Badings, Henk

Henk Badings is one of the great composers of the twentieth century, according to the musicologist Leo Samama. Samama describes him as “a versatile artist who apparently could effortlessly go ...

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Symphonie no. VI : (Psalmensymphonie), voor 4-8 stemmig gemengd koor en klein symphonieorkest, (1953) / Henk Badings

Publisher: Amsterdam: Donemus, cop. 1953
Publisher's number: 07190
Genre: Vocal music
Subgenre: Mixed choir and orchestra
Scoring: 2GK4 fl fl(pic) 2ob 2cl cl-b 2fg 4h 3trp 3trb tb timp perc cel hp pf str
Remarks: Voc. bez.: 2 koren SATB. - Met voorw. - In opdracht van de Nederlandse Radio Unie. - Tijdsduur: ca. 32'
Duration: 32'00"
Year of composition: 1953
Status: fully digitized (real-time delivery)

Psalm 88
Psalm 70
Psalm 67
Psalm 150
Program note (English): (Première: 25 -06-1953 - Holland Festival, Rotterdam) - The four parts of this symphony reveal a thematic affinity. The intervals of minor seconds and thirds in the opening develop into motives which the listener will again hear n the three thematic groups of the fast main movement, in the scherzo, in the trio, in the slow third movement - modified into major seconds and thirds - and in the last movement.
The octave leaping motive, starting in the quick main movement of the first Psalm, also returns elsewhere. The thematic development has thus taken place: the choral melody at the end of part IV (melody Psalm 150) is alpha and omega of the entire thematic material. In a musical sense, the first part arises from a dark slow introduction, followed by a fast main movement in sonata form with three thematic groups.
The first thematic group commences with the text 'O Lord, God my salvation'. The second thematic group (at the text 'because my soul is tired of struggling') is lyrical and elegiac. Also the short, third theme, meant as an exposition-epilogue (at the text 'you have taken my loved ones far from me'), canonical between alto and soprano, has an elegiac character. The second movement, Presto, is in a scherzo form.
It reveals a continuous flowing of tonal figures and forceful accents. In the trio (at the text 'Leave unto you happiness and gaiety'), lighter music is applied for the first time, but at the reprise of the scherzo (introduced by 'yet I am miserable and destitute') the atmosphere returns to the beginning.
The third movement, Adagio, is a slow, symphonic movement in a three-part A-B-A form. The seriousness of the components in A are interrupted by the light middle movement (at the text 'the people will praise you, oh Lord).
The fourth movement, Allegro, can be musically seen as a five-part fugue, meaning a fugue, in which five themes serve as the foundation. Above the arising string figures at the opening, one hears the brief first fugue theme exposed in celesta, piano and harp. In this brief first fugal theme one can recognise numerous details of the chorale in Psalm 150.
The second theme at the text 'Praise God in his holiness' appears firstly together with the first theme, and briefly afterwards with the third theme at the text 'Praise Him in all His strength'. The fourth theme appears at the text 'Praises him with the sounding of the trumpet'.
An instrumental intermezzo, specifically based on the first theme, forms the modulation to the contrapuntal peak, where all five themes are combined.
The fifth theme, at the text 'Everything that breathes praises the Lord', enters for the first time. The choir is split into an eight-part double choir, in which the second up to the fifth theme is interwoven; the first theme lies in instrumental swerving of figures. In this vocal fabric the choral theme of Psalm 150 appears as a cantus firmus in the trombones. At the dynamic climax all themes unite together creating a hymnal entity. - HENK BADINGS

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