This Close-up concert is part of the Horizon week focusing on Dutch music, Play Dutch with me. It’s not that often that you get the chance to hear works by such leading Dutch composers as Escher, Pijper and van Baaren performed by musicians of the Concertgebouworkest, so don’t miss out!
Music from the Netherlands has a high international standing. The music of home-grown composers takes centre stage throughout the Play Dutch with me Horizon week. This Close-up concert features musicians of the Concertgebouworkest performing works by three composers who played an important role in the orchestra’s history. Kees van Baaren is considered one of the key figures of the 1950s and 60s (his composition students included Louis Andriessen, Peter Schat and Jan van Vlijmen). He was also one of the few Dutch composers to embrace the twelve-tone technique, from which his exciting Septet was born.
Van Baaren’s teacher Willem Pijper also made an important contribution to contemporary music in the Netherlands, most notably with his own ‘germ technique’. His String Quartet No. 1 dates from his earlier ‘Romantic’ period, though. Rudolf Escher, another of Pijper’s students, did not subscribe to any particular school, but instead let himself be guided by his ear. His music shared certain characteristics with that of Ravel and Debussy, as can be heard in his Sinfonia per dieci strumenti. The work was premiered in 1976 by members of the Concertgebouworkest under the direction of the late Reinbert de Leeuw. Today the musicians share the stage with conductor Stijn Berkouwer.
For years, musicians of the Concertgebouworkest have been giving chamber music concerts in the Recital Hall as part of the Close-up Series. These intimate concerts organised by the Friends of the Concertgebouw and the Concertgebouworkest present a unique opportunity to enjoy up close these outstanding musicians’ individual qualities in small ensembles.