Padding, Martijn

Martijn Padding was born on April 24, 1956 in Amsterdam. In the introduction to his website, Martijn Padding writes, regarding his music and way of working, that he studied a volume ...

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Scharf abreissen : for orchestra, 1995 / Martijn Padding

Publisher: Amsterdam: Donemus, 1997
Publisher's number: 08885
Genre: Orchestra
Subgenre: Orchestra
Instruments: 4544 6541 4perc 2hp pf str
Remarks: In opdracht van het Fonds voor de Scheppende Toonkunst. - Geschreven voor Oliver Knussen en het Residentie Orkest. - T.g.v. de 50ste verjaardag van de Stichting Gaudeamus. - Opgedragen aan Henk Heuvelmans en Stichting Gaudeamus. - Cop. 1995. - Tijdsduur: ca. 24'
Duration: 24'00"
Year of composition: 1995
Status: not yet digitized (expected delivery time 14 days)

Program note (English): For me, there are two great composers: Beethoven and Monk, leaving other composers behind at great distance. In Beethoven, I admire the way he can make a very modest motif into a masterly construction. For example the theme of the Fifth Symphony: tatatatáááá. What I admire in Monk is his timing. Being a psychotic, he was always under the influence of tranquillizers. He made very strange pauses in the harmonic-rhythmic discourse, just because he needed some time to think. Thus he undermined the feeling of harmonic-tonal rhythm. He also "un-tonalized" harmonies by combining them with dissonant seconds. He does not give those chords any credit at all; he keeps on badgering them. Both composers are present in my work 'Scharf abreissen' , which forms a trilogy with two other large-scale works: 'Jesu, erbarme Dich noch einmal' for choir and orchestra and 'Nicht eilen, nicht schleppen' for voice and ensemble. To me, the main point of attention in composing is the course of harmonic
relations. Before I start working, I want a fully elaborated harmonic structure of a piece. I must know the first and last chord. There must be a propulsion from one chord to another. Every pitch must have a necessity for sounding; every note must come from the harmonic causality. That is why Boulez' music does not interest me so much anymore, or the aesthetic fiddling with notes of the Berio- and Donatoni-epigones from Italy. Tone clouds, all right, but what exactly is happening? Or Cage's music; what is the difference if his pieces last for an hour or five minutes. For the last three years, I have been searching, while experimenting at the piano, for my own series of chords, in the twilight zone between diatonics (seven-tone scale) en chromaticism (twelve-tone scale). For the trilogy, I used a matrix of six six-voiced chords. This series of chords is a perfect workspace for me: I can "modulate" between these chords, also in various transpositions, without harming the voicing. The
voicing is always right as long as I don't use the same chord twice in a specific transposition, because that results in parallel movements of the voices. In 'Scharf abreissen', I tell three stories simultaneously. The main story is formed by chorales for two voices. I wrote twelve two-voiced chorales for this work, in the traditional note-against-note counterpoint: a series of intervals, harmonically speaking the simplest procedure but for unisono playing, performed solemnly and regularly by a very large orchestra. That was my first vision. The second story consists of references to hyper-romantic and hysteric music by Mahler and Brahms. The harmonies for this music are partly supplied by a matrix of six-part chords that I constructed for the trilogy. The third story consists of swinging structures reminiscent of Thelonious Monk, and references to rock music (especially in the sometimes-heavy percussion parts). - MARTIJN PADDING

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