Leeuw, Ton de

Ton de Leeuw was born on November 16, 1926 in Rotterdam. He died on May 31, 1996 in Paris (France). In 1949, after some years of composition lessons with Henk Badings, ...

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Mouvements rétrogrades : for orchestra, (1957) / Ton de Leeuw

Publisher: Amsterdam: Donemus, [1981]
Publisher's number: 04067
Genre: Orchestra
Subgenre: Orchestra
Instruments: pic 2fl 2ob ob(eh) 2fg cfg 4h 3trp 3trb tb timp 2perc cel hp pf str
Remarks: In opdracht van het Ministerie voor Onderwijs, Kunsten en Wetenschappen. - Cop. 1957. - Tijdsduur: ca. 13'
Duration: 13'00"
Status: fully digitized (real-time delivery)

Allegro leggiero
L'istesso tempo
Allegro (l'istesso tempo)
Moderato con moto
Allegro mosso
(L'istesso tempo)
Poco largo
Program note (English): It has been written for full symphony orchestra and consists of ten short parts. The first part already explains the title of this work. The string orchestra strikes up with a musical theme, which takes up little more than four bars; then an answer follows, which, strictly speaking, represents the same material, but from a rhythmical point of view is played backwards. This two foldness forms the first half part of I; the second half brings another theme, also followed by a backward (retrograde) answer. Consequently the totality consists of two groups, both having a musical mirror in the middle.
All ten parts then have, in broad outline, the same structure, each time being accentuated, however, in another way. We are dealing, as it were, with ten different facets of the same structure. So there is no question of displaying and elaborating theme or a motif. We could rather speak of a static balance in the music. This could be compared with a crystal, which is turning round and round and - although it remains unchanged itself - continuously reflects different light effects.
It goes without saying that what has been said about the form, also applies to the other elements. Although their structure and application considerably depart in some ways from the usual compository means, we do not consider a more detailed explication relevant here. The reader will understand that all musical parts must aim at the same object, in order to enable a harmonious totality. As for the movement, we can distinguish four parts:
1. The first two parts are disconnected and have a rather moderate one movement;
2. parts 3, 4 and 5 form an ensemble, in quicknone movement;
3. the part 6 is a quiet introduction of the connected parts 7 and 8, both in quicknone movement, whereas
4. parts 9 and 10 form the finale in slownone movement.- TON DE LEEUW

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