composer

Schat, Peter

Peter Schat is one of the most colourful and widely-known Dutch composers of the 20th century. He was born in Utrecht, the son of a Protestant baker, and knew from ...

related works

Canto general : opus 24, for mezzo-soprano, violin and piano, (1974) / Peter Schat

Genre: Vocal music
Subgenre: Voice and instrument(s)
Instruments: sopr-m pf vl

Himmelsfunken : Version for voice and string quartet / Franz Schubert; arranged by Robert Holl

Genre: Vocal music
Subgenre: Voice and instrument(s)
Instruments: zang 2vn vla vc

Übergänge : Textvon Rabindranath Tagore, 6. Folge, für Singstimme, Violoncello und Klavier, 1955 / Fré Focke

Genre: Vocal music
Subgenre: Voice and instrument(s)
Instruments: voice pf vc

Cyclofonie XV : Der Wechsel menslicher Sachen, für Mezzosopran, Klarinette, Fagott, Trompete, Horn und Kontrabass, 1998 / Gedicht von Quirinus Kuhlmann (1671), Hans Kox

Genre: Vocal music
Subgenre: Voice and instrument(s)
Instruments: sopr-m cl fg h trp cb

 

composition

Canto general : opus 24, for mezzo-soprano, violin and piano, (1974) / Peter Schat

Publisher: Amsterdam: Donemus, [1979]
Publisher's number: 06589
Genre: Vocal music
Subgenre: Voice and instrument(s)
Instruments: sopr-m pf vl
Remarks: Spaanse tekst van Pablo Neruda. - Tekst met Engelse vert. apart afgedrukt. - In opdracht van het Bumafonds. - Geschreven voor Lucia Kerstens, Vera Beths en Reinbert de Leeuw. - Cop. 1974. - Tijdsduur: ca. 25'
Duration: 25'00"
Number of players: 3
Status: fully digitized (real-time delivery)

Other authors:
Neruda, Pablo (librettist)
Description:
Program note (English): (...). At first the Canto was meant to be a Devil's Trill sonata for violin and piano, but when I finished the introduction I saw that it was going to be another piece for Lucia, and that once again I wouldn't be able to manage without the aid of a political poet. I discussed the matter with Jan van Vlijmen, who was faced with an analogous problem in a string quartet on which he was working. He mentioned Pablo Neruda, the hero of the Chilean people whose heart had been torn out over the phone by the human butchers at their desks in Washington. I found the poem in Alturas de Macchu Picchu, and one should have no mean opinion about a lucky stroke like that: it is a bridge across an entire ocean, a nuclear fission with an afterglow lasting for days.
In an observation by the Dutch translator, Dolf Verspoor, I found this characterization of Neruda's poetry: "They are pieces of music, in a minor key, consisting sheer of approaches, occasionally modified and withdrawn in the poem, with dissonances frequently sounding simultaneously. And it is a musician who most purely approaches this poetry of a barely twenty-year-old man: the Chopin who in his later live wrote to a friend: "We are a set of old harpsichords on which time and circumstance have finished playing their fatuous trills". Verspoor goes on to talk about the 'obsessive use of the gerund, of what is going on, continuously repeating itself' and it was to be my task to set fires to every word of the poem, not with more words, but with music.
The first performances of Canto General were given on the Amsterdam Electric Circus' Chile evenings in the summer of 1974 by Lucia Kerstens, Vera Beths and Reinbert de Leeuw. They gave rise to the question as to whether this kind of work is suitable for the open air, whether there is any sense in demolishing the Recital Room and rebuilding it in the Vondel Park, in the back yard of the Concertgebouw. Certainly, the performances demanded too much of the performers, and occasionally of the audience too. But the said question cannot be essentially answered by playing an empiric, adult Recital Room against an experimental circus still in its infancy.
Alturas de Macchu Picchu is a cycle of twelve poems - of which I selected the last - from the collection of Canto General. Verspoor writes about the title: "Macchu Picchu (pronounced 'Matchoo Pitchoo', meaning 'ancient peak') is the legendary 'lost city of the Incas', perhaps even pre-Inca, at the literally breathtaking height of more than nine thousand feet, the splendid relic of a city, undiscovered until this century, of a complete civilization like the ones we are still busy destroying (... )" and like the imperialists got Chile into the murdurous grasps of the generals. But not for ever.
For just as the living Allende obtained his weapon from Fidel, his fellow warrior in the Revolution, the dead hero of the Chilean people obtained more immortal weapons from his friend Neruda. They form the pillars of a bridge linking Chile's struggle with ours, a struggle that has a socialistically alive or imperialistically dead world at stake (...). - PETER SCHAT

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