composer

Vriend, Jan

From the start, Jan Vriend has been a musical omnivore who combines a strongly modernistic approach with openness to the interests of and needs for a good musical education. ...

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composition

Hallelujah I : for bass clarinet and large orchestra, Movements 1-4 / Jan Vriend

Publisher: Amsterdam: Donemus, 1997
Publisher's number: 07994
Genre: Orchestra
Subgenre: Clarinet and large ensemble
Instruments: 2fl(pic) 2fl 2ob eh heck 2cl cl-b 2cl-cb 3fg 2cfg 6h trp-p 3trp3trb trb-b tb 6perc 24vl 10vla 8vc 6cb cl-b-solo
Remarks: Basklarinet el. versterkt. - Ondertitel op omslag: A symphony of the North. - Versie 1997. - Met voorw. - In opdracht van het Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst. - Met financiële steun van het Fonds voor de Scheppende Toonkunst. - Cop. 1992. - Jaar van oorspr. comp.: 1990. - Tijdsduur: ca. 58'-60'
Duration: 60'00"
Status: fully digitized (real-time delivery)

Description:
Program note (English): Its program is evolution. Imagine that in the beginning there was no sound, no potential energy, compressed in one nucleus with tremendous mass and inward gravity. The energy is nearly stable, but not quite. Forces are nearly symmetric, but not quite. Instability gains the upper-band and initiates the first chain-reactions that follow in ever quicker succession onto the first known "catastrophe" in the history of the universe: the big bang that creates it, the sudden desintegration of matter into myriads of particles scattered into the newly born directions and dimensions of space and time. The particles however travel with a memory of cohesion and in the chaos of dispersion grab around desperately to reunite: great fluctuations of density occur in shockwaves of uncontrolled energy that tries to find borders. Groups of particles unite more or less successfully into clusters of new matter; others form temporary aggregates of some sort of cohesion. Contours of movement become
discernable; texture and substance compete for definition. Some articulation appears as we take position in amongst the torrents and vortices that struggle in numerous degrees of freedom to find order and stability. Only to find that life is change is meeting and dealing with other forces that compete for position and alliance. At some point a branching into streams and layers of relatively distinct substance and contour takes place. Their proliferation increases density and results in another amorphous amassment of energy: local order combines into new disorder. First ambiguity! A single entity stands out suddenly trying to encompass on its own both complexity and energy accumulated hitherto. Second ambiguity! Its inherent instability lurks and must release: after a final spasm it unleashes into the depths of its allocated space, leaving behind a cloud of newly amassed particles. Its a-symmetrical creation guarantees new instability. The cloud starts breathing, then pulsating and
finally imbued with a life of its own, creates the first musical shape and gesture in the piece, ending in an implosion from which new matter emerges. The emergence of the soloist symbolizes the appearance of catalyzing forces with initiate or channel potential energy in their environment. In doing so, gradually more and more sophisticated forms of musical shape and behaviour come into being. In line with this piece of imagery Hallelujah I endeavours to represent an evolution of sound into music from the imaginary birth of sound through several stages of development up to musical "speach", musical dialogue and architecture. This provides the work with a "programme" of a truly musical nature! It gives it a purpose. And it allows for the incorporation and meaningful application of some of the most important achievements of 20th century developments in musical conception and composition techniques. In this respect I am heavily indebted to Edgar Varèse's adagium of the liberation of sound
and Iannis Xenakis' contribution to the development of the appropriate tools of control. In fact, one could conceivably think of Hallelujah I as a celebration of the "liberation of sound". The first 4 parts (movement I) represent stages in the development of musical control over sound, taming the masses of particles, looking for individual opportunities to grow out of the amorphous into the specific, turning sound inside-out and vice versa, trying to latch on to the speed and manifold rhythms of change. The role and performance of the soloist grows in a comparable way, usually a step ahead of the orchestra. In stage 4 he manages to encourage other individuals to "stand out" and emancipate from the masses, whilst in the orchestra different groups produce more and more specific behaviour in response. It is this ability of the orchestra to split up into a variety of sub-ensembles that I wanted to exploit in a separate movement (part 5, at present) which I called "concerto for orchestra".
- JAN VRIEND

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