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Willem van Otterloo

Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra

Willem van Otterloo

Price: € 12.95
Format: CD
Label: Challenge Classics
UPC: 0608917218022
Catnr: CC 72180
Release date: 01 January 2007
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Label
Challenge Classics
UPC
0608917218022
Catalogue number
CC 72180
Release date
01 January 2007
Album
Artist(s)
Composer(s)
EN
NL
DE

About the album

Willem van Otterloo gained his reputation chiefly as a conductor: he was chief conductor of the ‘Utrecht Stedelijk Orkest’ (1934-49) and the ‘Residentie Orkest’ (The Hague Philharmonic Orchestra) (1949-72), while he was also connected with the orchestras of Düsseldorf, Tokyo, Melbourne and Sydney.

His great significance as a conductor, which lasts to this day, is apparent from the 13 CD box, Willem van Otterloo/Residentie Orkest: the Original Recordings 1950-1960, issued by Challenge Classics in 2005 (CC 72142). As a composer he left only about a dozen compositions. Van Otterloo’s last complete composition (Serenade) dates from 1944, when the composer was 36 years old.

From 1943 dates Van Otterloo’s most successful composition, the Symphonietta (for triple woodwind and four horns), a piece that continues to be played to this day. In its fast movements it is a virtuoso and entertaining work, while in its slow passages we again hear sonorous ‘French’ chords. The double bassoon lends extra body to the ensemble and the cor anglais adds a melancholy colouring. In short, it is a finely constructed piece in which form and content go hand in hand and to which, exceptionally, the composer made no changes.

The (undated) Suite for String Orchestra is a simple piece, easy to play by amateurs, and to some extent it is influenced by Bartók (for example at the opening of the second movement), a radical point of difference from the rest of Van Otterloo’s output, which is restricted in extent. Lasting only nine minutes, this Suite gives rather an incomplete impression and seems to cry out for a short, fast final movement. An examination of the original manuscript indicates that that there is a fifth movement, marked ‘Finale, allegro molto’. Unfortunately, after the first bar, not a single note of this movement can be found.

From the black year of 1944 is the Serenade. In the first, tidily written manuscript the piece is still called a divertimento, is in four movements and is scored for brass (four horns, four trumpets, three trombones and tuba), harp, celesta and percussion. In the second, ‘definitive’ version the title ‘Divertimento’ is replaced by ‘Serenade’ and a piano part is added.

In 1958, to fulfil a commission from the Amsterdam municipality, he presented an Intrada for brass and percussion. He re-used the final movement (‘Hymne’) of the Serenade, discarding the harp part and reducing the percussion. A fourth trombone and a double bassoon were added, chords and voice leading were changed, whole phrases sometimes substituted, but despite all the changes it is still the same piece.

In 1952, when he had already been conductor of the The Hague Philharmonic for a few years - he made a second orchestration of Schubert’s Fantaisie, op. 103, which he had already orchestrated in 1940. The two versions are completely different: in the second, the brass is used more cautiously, the tuba part from the first version is left out, and above all the orchestration is more transparent, aiming towards a classical sound without the romantic, full-sounding sonority of the first. It is a functional, well-crafted instrumentation without much of a personal imprint, but subservient to the style of Schubert’s music, and thus at the opposite pole from Webern’s orchestration of Bach for example, which says more about Webern that it does about Bach.
Een opwindende interpretatie van de kleurrijke en bijna vergeten werken van Van Otterloo
Dit album bevat werken van de beroemde Nederlandse dirigent en componist Willem van Otterloo, uitgevoerd door het Radio Filharmonisch Orkest onder leiding van Micha Hamel en Thierry Fischer. Naast originele werken van Van Otterloo bevat het album ook zijn tweede versie van de orkestbewerking van de Fantaisie in F klein op. 103 van Franz Schubert.

Willem van Otterloo was vooral bekend als dirigent. Hij was chefdirigent van het Utrecht Stedelijk Orkest (1934-1949) en het Residentieorkest (1949-1972). Daarnaast was hij verbonden aan orkesten in Düsseldorf, Tokyo, Melbourne en Sydney. Zijn belang als dirigent blijkt uit de dertiendelige verzameling Willem van Otterloo/Residentie Orkest: the Original Recordings 1950-1960.

Van Otterloo heeft slechts een dozijn werken gecomponeerd. Hij had het te druk als dirigent om veel tijd aan componeren te besteden. Zijn laatste volledige werk, Serenade, stamt uit 1944, toen de componist 36 jaar oud was. Toen hij zijn carrière als dirigent had afgerond, wist hij niet meer waar hij moest beginnen, omdat hij al jarenlang niet meer gecomponeerd had.

De Symphonietta uit 1943 is het meest succesvolle werk van Van Otterloo. Het wordt tegenwoordig nog steeds uitgevoerd. De vermakelijke snelle delen bevatten virtuoze passages, en de langzame delen ‘Franse’ akkoorden met een rijke klank.
Willem van Otterloo (1907-1978) erwarb sich seinen Ruf vorwiegend als Dirigent. Vor allem seine Zeit als Chefdirigent des Residenz Orchesters in Den Haag ist in guter Erinnerung und hervorragend dokumentiert, u.a. durch die 13-CD-Box bei CHALLENGE CLASSICS (CC 72142). Als Komponist hinterließ er nur etwa ein Dutzend Kompositionen, die alle vor seinem 36. Lebensjahr entstanden. Seine Werke lassen gelegentlich an Bartok, Rosza oder auch Kodaly denken; van Otterloo entwickelt aber eine deutlich eigene Tonsprache. Die vorliegende CD bietet somit einen spannenden Blick auf fast vergessene, farbenreiche Orchesterwerke des beginnenden 20.Jahrhunderts.

Artist(s)

The Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra

Critically acclaimed as one of the world’s foremost chamber orchestras, the Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra occupies a special place within the boundaries of the rich musical landscape in The Netherlands. Forty strong in number, the ensemble constitutes the perfect vehicle for the performance of the Viennese Classics: Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven. The orchestra’s dedication to the classics is matched by its equally passionate and longstanding commitment to contemporary music. For just under six decades, the Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra has made a persuasive case for new music and has been awarded numerous distinctions for its eloquent renditions of challenging compositions. To reflect its dual allegiance to the music of both past and present  masters, the Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra opted for a unique system of...
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Critically acclaimed as one of the world’s foremost chamber orchestras, the Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra occupies a special place within the boundaries of the rich musical landscape in The Netherlands. Forty strong in number, the ensemble constitutes the perfect vehicle for the performance of the Viennese Classics: Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven. The orchestra’s dedication to the classics is matched by its equally passionate and longstanding commitment to contemporary music. For just under six decades, the Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra has made a persuasive case for new music and has been awarded numerous distinctions for its eloquent renditions of challenging compositions.
To reflect its dual allegiance to the music of both past and present masters, the Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra opted for a unique system of dual chief- conductors: the world’s leading contemporary proponent, Peter Eötvös took on his position in 1994 and Frans Brüggen, a groundbreaking force in the authentic performance movement, joined in 2001. Frans Brüggen is responsible for historically informed performances of the Baroque, Classical and early Romantic repertoire. Thanks to Peter Eötvös the orchestra has gained international recognition as a specialist ensemble for modern and avant-garde music appearing at venues ranging from its home base in the Concertgebouw and Vredenburg concert halls (Netherlands) and at modern music festivals from Warschau and Donaueschingen to the Budapest Spring Festival.
The Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra was disbanded in 2005 and restructured under the name Radio Kamer Filharmonie.

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Micha Hamel (conductor)

Micha Hamel (Amsterdam, 1970) took private lessons in composition and orchestral conducting beginning in 1986 with Huub Kerstens. Additionally he attended masterclasses given by Morton Feldman and John Cage. In 1994 he graduated from the Royal Conservatory, majoring in composition (under the tutelage of Diderik Wagenaar and Konrad Boehmer) and orchestral conducting (under Ed Spanjaard and Jac van Steen). Thereafter he participated  in the composition class at the Tanglewood Music Center (USA), where Hamel studied with Mario Davidovsky and Louis Andriessen. Micha Hamel has received various awards as both composer and conductor. In 1994 he was awarded the incentive prize by the Amsterdam Arts Fund for his composition ‘Fructus’, written for Percussion Group Den Haag and the Mondriaan Quartet, and in 1999 Hamel received both...
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Micha Hamel (Amsterdam, 1970) took private lessons in composition and orchestral conducting beginning in 1986 with Huub Kerstens. Additionally he attended masterclasses given by Morton Feldman and John Cage. In 1994 he graduated from the Royal Conservatory, majoring in composition (under the tutelage of Diderik Wagenaar and Konrad Boehmer) and orchestral conducting (under Ed Spanjaard and Jac van Steen). Thereafter he participated in the composition class at the Tanglewood Music Center (USA), where Hamel studied with Mario Davidovsky and Louis Andriessen.
Micha Hamel has received various awards as both composer and conductor. In 1994 he was awarded the incentive prize by the Amsterdam Arts Fund for his composition ‘Fructus’, written for Percussion Group Den Haag and the Mondriaan Quartet, and in 1999 Hamel received both the Elizabeth Everts Prize for talented musicians and the ‘Kersjes van de Groenekan’ Scholarship, which afforded him the opportunity to travel, and to study with Mark Elder.
Micha Hamel’s unique qualities as composer and conductor were brought together in October 2000 for the ‘Festival in de Branding’ in The Hague. During a week of concerts, the majority of his oeuvre was performed by ensembles including the Nieuw Ensemble, the Residentie Orchestra of The Hague and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra.
He performed with almost all dutch orchestras and ensembles as well as with the Netherlands Chamber Choir, whilst carefully broadening his horizons towards the romantic and classical repertoire. He conducted the ‘Radio Filharmonisch Orkest’ and the Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra in several editions of the Holland Festival, the Netherlands Music Days as well as in the illustrious concert series at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam named VARA-matinee.

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Thierry Fischer (conductor)

Swiss conductor Thierry Fischer is Principal Conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and also, from April 2008, Chief Conductor of the Nagoya Philharmonic. From 2001-2006 he was Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Ulster Orchestra. Fischer studied flute with Aurèle Nicolet and began his musical career as Principal Flute in Hamburg and at the Zurich Opera, where he studied scores with Nikolaus Harnoncourt and was profoundly influenced by him. His conducting career began in his 30’s when he replaced an ailing colleague, subsequently directing his first few concerts with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe where he was Principal Flute under Claudio Abbado, who encouraged and inspired him in his new-found talent for conducting. Spending his apprentice years in Holland, Thierry Fischer...
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Swiss conductor Thierry Fischer is Principal Conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and also, from April 2008, Chief Conductor of the Nagoya Philharmonic. From 2001-2006 he was Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Ulster Orchestra.
Fischer studied flute with Aurèle Nicolet and began his musical career as Principal Flute in Hamburg and at the Zurich Opera, where he studied scores with Nikolaus Harnoncourt and was profoundly influenced by him. His conducting career began in his 30’s when he replaced an ailing colleague, subsequently directing his first few concerts with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe where he was Principal Flute under Claudio Abbado, who encouraged and inspired him in his new-found talent for conducting. Spending his apprentice years in Holland, Thierry Fischer has since appeared with many leading orchestras in the UK and Europe.
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Composer(s)

Willem van Otterloo

Willem van Otterloo was born in 1907. He studied medicine briefly in Utrecht and played saxophone in the student dance orchestra Tower Town Band.
 He subsequently studied cello and composition at the Amsterdam Conservatory. One of his first large-scale compositions, the Third Orchestral Suite (1932), won first prize in a competition held by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. When conductor Willem Mengelberg withdrew due to illness, the young composer was invited to conduct the work himself. In 1932 Van Otterloo joined the cello section of the Utrechts Stedelijk Orkest (Utrecht Municipal Orchestra); in 1933 he became the orchestra’s assistant conductor and in 1937 was promoted to principal conductor. From 1946-1948 he also conducted at De Nederlandse Opera, and from 1947-1949 was conductor...
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Willem van Otterloo was born in 1907. He studied medicine briefly in Utrecht and played saxophone in the student dance orchestra Tower Town Band.
 He subsequently studied cello and composition at the Amsterdam Conservatory. One of his first large-scale compositions, the Third Orchestral Suite (1932), won first prize in a competition held by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. When conductor Willem Mengelberg withdrew due to illness, the young composer was invited to conduct the work himself.
In 1932 Van Otterloo joined the cello section of the Utrechts Stedelijk Orkest (Utrecht Municipal Orchestra); in 1933 he became the orchestra’s assistant conductor and in 1937 was promoted to principal conductor. From 1946-1948 he also conducted at De Nederlandse Opera, and from 1947-1949 was conductor of the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra.
In 1949 he took up the post of chief conductor of the The Hague Philharmonic (Residentie Orkest), at that time a lacklustre ensemble. He is credited with boosting the quality of the orchestra in a remarkably short period of time. Let us not forget what it meant in those days to be a chief conductor: eight months a year with the orchestra, active participation in the orchestra’s organization and structure, and the responsibility for a huge number of concerts – nearly a hundred per year. By January 1961 he had already conducted his 1000th concert with The Hague Philharmonic.
Before long, the RO had become an outstanding ensemble that, in those years, even vied with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. The Hague Philharmonic also attracted the world’s top guest conductors: Pierre Monteux, Charles Munch, Eugen Jochum, Carlo Maria Giulini, Hans Rosbaud, Karl Böhm, Rafaël Kubelik, John Barbirolli, Antal Dorati, Günter Wand, Jean Martinon and Leopold Stokowski.
Van Otterloo’s composers of choice in those days were Haydn, Schubert, 
Berlioz, Brahms, Franck, Bruckner, Reger, Ravel, Bartók and Stravinsky. But he also conducted works such as Alban Berg’s Lulu Symphony, excerpts from Wozzeck, the Drei Orchesterstücke and the Kammerkonzert; the Fünf Orchesterstücke, Variationen für Orchester, Begleitungsmusik z.e. Lichtspielszene by Schoenberg; Anton Webern’s Fünf and Sechs Orchesterstücke and Variations für Orchester; the Fifth and Sixth Symphony by Karl Amadeus Hartmann; works by Varèse (Arcana), Ives (Three Places in New England) and more than three hundred works by contemporary Dutch composers.
In 1962 he returned to lead the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, in a co-directorship with Jean Fournet. In 1972 he left The Hague Philharmonic, taking up posts with orchestras in Düsseldorf, Tokyo and Melbourne. His last position was as chief conductor of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
Willem van Otterloo was by no means a glamour-seeker or showman. The music itself had the highest priority. His consummate knowledge of each and every score was legendary, and he conducted nearly all the larger works from memory. But above all he was a true orchestral trainer. He worked tirelessly on intonation (he could sing entire chords flawlessly), rhythmic precision and consistency in sound and timbre. He preferred taut, brisk tempos; he demanded orchestral discipline and total control; he had the uncanny ability to maintain a coherent musical line and never lost sight of the structure and form. In these respects Van Otterloo was perfectly suited to the recording studio.

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Franz Schubert

Franz Peter Schubert was an Austrian composer. Schubert already died before his 32nd birthday, but was extremely prolific during his lifetime. His output consists of over six hundred secular vocal works (mainly Lieder), seven complete symphonies, sacred music, operas, incidental music and a large body of chamber and piano music. Appreciation of his music while he was alive was limited to a relatively small circle of admirers in Vienna, but interest in his work increased significantly in the decades following his death. Felix Mendelssohn, Robert Schumann, Franz Liszt, Johannes Brahms and other 19th-century composers discovered and championed his works. Today, Schubert is ranked among the greatest composers of the late Classical and early Romantic eras and is one of the...
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Franz Peter Schubert was an Austrian composer. Schubert already died before his 32nd birthday, but was extremely prolific during his lifetime. His output consists of over six hundred secular vocal works (mainly Lieder), seven complete symphonies, sacred music, operas, incidental music and a large body of chamber and piano music. Appreciation of his music while he was alive was limited to a relatively small circle of admirers in Vienna, but interest in his work increased significantly in the decades following his death. Felix Mendelssohn, Robert Schumann, Franz Liszt, Johannes Brahms and other 19th-century composers discovered and championed his works. Today, Schubert is ranked among the greatest composers of the late Classical and early Romantic eras and is one of the most frequently performed composers of the early nineteenth century.
It was in the genre of the Lied that Schubert made his most indelible mark. Prior to Schubert's influence, Lieder tended toward a strophic, syllabic treatment of text, evoking the folksong qualities engendered by the stirrings of Romantic nationalism. Schubert expanded the potentialities of the genre like no other composer before.

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Press

Play album Play album
01.
Symphonietta: Molto Sostenuto
07:08
(Willem van Otterloo) Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra
02.
Symphonietta: Tempo Vivo
02:51
(Willem van Otterloo) Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra
03.
Symphonietta: Molto Sostenuto
05:42
(Willem van Otterloo) Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra
04.
Symphonietta: Molto Allegro
03:31
(Willem van Otterloo) Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra
05.
Suite for String Orchestra: Musette
01:38
(Willem van Otterloo) Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra
06.
Suite for String Orchestra: Elegie
03:27
(Willem van Otterloo) Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra
07.
Suite for String Orchestra: Scherzo
02:30
(Willem van Otterloo) Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra
08.
Suite for String Orchestra: Basso Ostinato
02:05
(Willem van Otterloo) Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra
09.
Intrada
04:20
(Willem van Otterloo) Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra
10.
Serenade: Marsch
02:07
(Willem van Otterloo) Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra
11.
Serenade: Nocturne
05:16
(Willem van Otterloo) Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra
12.
Serenade: Scherzo
06:10
(Willem van Otterloo) Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra
13.
Serenade: Hymne
04:23
(Willem van Otterloo) Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra
14.
Fantaisie in F minor op. 103, D 940: Allegro
05:03
(Franz Schubert) Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra
15.
Fantaisie in F minor op. 103, D 940: Largo
03:15
(Franz Schubert) Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra
16.
Fantaisie in F minor op. 103, D 940: Allegro Vivace
04:53
(Franz Schubert) Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra
17.
Fantaisie in F minor op. 103, D 940: Tempo I Allegro Moderato
06:18
(Franz Schubert) Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra
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