February 14th, 2019 at the Korzo Theatre, The Hague. Kate Moore is artistic leader of the Ensemble and programmer of the Zielsverwanten (Soulmates) series of the Amsterdam Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ. After the Amsterdam gig the week before Kate brought her Herz Enmsemble to The Hague to perform x gen x. A program with music by young composers she feels kinship with. The common thread in these compositions are identity, home country and to belong. Very much valid for Kate herself being an Australian in the Netherlands.
First percussionist Mei-Yi Lee performed solo 'Music for Dancing Percussionist' by Lam Lai. In this piece Lam Lai, as Kate a graduate of the Royal Conservatoire The Hague, worked closely together with Mei-Yi. At first the percussion instruments are put closely together. After each sequence the instruments are shuffled more away from each other to force the percussionist to dance (and sometimes race) between the instruments. And, most humorous, Lam for several instances let the percussionist go through the motions before actually playing the bars. And ending with soundless playing.
Next on the programme Herz played Haza by Irish composer Linda Buckley. A piece for string quartet and electronics. In which first the electronics are emphasised and the string quartet plays a kind of atmospheric music. But gradually the quartet takes over and plays a blistering finale.
From the 'Companion Guide to Rome' by Andrew Norman the Ensemble, as string trio, played the first six of nine parts, portraying the composers favourite churches. The first part symbolises the the sculpture The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa in a Roman church. And indeed Andrew translated the piece of art into a eruptive volcano of music by the string trio. The second part Benedetto depicting a mosaic church floor with music leaning towards repetitiveness and minimalism. In all a fine representation of six Roman churches.
Joseph Puglia, Jellantsje de Vries and Lidy Blijdorp
After the intermission the electronic piece 'Estran' by French composer Marie Guilleray. To which everyone listened to in silent and sheer amazement.
Karmit Fadael, who received the prestigious Tromp prize 2018 for her percussion composition 'Paringsdans', contributed her triptych 'Blanco'. Sonorous string sound accompanied by a subdued piano part. Fascinating and hypnotising music.
Followed by a more robust piece by Jobina Tinnemans: Fell & Sylt. In Fell, propeled by a staccato and rhythmic piano part and a kind of basso continuo by the cello, the floor was for violin and viola to frolic around. The second part of the composition is more tranquil and here percussion enters the stage. Sweeping with household brushes on drums and a special water installation on the bass drum. Returning for the third part to the 'themes' of the first part. Sylt has a more serene character. Perhaps representing the quiet sea at the beach of the German island of Sylt?
Also a nice compostion for piano quartet, appropiately called Piano Quartet, by Lachlan Skipworth. 'Complaining' strings, demanding piano sounds evolving into snapping strings accompanied by rhythmic piano phrases. The piece becomes gradually very much energetic. Building towards an explosion of chords. Unwinding in a more quiet glissando finale.
Vivian Choi, Jellantsje de Vries, Lidy Blijdorp and Elisabeth Smalt
The Herz Ensemble are:
- Joseph Puglia - Violin
- Jellantsje de Vries - Violin / Viola
- Elisabeth Smalt - Viola
- Lidy Blijdorp - Cello
- Mei-Yi Lee - Percussion
- Vivian Choi - Piano
- Kate Moore - Ensemble leader