Keuris, Tristan

Tristan Keuris (Amersfoort, 3 Oct 1946 - Amsterdam, 15 Dec 1996) was one of the leading Dutch composers of his generation. Education: As a child, Tristan Keuris wanted to imitate what ...

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Three Michelangelo songs : for mezzo-soprano and orchestra / Tristan Keuris

Publisher: London [etc.]: Novello, cop. 1991
Publisher's number: 07996
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Subgenre: Voice and orchestra
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Remarks: Italiaanse tekst. - Met financiële steun van het Fonds voor de Scheppende Toonkunst. - Opgedragen aan Jard van Nes en het Gelders Orkest. - T.g.v. het 100-jarig bestaan van het Gelders Orkest. - Jaar van comp.: 1990. - Tijdsduur: ca. 16'
Duration: 16'00"
Status: fully digitized (real-time delivery)

Other authors:
Michelangelo (librettist)
O notte, dolce tempo
Sulla morte di Cecchino Bracci
Di morte certo
Program note (English): A reviewer of the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad rewarded me in December 1990 with two almost jubilant reviews. The first referred to To Brooklyn Bridge, for choir and 15 instruments; the second to Intermezzi, for nine winds. I was especially struck by the end of the second review: "Keuris' Intermezzi are smothered in the French horns a bit too rapidly (...) but, at any rate, they turned out as sketches of a large capacity".
I was amazed, how could this man guess that these were indeed sketches, especially the first part and the end which is "smothered in the French horns a bit too rapidly"? It had indeed been my intention, right from the start, to do more with this material, but I had kept this to myself. At the time I composed the Intermezzi, agreements had been made for a work for mezzo-soprano and orchestra. Although a text had not yet been found, my intention was to write a piece in which rather melancholic farewell gestures would play an important role. When I chanced upon the Michelangelo sonnets, I immediately saw in the sonnet "O notte dolce tempo" the possibility to use the Intermezzi as a basis.
A nice working method: there was a fixed direction in the music, my task was to interweave the vocal part in music that partly already existed, make a completely new instrumentation and create new connections. This working method had also proven to be satisfactory for me when I composed To Brooklyn Bridge (my first vocal work).

In my opinion, one of the great dangers of working with texts is that the poet imposes a rhythmic structure on the composer. This is why I tried, when writing a fragment, to first write the music I felt would have the most appropriate atmosphere, and only after that work on the exact timing and placing of the text. In the second movement: "Sulla morte de Cecchino Bracci", the opening rhythm of the text was an impulse, but no more than that. Otherwise I used the same method.

In the last sonnet, I sensed a disruption between the poet's complaint and his exceptionally religious attitude. It seemed to me that apparently he puts himself above all those poor sinners; he seems unconcerned with this world that is no good anyway, apparently feeling that he himself was already safe. However this may be, it didn't make a completely honest impression on me. Nevertheless, it was musically very attractive; and I went along with the moods of the sonnet unhesitatingly. - TRISTAN KEURIS

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Score Download to Newzik (A3), 64 pages EUR 35.72
Download as PDF (A3), 64 pages EUR 42.87
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Hardcopy, study size (A4), 64 pages EUR 48.20