News & Reviews
- Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Steve Reich, Louis Andriessen, Philip Glass Featured in BBC Radio 3's "50 Years of Minimalism in Music"
Composers Steve Reich, Louis Andriessen, and Philip Glass, and Nonesuch Records President Robert Hurwitz have all contributed to the BBC Radio 3 documentary 50 Years of Minimalism in Music, which aired this past Saturday night. They and a number of other music pioneers spoke with American conductor Richard Bernas in this look back at five decades of Minimalism, "the musical language of our time." The program is available online at bbc.co.uk.
- Thursday, March 24, 2011
Louis Andriessen's "Anaïs Nin" to Receive UK Premiere in London Sinfonietta Concert Also Featuring His Classic "De Staat"
Louis Andriessen's Anaïs Nin will receive its UK premiere at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London on April 14 in a staging by the London Sinfonietta, with Cristina Zavalloni in the title role. The London Sinfonietta co-commissioned the work, which explores Nin's erotic memories of 1930s Paris, and will perform it in an all-Andriessen program alongside his minimalist classic from the 1970s, De Staat, featuring Synergy Vocals. The composer will be in attendance for the performance.
About this Album
Nonesuch Records releases Writing to Vermeer, an opera with music by Louis Andriessen and libretto by Peter Greenaway. Reinbert de Leeuw conducts the Asko Ensemble and Schönberg Ensemble, with soloists soprano Susan Narucki (Catharina Bolnes), mezzo soprano Susan Bickley, (Maria Thins), and soprano Barbara Hannigan (Saskia de Vries), along with the children’s choir, De Kickers, from Amsterdam’s Muziekschool Waterland, a women’s chorus, and Michel van der Aa’s electronic music inserts.
Writing to Vermeer was given its world premiere by De Nederlandse Opera in 1999 at Het Muziektheater in Amsterdam, in a production co-directed by Greenaway and Saskia Boddeke; it was first heard in the U.S. at the 2000 Lincoln Center Festival.
The opera is set in 1672, the year Dutch history books describe as “The Year of Disaster.” France, England, and the German bishoprics of Munster and Cologne declared war against the Netherlands and conquered large parts of the country. The dikes were breached, and the Prince of Orange retreated behind the water defense line around the western province of Holland. Trade and industry came to a standstill. It was the largest financial crash in the Dutch Republic’s short history and marked the end of the Dutch Golden Age. The opera ends in a deluge depicting the last desperate act of the Dutch to keep their country from invasion: the breaking of the dikes. Peter Greenaway, who had long been fascinated by Johannes Vermeer, based Writing to Vermeer on a series of fictitious letters addressed to the painter from three women: his real mother-in-law and his real wife, and a model (a fictional character). The letters are sent to the painter in May 1672, when he had traveled to The Hague to attempt to authenticate several dubious Italian paintings purchased by the Grand Elector of Brandenburg. The opera explores the stark contrast between the serene domestic world of Vermeer’s life and paintings, with their tasteful distilled interiors, and the turbulent events of the time.
The creative partnership between Dutch composer Louis Andriessen and British director and visual artist Peter Greenaway began in 1994 with Rosa (a horse drama), which Nonesuch released in 2000. Other recordings of Andriessen’s major works on Nonesuch are De Staat, De Tijd, De Stijl, and De Materie. The New York Times has called his compositions “some of the most important music written in the last two decades.”
De Nederlandse Opera
Susan Narucki, soprano
Barbara Hannigan, soprano
Susan Bickley, mezzo-soprano
Schönberg Ensemble and Asko Ensemble
Reinbert de Leeuw, conductor
Jan Erik van Regteren Altena, Monica Germino, Marijke van Kooten, Wim de Jong, Lydia Forbes, Myrte van Westerop, violin I
Heleen Hulst, Marie-José Schrijner, Anna McMichael, Inge Jongerman, Maaike Aarts, Nelleke Scholten, violin II
Susanne van Els, Bart Peters, Bernadette Verhagen, Marieke de Jong, viola
Doris Hochscheid, Hans Woudenberg, Lucia Swarts, Eduard van Regteren Altena, cello
Pieter Smithuijsen, Quirijn van Regteren Altena, double bass
Carla Meijers, Nola Exel, Mirjam Teepe, flute
Evert Weidner, Marieke Schut, oboe
Liesbeth de Jong, bass clarinet
Harry Sparnaay, contrabass clarinet
Wim Timmermans, Serguei Dovgaliouk, French horn
Willem van der Vliet, Marc Busscher, trumpet
Ernestine Stoop, Godelieve Schrama, harp
Pauline Post, René Eckhardt, piano
Paul van Utrecht, Patricio Wang, electric guitar
Michiel Weidner, cimbalom
Ger de Zeeuw, Peppie Wiersma, percussion
Childrenchoir "De Kickers" from Muziekschool Waterland: Jan Maarten Koeman, coaching; Brenda van Duijkeren, Wendy van Epen, Jan Kistemaker, Jacob Schroevers
Vocal ensemble: Winfried Maczewski, coaching; Melanie Greve, Tomoko Makuuchi, Marjolein Niels, Violet Serena Noorduyn, Martine Straesser, Marijje van Stralen
Produced by Ron Ford
Recorded June 29-30, 2004, at Muziekcentrum Vredenburg, Utrecht, the Netherlands
Engineered by Jan Stellingwerff
Edited by Gert de Bruin and Paul Lardenooie at dutchView, Hilversum, the Netherlands
Mastered by Hans Bunt at dutchView
Music by Louis Andriessen
Libretto by Peter Greenaway
Electronic Music by Michel van der Aa
Design by Barbara deWilde
Photography by Hans van den Bogaard
Cover: Young Woman Holding a Water Pitcher © 2006 Sophie Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Executive Producer: Robert Hurwitz