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La Commedia [2CD + DVD]

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    Nonesuch Records releases Louis Andriessen’s Grawemeyer Award–winning La Commedia on June 10, 2014, as a set with two CDs and a DVD. The film opera, a collaboration with director Hal Hartley, is based on Dante’s Divine Comedy, with additional texts from the 16th-century German theologian Sebastian Brant, the 17th-century Dutch dramatist Joost van den Vondel, and the Old Testament’s “Song of Songs.” This Dutch National Opera production features the Asko and Schönberg Ensembles, led by Reinbert de Leeuw, with vocal soloists Claron McFadden (Beatrice), Cristina Zavalloni (Dante), Jeroen Willems (Lucifer/Cacciaguida), and Marcel Beekman (Casella), as well as Synergy Vocals, led by Micaela Haslam. The children’s choral parts are sung by Waterland’s Kinderkoor De Kickers, conducted by Jan Maarten Koeman. Orders of the album on MP3 and FLAC include the audio portion only.

    In the composer’s words, “The simultaneous existence of heaven, purgatory, and hell; parallels between various scenes; and the use of film and stage effects all create the complexity that is necessary to do justice to Dante’s greatest creation. To this end, all events portrayed on the film screen and on stage, including dance, the spoken word, and song, should be regarded as a reaction to the music.”

    La Commedia premiered in 2008 in Amsterdam before receiving concert performances at Los Angeles’ Disney Hall, New York’s Carnegie Hall, and, most recently, at Washington, DC’s National Gallery this spring as part of a week-long Andriessen 75th birthday festival. The opera has received critical praise along the way, with the New Yorker saying, “Even for a composer who admires both Bach and Chaka Khan, the stylistic frame of reference in La Commedia is staggeringly wide, ranging from Gregorian chant to what might be called Satanic Broadway … Hell and Heaven run together in a wild continuum,” and the New York Times saying, “He has set this deliberately motley text to a driven, often intensely dark score that, like so much of Mr. Andriessen's music, brings together starkly contrasting styles and makes the juxtapositions sound natural. Dissonant, sharp-edged woodwind and brass chords are accompanied by almost minimalist arpeggiation; jazz moves pop out of nowhere and evaporate just as quickly … the score’s most memorable aspect is the pounding, often lurching chord progressions that evoke different corners of the underworld.”

    Dutch composer Louis Andriessen’s music has explored politics, time, velocity, matter, and mortality in five works for large ensemble: De Staat (Nonesuch, 1991), De Tijd (Nonesuch, 1993), De Snelheid, De Materie (Nonesuch, 1996), and Trilogy of The Last Day. In addition to La Commedia, his stage works include the operas Writing to Vermeer (Nonesuch, 2006) and Rosa: The Death of a Composer (Nonesuch, 2000), as well as the monodrama Anaïs Nin. Nonesuch also released an album with his De Stijl and M is for Man, Music, Mozart in 1994.

    Hal Hartley is an American independent filmmaker (writer, director, producer, and composer) active since 1989. His films include Trust (1990, winner best screenplay Sundance Film Festival), Henry Fool (1998, winner best screenplay Cannes Film Festival), and Meanwhile (2010). He has written and staged his play Soon at the Salzburger Festspiele in Austria (1998) and in America (2001). His association with Louis Andriessen began with the short film The New Math(s) in 1999. Hartley has just completed shooting his 13th feature film, Ned Rifle. He lives in New York.

    Credits

    MUSICIANS
    Dutch National Opera

    Asko|Schönberg
    Reinbert de Leeuw, conductor
    Claron McFadden, soprano
    Cristina Zavalloni, voice
    Jeroen Willems, voice
    Marcel Beekman, tenor

    Synergy Vocals
    Micaela Haslam, director

    Children’s Chorus de Kickers of Music School Waterland
    Jan Maarten Koeman, conductor

    PRODUCTION CREDITS
    Music by Louis Andriessen
    Electronic music by Anke Brouwer
    Texts by Dante, Vondel, and others, and from the Old Testament

    Recorded June 12, 2008 at Koninklijk Theater Carré, Amsterdam
    Live Recording by NTR Radio
    Producer for NTR: Bas Hagemeijer
    Music Director: Lodewijk Collette
    Recording, Mixing and Editing Engineer: Rob Heerschop
    Recording Assistant: Arjan de Reus
    Audio Post-producing: Anke Brouwer
    Mastering: Frank van der Weij Studio

    AVC and Wireless Intercom Tech: Hans van Weegen
    Sound: Wilfred Houthuysen
    Sound Recordist for Film: Sander den Broeder

    Design by Barbara deWilde Design

    World premiere: June 12, 2008, at Koninklijk Theater Carré, Amsterdam
    A co-production of De Nederlandse Opera (Dutch National Opera) and the Holland Festival
    Opera and Film Director: Hal Hartley
    Film edited by Kyle Gilman

    Paul Clay, set design
    Robby Duiveman, costume design
    Scott Zielinski, light design

    Part I was commissioned by the Los Angeles Master Chorale and the Fonds voor de Scheppende Toonkunst
    Part II was commissioned by Ensemble Musikfabrik and the Fonds voor de Scheppende Toonkunst
    Parts III–V were commissioned by De Nederlandse Opera and the Fonds voor de Scheppende Toonkunst
    Published by Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd.

    La Commedia is dedicated to Jeanette Yanikian (1935–2008)
    Louis Andriessen dedicates this CD to the memory of Jeroen Willems (1962–2012)

on April 29, 2014 - 3:17pm
Release Date: 
Tuesday, June 10, 2014 (All day)
Cover Art: 
Nonesuch Selection Number: 

541997

Number of Discs in Set: 
1disc
Artist Name: 
Louis Andriessen
Album Status: 
UPC/Price: 
Price: 
23.00
Label: 
CD+MP3
UPC: 
075597958997
Price: 
17.00
Label: 
MP3
UPC: 
075597958997FL
Price: 
18.00
Label: 
FLAC (Lossless)
UPC: 
075597955774
Price: 
23.00
Label: 
2CD+DVD+MP3
Description: 

Nonesuch Records releases Louis Andriessen’s Grawemeyer Award–winning La Commedia on June 10, 2014, as a set with two CDs and a DVD. The film opera, a collaboration with director Hal Hartley, is based on Dante’s Divine Comedy, with additional texts from the 16th-century German theologian Sebastian Brant, the 17th-century Dutch dramatist Joost van den Vondel, and the Old Testament’s “Song of Songs.” This Dutch National Opera production features the Asko and Schönberg Ensembles, led by Reinbert de Leeuw, with vocal soloists Claron McFadden (Beatrice), Cristina Zavalloni (Dante), Jeroen Willems (Lucifer/Cacciaguida), and Marcel Beekman (Casella), as well as Synergy Vocals, led by Micaela Haslam. The children’s choral parts are sung by Waterland’s Kinderkoor De Kickers, conducted by Jan Maarten Koeman. Orders of the album on MP3 and FLAC include the audio portion only.

In the composer’s words, “The simultaneous existence of heaven, purgatory, and hell; parallels between various scenes; and the use of film and stage effects all create the complexity that is necessary to do justice to Dante’s greatest creation. To this end, all events portrayed on the film screen and on stage, including dance, the spoken word, and song, should be regarded as a reaction to the music.”

La Commedia premiered in 2008 in Amsterdam before receiving concert performances at Los Angeles’ Disney Hall, New York’s Carnegie Hall, and, most recently, at Washington, DC’s National Gallery this spring as part of a week-long Andriessen 75th birthday festival. The opera has received critical praise along the way, with the New Yorker saying, “Even for a composer who admires both Bach and Chaka Khan, the stylistic frame of reference in La Commedia is staggeringly wide, ranging from Gregorian chant to what might be called Satanic Broadway … Hell and Heaven run together in a wild continuum,” and the New York Times saying, “He has set this deliberately motley text to a driven, often intensely dark score that, like so much of Mr. Andriessen's music, brings together starkly contrasting styles and makes the juxtapositions sound natural. Dissonant, sharp-edged woodwind and brass chords are accompanied by almost minimalist arpeggiation; jazz moves pop out of nowhere and evaporate just as quickly … the score’s most memorable aspect is the pounding, often lurching chord progressions that evoke different corners of the underworld.”

Dutch composer Louis Andriessen’s music has explored politics, time, velocity, matter, and mortality in five works for large ensemble: De Staat (Nonesuch, 1991), De Tijd (Nonesuch, 1993), De Snelheid, De Materie (Nonesuch, 1996), and Trilogy of The Last Day. In addition to La Commedia, his stage works include the operas Writing to Vermeer (Nonesuch, 2006) and Rosa: The Death of a Composer (Nonesuch, 2000), as well as the monodrama Anaïs Nin. Nonesuch also released an album with his De Stijl and M is for Man, Music, Mozart in 1994.

Hal Hartley is an American independent filmmaker (writer, director, producer, and composer) active since 1989. His films include Trust (1990, winner best screenplay Sundance Film Festival), Henry Fool (1998, winner best screenplay Cannes Film Festival), and Meanwhile (2010). He has written and staged his play Soon at the Salzburger Festspiele in Austria (1998) and in America (2001). His association with Louis Andriessen began with the short film The New Math(s) in 1999. Hartley has just completed shooting his 13th feature film, Ned Rifle. He lives in New York.

DescriptionExcerpt: 

Louis Andriessen's Grawemeyer Award–winning film opera La Commedia, a collaboration with director Hal Hartley, is based on Dante's Divine Comedy, with additional texts including the Old Testament's "Song of Songs." This two-CD-plus-DVD set of the Dutch National Opera production features the Asko | Schönberg Ensembles, led by Reinbert de Leeuw. The Washington Post calls La Commedia "an exciting, powerful and rich piece that shows Andriessen at the top of his game." The Los Angeles Times considers it "the greatest opera of the century so far."

ProductionCredits: 

MUSICIANS
Dutch National Opera

Asko|Schönberg
Reinbert de Leeuw, conductor
Claron McFadden, soprano
Cristina Zavalloni, voice
Jeroen Willems, voice
Marcel Beekman, tenor

Synergy Vocals
Micaela Haslam, director

Children’s Chorus de Kickers of Music School Waterland
Jan Maarten Koeman, conductor

PRODUCTION CREDITS
Music by Louis Andriessen
Electronic music by Anke Brouwer
Texts by Dante, Vondel, and others, and from the Old Testament

Recorded June 12, 2008 at Koninklijk Theater Carré, Amsterdam
Live Recording by NTR Radio
Producer for NTR: Bas Hagemeijer
Music Director: Lodewijk Collette
Recording, Mixing and Editing Engineer: Rob Heerschop
Recording Assistant: Arjan de Reus
Audio Post-producing: Anke Brouwer
Mastering: Frank van der Weij Studio

AVC and Wireless Intercom Tech: Hans van Weegen
Sound: Wilfred Houthuysen
Sound Recordist for Film: Sander den Broeder

Design by Barbara deWilde Design

World premiere: June 12, 2008, at Koninklijk Theater Carré, Amsterdam
A co-production of De Nederlandse Opera (Dutch National Opera) and the Holland Festival
Opera and Film Director: Hal Hartley
Film edited by Kyle Gilman

Paul Clay, set design
Robby Duiveman, costume design
Scott Zielinski, light design

Part I was commissioned by the Los Angeles Master Chorale and the Fonds voor de Scheppende Toonkunst
Part II was commissioned by Ensemble Musikfabrik and the Fonds voor de Scheppende Toonkunst
Parts III–V were commissioned by De Nederlandse Opera and the Fonds voor de Scheppende Toonkunst
Published by Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd.

La Commedia is dedicated to Jeanette Yanikian (1935–2008)
Louis Andriessen dedicates this CD to the memory of Jeroen Willems (1962–2012)