Simons, Marijn

General: Simons was born in The Netherlands on December 29, 1982. Education: He studied violin with Prof. Saschko Gawriloff, composition with Daan Manneke and James MacMillan and conducting with Ed Spanjaard, ...

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Chamber Symphony Nº 2 : for ensemble / Marijn Simons

Publisher's number: 12760
Genre: Chamber music
Instruments: fl cl perc pf vl vc
Remarks: Opus 74.
Year of composition: 2012
Status: fully digitized (real-time delivery)

The Chamber Symphony no. 2 (2012) is dedicated to Marcus Bosch, the Artistic Director of the Opernfestspiele Heidenheim. This work is an orchestration of two older pieces, namely an electronic composition called Suite for Marijn's Digital Orchestra (2008-2009) and my Piano Trio (2008-2009). The form of three big movements with each of them being preceded by a short prelude was my original concept for the Piano Trio. However the complex rhythmical ideas I had in mind for the preludes were impossible for the medium of a piano trio and therefore ended up as the first three movements of the Suite for Marijn's Digital Orchestra. The computer being able to perform these perfectly and without any problems. The remaining three movements of the Piano Trio turned out to be so hard to perform without a conductor, that no piano trio (including the one who commissioned the work) has dared to play the piece yet. Therefore orchestrating them for an ensemble which is to be conducted seemed a more practical approach for these movements.

The prelude A New Phase starts with a hyperactive accompaniment over which the clarinet plays a solo. This material "falls apart" before it goes into:

The Archduke Rhythm which plays around with a rhythmical structure from Beethoven's Archduke Trio.

The title The Hammerless Master is a wordplay on Boulez's Le marteau sans maître. The rhythmical structure of this short movement is based on prime numbers. The melodies use the 11-interval system. This is a system I developed which uses all the eleven intervals from a minor second until a major seventh. An interval doesn't get repeated until the other 10 are used. This might remind someone of a principle used by Schoenberg for the 12-tone system, but unlike the 12-tone system notes can be repeated (if different intervals end up at the same pitch) and it's more about the relationships between the notes rather than about the pitches themselves. This "religious-extremist approach" leads to:

Prairie Protestants which is a term given by my Canadian friend Andrew Simpson (Principal Violist of the Aachen Symphony Orchestra) to American TV evangelists. We both find the phenomenon of these TV preachers highly entertaining in its absolute absurdity.

Xylophagidae sounds more like the title of a play from an ancient Greek philosopher, but in fact it's the name of a little insect to be found on Crete (where my wife and I spent our honeymoon in 2008) and which is called there "Tzitzikia". A similar sounding animal plays a role in the movement Les grillons from my piano solo Suite du Sud. In Xylophagidae the clarinet has a more soloistic role having his instrument tuned down a quarter tone. It keeps being played "out of tune" in:

In Utramque Partem which is Latin for arguing both sides of a story. In this movement two different pieces of music are superimposed, namely the last movement E-compositron from my Piano Trio and the last movement Solve et coagula from Suite for Marijn's Digital Orchestra. - Marijn Simons

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