Piano Ensemble: Irene Russo, Fred Oldenburg, Sandra van Veen, Jeroen van Veen (piano)
CD - 2 discs
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‘My compositions take shape without any predetermined plan and are, as it were, the reflection of a quest for an unknown goal.’ Simeon ten Holt.
The Dutch composer Simeon ten Holt (b.1923) began his career immersed in the intricacies and innovations of serialism, exploring what he described as ‘the semantics of musical language’ in an endeavour to expand his musical expression. However, in 1970 he abandoned the complex twelve-note technique that had been the standard since the Second World War, and returned to sounds and patterns that were easier for the ear to understand. In doing so, he created a unique Dutch minimalist style, using simple triads, shifting rhythmic patterns and repetition. Canto Ostinato, scored for four grand pianos, is the quintessential example of Ten Holt’s groundbreaking minimalist style, one of his most well-known and criticallyacclaimed compositions.
Constructed using short cells that can be repeated an indeterminate number of times by performers, the music is hypnotic and emotionally moving, taking listeners on a journey through musical landscapes. With an expert performance by Piano Ensemble, a group that includes a number of specialists in minimalism, this recording is authoritative, complex yet accessible, and an essential addition to the collection of anyone interested in minimalism.
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