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Holt: Meandres

Holt: Meandres

  • By Fred Oldenburg
  • Release 21/06/2024
  • Media Format CD
CD 
Price: USD $20.14

Product Notes

A mesmerising piano cycle by the master

of Dutch minimalism.

'I write music like this not because I'm

isolated,' Simeon Ten Holt once said. 'I'm

isolated because I write music like this.'

And yet, since his death in 2012,

performances and recordings of his music

have multiplied like one of his motivic

cells, gathering energy and momentum to

spread the reputation of a composer who

took the rhythmic precepts of American

minimalists such as Reich and Glass, and

coloured them with a European-Romantic

glow of harmony.

Composed in 1995-97 for four pianos,

Meandres is another monumental yet

approachable piano cycle in the mould of

his celebrated Canto Ostinato, more

complex and more chromatic than the

earlier cycle but sharing with it a hypnotic

clarity and an improvisatory freedom which

leaves a good deal of liberty to the

performers. At first, there is no melody, in

the usual sense of the word. However, over

time, a pattern emerges like a puzzle taking

shape before the listener.

The title refers to the meandering course of

rivers, which takes them to mountain slopes

as well as lowlands. 'Because it is like a

work in progress which never reaches

closure,' remarks the composer, 'the

meandering structure of the piece is quite

demanding on the performers. It is the

condensation of an inquiry into the very

limits of time and space.'

This recording of Meandres was made in 1999

by a team of Dutch pianists who had all worked

with Ten Holt on his music, and accordingly it

vibrates with disciplined authenticity. Sharp

accents continually break and articulate the line

and the restatement of the germinal motif, but

it always loops back to a cadence which Robert

Schumann would have recognised. Combining

Baroque rigour with early-Romantic harmony

and late-20th-century form, Meandres is both

post-modern and timeless as an extension of

piano literature.

Details

Composers: Simeon Ten Holt
Title: Holt: Meandres
Release Date: 21/06/2024
Label: Brilliant Classics
Media Format: CD
UPC: 5028421970059
Item #: 2641508X