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De Staat

  • 79251

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  • "They were both fearless, pushing back against the severe music that seemed to dominate the modern composition landscape during the 1960s and 1970s, the same music that was, by the way, a major part of Nonesuch’s identity during that period," writes Nonesuch Records Chairman Emeritus Bob Hurwitz, in a remembrance of composers Louis Andriessen and Frederic Rzewski. "Neither was afraid to reference vernacular music, and jazz, and popular and folk music, and most importantly, both embraced a tonal language that was out of favor at the moment they were coming of age as composers. Their music was deadly serious at times, and polemical and political, but it could be humorous, and always filled with humanity."

  • Composer Louis Andriessen died today at a care home in Weesp, North Holland, at the age of 82. Andriessen was once described by the Guardian as “not only the leading Dutch composer of our time, but one of the most important figures in European music in the last half century, whose influence has spread far beyond that of his own works.” Over thirty years, he released nine recordings on Nonesuch, from De Staat in 1991 to his final work, The only one, earlier this year.

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  • About This Album

    A classic of European minimalism, Louis Andriessen’s De Staat opened a new association between this Dutch artist and Nonesuch Records. Conductor Reinbert De Leeuw leads the Amsterdam-based Schoenberg Ensemble in a performance of the 35-minute work, which was recorded in one take following a live performance in a Louis Andriessen / Steve Reich festival held in Amsterdam.

    Andriessen wrote De Staat between 1973 and 1976; it was premiered in Amsterdam by the Netherlands Wind Ensemble in 1976, and the following year was awarded the first prize at UNESCOs International Rostrum of Composers. Edo De Waart led the U.S. premiere of De Staat with the San Francisco Symphony in 1983; it has since been performed at the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute (‘84); Cal Arts (‘85); and as part of the New York Philharmonic’s “Horizons” Festival (‘86).

    De Staat takes its text from Plato’s The Republic; in it, Plato argues that “any alteration in the modes of music is always followed by alteration in the most fundamental laws of the state.” While Andriessen disagrees, he is nonetheless interested in dealing with the political nature of music insofar as it concerns who the musicians are and what notes they have to play. Most particularly in De Staat, the unusual scoring requires that free-lance musicians be used; also, Andriessen employs a “hocketing” technique, in which the ensemble is divided into different groups, each providing “equality of possibilities for everyone.”

    With its multi-layered structures, highly dramatic forms, and sheer volume, De Staat suggests the bright, clangorous continua of Balinese gamelan as well as the brittle, motoric polyphonies of Stravinsky’s Les Noces. Loud and aggressive, Andriessen considers the work his “essay” on the concept of music, democracy and the state.

    Credits

    Schönberg Ensemble
    Reinbert de Leeuw, conductor

nonesuch's picture
on May 29, 2008 - 7:14pm
genre: 
Release Date: 
Wednesday, May 1, 1991 - 04:00
DescriptionExcerpt: 

With its multi-layered structures, highly dramatic forms, and sheer volume, De Staat (text from Plato’s The Republic) suggests the bright, clangorous Balinese gamelan and the polyphonies of Stravinsky’s Les Noces. Andriessen considers this loud and aggressive work, dubbed "a Minimalist classic" by the New York Times, his “essay” on the concept of music, democracy and the state.

Description: 

A classic of European minimalism, Louis Andriessen’s De Staat opened a new association between this Dutch artist and Nonesuch Records. Conductor Reinbert De Leeuw leads the Amsterdam-based Schoenberg Ensemble in a performance of the 35-minute work, which was recorded in one take following a live performance in a Louis Andriessen / Steve Reich festival held in Amsterdam.

Andriessen wrote De Staat between 1973 and 1976; it was premiered in Amsterdam by the Netherlands Wind Ensemble in 1976, and the following year was awarded the first prize at UNESCOs International Rostrum of Composers. Edo De Waart led the U.S. premiere of De Staat with the San Francisco Symphony in 1983; it has since been performed at the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute (‘84); Cal Arts (‘85); and as part of the New York Philharmonic’s “Horizons” Festival (‘86).

De Staat takes its text from Plato’s The Republic; in it, Plato argues that “any alteration in the modes of music is always followed by alteration in the most fundamental laws of the state.” While Andriessen disagrees, he is nonetheless interested in dealing with the political nature of music insofar as it concerns who the musicians are and what notes they have to play. Most particularly in De Staat, the unusual scoring requires that free-lance musicians be used; also, Andriessen employs a “hocketing” technique, in which the ensemble is divided into different groups, each providing “equality of possibilities for everyone.”

With its multi-layered structures, highly dramatic forms, and sheer volume, De Staat suggests the bright, clangorous continua of Balinese gamelan as well as the brittle, motoric polyphonies of Stravinsky’s Les Noces. Loud and aggressive, Andriessen considers the work his “essay” on the concept of music, democracy and the state.

ProductionCredits: 

Schönberg Ensemble
Reinbert de Leeuw, conductor

Cover Art: 
Nonesuch Selection Number: 

79251

Number of Discs in Set: 
1disc
ns_album_artistid: 
6
ns_album_id: 
24
ns_album_releasedate: 
Wednesday, May 1, 1991 - 04:00
ns_genre_1: 
0
ns_genre_2: 
0
Album Status: 
UPC/Price: 
Label: 
CD+MP3
UPC: 
075597925128BUN
Price: 
0.00
Label: 
MP3
UPC: 
075597998757
Price: 
9.00
Artist Name: 
Louis Andriessen
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