Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra / Erik Bosgraaf / Karin Strobos

Symphony no. 1 | Recorder concerto

Price: € 19.95
Format: CD
Label: Challenge Classics
UPC: 0608917269321
Catnr: CC 72693
Release date: 27 November 2015
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Label
Challenge Classics
UPC
0608917269321
Catalogue number
CC 72693
Release date
27 November 2015

"''Want List for David DeBoor Canfield''  "

Fanfare, 01-11-2016
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Artist(s)
Composer(s)
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About the album

Willem Jeths (1959) has written a symphony. He already had an opera, three string quartets, eleven solo concertos and a large number of orchestral and chamber music works to his name, but he waited a long time before attempting the most important genre of the orchestral repertoire. In fact it is not a traditional symphony in the classical-romantic sense, but rather a piece with four movements themed around the cycle of life, death and transformation. In retrospect, the first step towards the symphony was the successful premiere of his orchestral work Scale – Le tombeau de Mahler with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra at the end of 2010. Even while he was composing it, Jeths felt that Scale needed to be part of a larger whole. In 2012 he wrote the orchestral work Metanoia, in which he linked material from Scale to new ideas. The content of Metanoia connects seamlessly to its predecessor. To surround this dramatic instrumental diptych, Jeths composed two vocal movements of a more philosophical character. In Goethe’s voluminous collection of poems West-östlicher Divan from 1814-1819 he found two poems that revolve around the cyclic dimension of existence. In the opening movement, he incorporated two stanzas from the poem Unbegrenzt [Uncircumscribed] and in the final movement, the entire poem Selige Sehnsucht [Blessed Yearning]. And so the symphony begins and ends with Goethe; not only does it have a cyclic theme, but also a cyclic form. The piece, just under 45 minutes in length, in fact consists of one single build-up of tension in which we see that its musical and its philosophical aspects are all interconnected.

When we consider the art of writing concertos, Willem Jeths is undoubtedly a musician who has the experience that is required. No fewer than thirteen such works have now flowed from his pen.

‘Erik came over to my place a few times to play things through. He also played a number of different recorders to me. These included a sixteenth century renaissance recorder by Silvestro Ganassi. That instrument is more powerful than the more common baroque variant, so I composed my concerto specifically for the Ganassi recorder.’ As the composition progressed, Jeths was increasingly captivated by what he calls the “essence of the instrument”. ‘To me, the sound of the recorder represents innocence and fragile purity. I had to give the soloist enough scope to let him put these qualities across to the best possible effect. My orchestration is therefore deliberately thin. The orchestra plays a subservient part in this piece so that the soloist can emerge in the limelight.'
De wereldpremière van twee grote werken van Willem Jeths
Dit album bevat twee werken van de toonaangevende componist des Vaderlands Willem Jehts: zijn Eerste Symfonie voor orkest en mezzosopraan en zijn Blokfluitconcert. De werken worden uitgevoerd door het Radio Filharmonisch Orkest. De virtuoze Erik Bosgraaf speelt de solopartij in het Blokfluitconcert.

In 2012 componeerde Willem Jehts eindelijk een symfonie. Hij wachtte lang voordat hij zich waagde aan het meest belangrijke orkestrale genre. Het is geen traditionele symfonie, maar meer een vierdelig werk rond het thema ‘de cyclus van leven, dood en transformatie’.

In het midden van de Eerste Symfonie staan twee grondig aangepaste versies van twee eerdere werken voor orkest: Scales en Metanoia. Scales heeft ook een nieuwe titel, in de stijl van Mahler: Wie ein Kondukt. Dit instrumentale tweeluik wordt omlijst door twee vocale delen met een meer filosofisch karakter. Deze delen bevatten twee gedichten van Goethe waarin de cyclus van het bestaan centraal staat: Unbegrenzt en Selige Sehnsucht. De Symfonie begint en eindigt met Goethe. Het werk heeft dus niet alleen een cyclisch thema, maar ook een cyclische vorm.

Willem Jehts heeft ongetwijfeld genoeg ervaring met het componeren van concerten. Hij had echter zijn bedenkingen toen Erik Bosgraaf hem vroeg om een nieuw blokfluitconcert te componeren. Jeths accepteerde de opdracht wel, omdat Bosgraaf een van de beste en meest originele blokfluitspelers ter wereld is. Het leek Jeths fantastisch om een werk speciaal voor hem te componeren. Daarnaast werkten de componist en de solist eerder al nauw met elkaar samen.
Willem Jeths ist einer der führenden, zeitgenössischen Komponisten der Niederlande und so wundert es kaum, dass er nach einer Oper, drei Streichquartetten, elf Solokonzerten und einer großen Anzahl an Orchester- und Kammermusikwerken nun zum ersten "Componist des Vaderlands" ernannt wurde. Ein Preis der Buma Cultuur, der nun regelmäßig an niederländische Komponisten vergeben wird.

Doch eine Gattung fehlte bisher in der Fülle seiner Kompositionen: Die Sinfonie. Seine erste Sinfonie findet sich auf dieser Einspielung und wurde 2012 im Rahmen der Zaterdag Matinee im Concertgebouw Amsterdam uraufgeführt. Es handelt sich hierbei nicht um eine Sinfonie im klassischen Sinne. Jeths Sinfonie Nr. 1 ist ein Werk mit vier Sätzen, die den Zyklus des Lebens (Leben-Tod-Transformation) reflektieren. Dabei beginnt und endet die Sinfonie mit Worten von Goethe gesungen in der Uraufführung von Karin Strobos.

Abgerundet wird das Programm der Einspielung dem dem Blockflötenkonzert, das Jeths für Erik Bosgraaf komponierte. Willem Jeths: "Erik kam mehrere Male zu mir, um einige Sequenzen zu spielen und diese auf verschiedenen Instrumenten auszuprobieren. Darunter auch eine Renaissance-Flöte aus dem 16. Jahrhundert von Silvestro Ganassi. Dieses Instrument ist kraftvoller als vergleichbare Barockflöten und so komponierte ich ein Konzert, das speziell auf dieses Instrument zugeschnitten ist. Für mich repräsentiert der Klang der Blockflöte Unschuldigkeit und fragile Reinheit. Ich musste dem Solisten genug Raum geben, diese Qualitäten mit dem größtmöglichen Effekt zu transportieren. Aus diesem Grund habe ich die Orchestrierung minimalistisch gehalten und ihm eher eine dienstbare Rolle zukommen lassen. Nur so kann der Solist vollkommen im Rampenlicht stehen."

Artist(s)

Willem Jeths' musical language has become gradually less atonal over the years. His most recent compositions even have a prominent ground tone. Densely orchestrated sound blocks rub along one another and overlap in an idiom that might remind one more of Ligeti or Rihm than a typical composer of the Dutch school. It is worth noting that Willem Jeths won two prices at the 1996 International Composition Competition in Vienna, for his violin concert Glenz and for his Piano Concerto. The jury included Wolfgang Rihm, Gerard Grisey, Franco Donatoni, Lothar Knessl and Friedrich Cerha - composers who, like Jeths, are intensely attuned to sound as an aspect of composition. Although a work by Willem Jeths might suggest the existence of a clear-cut plan, forms and structures fade to the background during the composition process. Jeths is driven by spirit and fancy, unfettered by predetermined routes or goals. Because he is so conscious of the basic material, the resulting form, individual and personal, appears to the listener as a taut, consistent concept that unifies the piece. This apparently contradiction, in which aesthetics and working method seem to collide, remains one of the most intriguing aspects, both musically and personally, of Willem Jeths.

Composer(s)

Press

''Want List for David DeBoor Canfield''  
Fanfare, 01-11-2016

article
NRC Handelsblad, 19-6-2016

" [...] If you have any interest in music that is both heart-wrenchingly beautiful and profoundly moving to the soul, you will move mountains to acquire this CD. [...] "
Fanfare Magazine, 02-6-2016

“[...]the vulnerable purity of a child’s spirit.[...]”
music web international, 01-5-2016

"The orchestral palette is layered, sophisticated and rich. Wonderful as colors complement each other, and nowhere getting in each others way."
Luister Magazine, 01-3-2016

''This release is like a pearl. Where also in the recorder concert the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra plays the stars stars of heaven''
Opus Klassiek, 09-1-2016

[...] Notes of wonder that, without diversions, are speaking to the heart. The Radio Philharmonic, the mezzo Karin Strobos and Erik Bosgraaf, who plays the recorder, all give the best. So, a lot. [...]
De Telegraaf, 04-1-2016

"The tension created which the orchestra directed by Markus Stenz and the soloist produce, is electrifying." 
Pizzicato, 04-1-2016

["]..The symphony is dripping with Mahler associations, and in the proper sense of the word...It is entirely 'a marvel of subtle and melancholic balance."
Trouw, 11-12-2015

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