Music by Jan Boerman and Ensemble Royaal at the closing concert of the 2018 Spring Festival @ Royal Conservatoire The Hague

April 13th, 2018. The final concert of the festival. Jan Boerman's oeuvre was highlighted in the programming of this year's Spring Festival. Martijn Padding: "It is very difficult te define true originality. Even if you talk of a composer as original as e.g. Chopin. It is always possible to trace back lines to other composers. If you look at the works of Hummel you will find a lot of Chopin. Or even if you listen to the Adagio of the "Hammerklavier" of Beethoven you will see a lot of Chopin. although he denied that. But real original composers who fall as like a meteor on earth, so out of the blue. Making something completely new. This is very, very rare. Maybe Satie was something like that, or maybe Varčse was like that and maybe Monteverdi was like that. But for sure the Dutch composer Jan Boerman was like that. That has to do with the fact that in the fifties he decided I am going to become an electronic composer."

In the span of maybe fourty years he composed an very impressive oeuvre, that can't be compared to anything else. There wasn't much electronic music when he started. In his work you find poetry everywhere. Beautiful lyrical lines. It is like his work is always inventing new timbres. There is always a possible place for inventions. So thing that happen like the objets trouvée. A very remarkable composer. The School was very lucky that Jan taught here for 30 years. Unfortunately he is not here tonight. He is still sick. He will be 95 this year.

He was extremely influentual for many generations of students, but also for his peers." The composition Vlechtwerk (Basketry) sounded in a darkened hall. A composition in which he gained freedom based on a system. Which in the philosophy of Boerman was not a contradiction. Kees Tazelaar made a new 8-channel version of the piece of which Boerman wrote himself:"I used purely electronic sounds as well as recordings of instruments, among others piano, cymbals, triangles and bass drum. At certain points these instruments are clearly recognisable, but mostly they have been alienated from their origin through intervention of the equipment. The electronic sounds, on the other hand, have sometimes acquired an instrumental acoustic form, which makes them sound like a tremolo on strings or a blow to a metal sheet. The intertwining of these hybrid sounds with purely electronic and acoustical sounds is a charactheristic of this composition. Vlechtwerk was composed for eight soundtracks, which should be projected live into a rather large auditorium." (Quote from the CD Booklet: The Complete Tape Music of Jan Boerman, CV-NEAR 04/05/06/07/08). And the piece sounded in the spacious Arnold Schönberg hall of the Conservatory. A dynamic and intriguing masterpiece which after all these years has not lost an ounce of its expressiveness.


Anna Fronczak

Ensemble Royaal is a concept started 20 years ago. The idea is to select a masterpiece of the 20th or 21st century. Select students to play that piece and to ask four of five compostion students to write a companion piece. The piece chosen was the famous Octet by Igor Stravinsky. Martijn Padding: "Strangely enough this is the oldest piece we ever played." The piece was programmed to close the Spring Festival.
But before that the four young composers showed their prowess. The Ensemble kicked of the concert by playing 'Agony' by Thanakarn Schofield. And alarming music it is. Two fearful, major parts are connected with a short contemplative intermezzo.
Brisa Fumero González - Winged insectary. She described vital marks of an insect and translates these phenomena into musical entities. Like tracheae (of the respiratory system of insects) equals 'rhythm' etc. A composition of demure nature.
David Azaglo - The party is over. Findings from the research on groove in African music. The piece is driven by a rhythmic bassoon tune. With first the flute, then trumpet and finally clarinet 'supplementing' the bassoon. After a mid section with three players at a time the whole ensemble vary on the layer of the bassoon continuo.
Karmit Fadael - Coca. A melodic intro by (bass) clarinet and flute with a sad undertone. The music develops into a kind of sacred lament.
Then the focal composition was played to finalise the concert and the Festival. Please read what Igor himself had to say about the piece: Octet.


Erwan Maureau

Ensemble Royaal consisted of Maartje Valk (flute), Daniele Zamboni (clarinet), Anna Francczak (bass clarinet), Pedro Filipe MagalhăesBraga Gonçalves (bassoon), Celia Matamoro Gomez de los Infantes (bassoon), Jerome Burns (trumpet), Christopher Collings (trumpet), Yu-Ya Chen (trombone) and Erwan Maureau (bass trombone). And conducted by Edom Levon Agop.


Ensemble Royaal

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