12-tone works and Minimalist scores, and has no problem using elements of both — along with rock rhythms, quotations from Bach, Mozart or Sweelinck and occasional jazz harmonies — in the same piece. He considers himself influenced by the French Romantics and staunchly anti-Germanic, yet he describes Bach as “the real god in the house” and says he plays and studies something from “The Well-Tempered Clavier” or Bach’s organ works every day.

Mr. Andriessen’s music is carefully structured, strictly notated and technically demanding, yet he loves to improvise and is passionate about jazz. (Stan Kenton comes up regularly in interviews.) He says he is uninterested in pop and disdains the Beatles, but he quickly adds that he loves the Supremesand other Motown groups. And though he says he dislikesopera, at least in its traditional form, he has written five theater pieces that he calls operas.

The latest, “La Commedia” (2008), will be performed in a concert version at Carnegie Hall on April 15, the centerpiece of Mr. Andriessen’s Perspectives series at Carnegie Hall.

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