composer

Straesser, Joep

Joep Straesser was born in Amsterdam on March 11, 1934. He died on September 22, 2004 in Loenersloot. Joep Straesser studied musicology from 1953 to 1955 at the University of Amsterdam.

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composition

Nimm Dir etwas Schönes : 7 Lieder auf alt-[Ä]gyptische Texte, für Sopran, Klarinette (B), Geige und Klavier, 1979 / Joep Straesser

Publisher: Amsterdam: Donemus, cop. 1979
Publisher's number: 05644
Genre: Vocal music
Subgenre: Voice and instrument(s)
Instruments: sopr cl pf vl
Remarks: Tekst apart afgedrukt. - In opdracht van de gemeente Amsterdam. - Opgedragen aan Dieuwke Aalbers. - Tijdsduur: ca. 20'
Duration: 20'00"
Number of players: 4
Year of composition: 1979
Status: fully digitized (real-time delivery)

Contains:
An die Morgensonne
Vom Fluss
Die Macht der Liebe
Im Tempelkult
Die Klage von Merit-Re
Das Haus vom Westland
An die Nacht
Description:
Program note (English): "Nimm dir etwas Schönes" consists of seven settings of ancient Egyptian texts in German translation.
The first song is about sunrise, the second about young love, the third about mature love, the fourth about dancing and drunkenness, the fifth is a woman's lament at her husbands bier, the sixth is about the fate of the dead and the seventh about the night. A striking feature is that most of the subjects are seen from a woman's point of view and therefore the songs should not be performed by a tenor. While composing these songs I bore two points in mind: 1. The texts are so meaningful and with such poetical and expressive strength that it was important they should remain audible. This excluded a modern approach to setting words to music, which concentrates on the phonetic aspect of the text and treats it as musical sound while audibility is of minor importance. Therefore the voice had to be treated in a relatively traditional manner. 2. No matter how different the texts and their settings should be, strong and clearly audible links between the songs should exist regarding the used
material. This starting point resulted in a prominent use of major and minor seconds and so the song cycle can be regarded as a set of variations.

The audibility of the words made it necessary to use a rather traditional technique of composition. Choosing certain intervals as building blocks for the whole work is a mode of composing that was employed by a.o. Debussy, Webern and the serial composers of the 'fifties and sixties' and still current. Historically both starting points form a certain contradiction. A tension between tradition and modern techniques arise and particularly in this area of tension I at present make my compositions. - JOEP STRAESSER

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