The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and chief conductor Mariss Jansons perform the world premiere of Louis Andriessen’s Mysteriën. The premiere of Mysteriën was controversial because of the history of the work.
Louis Andriessen’s Mysteriën (Mysteries) was commissioned by the Concertgebouw Orchestra. After Andriessen’s relations with the orchestra had been difficult for several decades, he finally gave in after a dream about his father Hendrik, who himself had composed works for the Concertgebouw Orchestra. Andriessen found his inspiration for Mysteriën in the book De imitatione Christi by Thomas à Kempis, which was greatly valued by his father. Andriessen selected six chapters from it and interpreted them in musical terms, conceiving them as “a series of frescos in the ambulatory of a cloister”.
Mariss Jansons was chief conductor of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra from 2004 to 2015. The world premiere of Andriessen’s Mysteriën in 2013 did not come about without difficulty. However, both conductor and composer were motivated to make the best of circumstances, Jansons because the premiere was part of the concert celebrating the 125th anniversary of the founding of ‘his’ Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and Andriessen because Mysteriën had become a deeply personal work.