Loevendie, Theo

Loevendie calls himself a “latecomer as a composer”. Until the 1970s, he was known only as a jazz saxophonist. He gained international fame with his quartet (with Hans Dulfer, Arjen ...

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Six Turkish folkpoems : for female voice and 7 instruments, (1977) / Theo Loevendie

Publisher: Amsterdam: Donemus, 1982
Publisher's number: 05539
Genre: Vocal music
Subgenre: Voice and instrument(s)
Instruments: sopr/sopr-m fl(pic) cl perc hp pf vl vc
Remarks: Voor sopraan of mezzosopraan, fluit (tevens piccolo), klarinet, harp, piano, slagwerker, viool en cello. - Turkse tekst. - Tekst met Engelse vert. apart afgedrukt. - In opdracht van het Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst. - Opgedragen aan Dorothy Dorow. - Cop. 1977. - Tijdsduur: ca. 17'
Duration: 17'00"
Number of players: 8
Status: fully digitized (real-time delivery)

Program note (English): To people in the Western hemisphere, Eastern poetry evokes an image of subtlety and philosophical depths. The art of men of letters is responsible for this image, the best-known examples in the Western world being the Japanese haiku and the quatrains of the great Persian poet, Omar Khayyam (which have the same rhythmic pattern as these Turkish folk poems). They are the pinnacles of a cultural iceberg which rests on a fundament of living, anonymous folk art. These six 'Mâni', selected from a collection of 3000, are typical specimens of folk art; their content is extremely concrete, straight from the shoulder and linguistically pure without the intellectual niceties of Arabic and Persian words which frequently appear in literary art.
Although the meter and rhyme are clearly indicated in the first two lines of these quatrains, the meaning of these lines has little or nothing to do with the actual content of the poems as given in the next two lines. This occasionally has a comic effect which is entirely lost in translation and which is most obvious in the second and fourth poems. It is one of the reasons for keeping to the original language in this cycle.
The pitch organisation in the song cycle employs a diatonic tetrachord (D-E-F-G), to be found in most Turkish folk music, although in a slightly different tuning. The effect is usually so abstract that there is no question of any audible reference to folk music. The same applies to the element of rhythm, so important in these songs. The six songs are grouped as follows: 1, 2-3-4, 5-6, a reflection of the relationship in the rhythmic cell serving as a basis (2-3-1). The elaboration of this cell differs from one song to the next, but has more in common with African polyrhythm and medieval isorhythm than with the rhythmic phenomena of Balkan and Turkish music. - THEO LOEVENDIE

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