Vermeulen, Matthijs

Matthijs Vermeulen was born in Helmond on February 8, 1888. He died July 26, 1967 in Laren. He studied in Amsterdam with Daniel de Lange (1907-1909) and Alphons Diepenbrock. From 1909 to ...

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Symphonie no. 3 : Thrène et Péan, 1921-1922 / Matthijs Vermeulen

Publisher: Amsterdam: Donemus, 1997
Publisher's number: 04231
Genre: Orchestra
Subgenre: Orchestra
Scoring: 2pic 2fl(pic) 2ob ob(eh) 2cl cl(cl-b) 2sax 4fg 4h 4trp 3trb tb 2timp 3perc 2hp str
Remarks: Voor orkest. - Uitg. met financiële steun van het Prins Bernhard Fonds en het Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst. - Cop. 1956. - Tijdsduur: ca. 21'
Duration: 21'00"
Year of composition: 1922
Status: fully digitized (real-time delivery)

Program note (English): [Première: May 24,1939 - Amsterdam - Concertgebouworkest, Eduard van Beinum, conducting] - The title recounts what the author wants to bring to sound: Thrène, Chant funèbre, a mourning song in which the loved one sings its mortality, Péan Chant de guerre, Chant de victoire, a love song in its presence. That same desire, or the same luck, in abundant intonations, as voices together. In the middle of the second movement the mourning song of the deceased will prosper in Péan. The link the composer sees between the music of this third symphony and his surroundings at the time, is the crowing of a rooster that he had heard on a morning amid the edge between darkness and light. That moment, strong and clear enough to envision the shadow of that point in time marking the last day. In that moment, the entire work sparkled in one flits. No more than retrieving and fixating an inner image. The title 'symphony' is to be understood in its most general sense. The history of the music has
chronicled so many conceptions of the concept symphony that the author wished to employ a term according to his own interpretation. Here symphony is meant only as an arranged construction of singing material. The plan and the construction of the third symphony are therefore not regulated to one or another historically, more or less conventional academic term, and at the same time are not random and free. Each of the two songs draw melodic rings around their own thematic centre. Both turn concentrically around the invocation with which music starts, in a preludium and that, sounding in different nuances, remains the movement's core. On this three-part diagram the musical progress (a transmission of energy) develops which, although based on the themes, sooner follow orational and psychological rules. In its simple form they could be presented graphically as a slowly ascending line which at its highest point, where the disaster exclaims abyss, suddenly breaks up, falling back to its
origin. The technique in its truest properties, can be characterised as a return to the musical conceptions of the fifteenth century, applied from a modern point of view. Poly-melodic (not to confuse with poly-phony) consequently poly-rhythmic. Freedom of all voices in their motivatation towards harmony. Equality of all orchestral functions in their common task, which is interpretation of the supreme good; equality, with no other distinction then of colour and pattern. Suppression of the chord, deliberately, an independent phenomenon, as an expressive factor of unusual order. This equality, freedom and suppression is not a goal, however, but a means. A method for music to sing one and more melodies. The fundamental root of the third symphony alters between F-sharp and G. One could dispute this. One could define this work as atonal. The author has no methodical opinions regarding tonality and tonal scales [... ] which remains from our past, proving without exception that the real value
of music is not stipulated by how, but by what. The orchestra with an addition of two saxophones and a group of timpani, preserved the composition which slowly grew into one of the most admirable creations of the European spirit. The style of the work brought traditional structures and combinations of instruments together. The composer thanks Maneto for creating the possibility of contrasting reality with voices which up to now remained imaginary and virtual. - MATTHIJS VERMEULEN

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