Leeuw, Ton de

Ton de Leeuw was born on November 16, 1926 in Rotterdam. He died on May 31, 1996 in Paris (France). In 1949, after some years of composition lessons with Henk Badings, ...

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Three Shakespeare songs : for mezzo-soprano and instrumental ensemble, 1994-1995 / Ton de Leeuw ; on texts by William Shakespeare

Publisher: Amsterdam: Muziek Centrum Nederland, 2010
Publisher's number: 08935
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Scoring: sopr-m fl(pi,fl-a) ob cl sax 2h 2trb 2perc hp pf(synth, glock) 2vl 2vla 2vc
Remarks: Instr. bez.: fluit (tevens piccolo en altfluit), hobo, klarinet, sopraansaxofoon (tevens tenorsaxofoon), 2 hoorns, 2 trombones, piano (tevens synthesizer en glockenspiel), 2 slagwerkers, harp, 2 violen, 2 altviolen en 2 cello's. - Tekst apart afgedrukt. - In opdracht van het Fonds voor de Scheppende Toonkunst. - Geschreven voor het Holland Festival en Ensemble Intercontemporain. - Cop., Donemus, 1995.
Duration: 23'00"
Number of players: 19
Year of composition: 1995
Status: fully digitized (real-time delivery)

Other authors:
Shakespeare, William (librettist)
Bevat: 1. Night music
2. No longer mourn
3. But time decays
Program note (English): (Première: 13-6-1996 - Concertgebouw, Amsterdam - Ensemble InterContemporain, David Robertson, conducting, Rosemary Hardy, soprano). Song 1 'Night music'. In changing images text and music recall the silence of the night, the magic of a starlit and the perfect harmony which lies there. This leads then to a description of "music of the spheres ", in which the returning job of the sky bodies are always symbolically reflected in music: sound universe, formed by a self rotating tonal movement. In a short epilogue it is finally clear that we cannot observe, in our earthly existence, celestial music. The changing characters in this sonnet find their by-effect in multicoloured musical forms of appearance, with as many alternatives of an always identical principal point. Song 2 'No longer mourn'. In contrast to the wealth of sound in the first song music has here an extremely sober design, and a smaller instrumentation, dominated by the dark tones by four brass instruments. The musical phrasing is simple chanting, isolated strokes on the large drum, whereas the tubular bells are of course the "surly sullen bell" of the text. This directness and elementary simplicity are also found in the melodic lines of the soloist and in the tight rhythmic design of the total, which does slightly resemble the dancing movements of the ancient Japanese Bugaku. The composer found that with this frugality, unequalled beauty and nostalgia of the sonnet would best be expressed. Song 3 'But time decays'. A returning theme in Shakespeare's sonnets: unrelentless fleeing of time, and the hope that beauty and lover will survive human death. Again, like in most of my work, cycles are central: continuously returning sequences appear in other musical forms, as it were a symbolic reproduction of, and dispossession to the cosmic laws which seem to be master of all nature. Incorporated in a relentlessly driving musical movement, the text floats beyond in the images. Only at the end is rest in movement rest and in the last sentence unfolds "O none, unless this miracle property might that in black ink my love may still shine bright". - TON DE LEEUW

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