The Music of Louis Andriessen (Music in the Twentieth Century)

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Paradigmatic substitution via distortion. Example 3.

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Figure 4. Progressive de-contextualization. Example 4. Figure 5. A typology of constructs that generate satiric and ironic ethos. Example 5. Stylistic and Literal Quotations in No. When a composer embeds a quotation that connotes a certain expressive state and distorts it, its corresponding expressive state undergoes negation by analogy. This formula for negation is characterized by a distortion or exaggeration of a literal quotation along a temporal axis.

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In scene 9, three men sit at a hotel bar and gloat over their lifestyle of leisure Example 3. In the absence of dialogue, the excessive ornaments and inflated style of playing distort the innocence of the original tune and turn it into a symbol of decadence.

Since this is the only scene where this tune is parodied, the satirical effect is localized; the distortion of this tune, nonetheless, presents a poignant commentary on the illusory world of Mahagonny. Jimmy, a Christ-like figure who objects to his existence in this fake world of decadence, becomes a pariah and is executed in the end. In Example 4 , the succession of parodied element and contrasting motive are indicated as x and y to show how the pattern conforms to the model presented in Figure 4a.

A preliminary typology may be established as shown in Figure 5. The remaining constructs apply to the projection of such ethos at a broader, metaphoric or symbolic level.

Louis Andriessen - In Memoriam (1971; Royal Conservatory)

The previous examples demonstrated how satirical effects were generated by means of inverted correlation and paradigmatic substitution; however, such localized effects may be combined with other strategies to project irony at the global level of musical discourse. The string and woodwind players represent bullfinches each confined within a cage on stage and, symbolically, the society at large that mocks the King. This effect is hardly comforting.

Studies in Contemporary Music and Culture

As shown in Example 5 , the distorted Handelian parody is flanked by foxtrot and vaudeville tunes that reference sin. The music oscillates back and forth between tonal and atonal poles. The symbolic death of the violin represents the death of his society.

This seemingly absurd scene nonetheless gives way to a nuanced interpretation of satire and irony at multiple levels of structure. Locally, it is through the strategy of progressive de-contextualization that the satiric ethos is sustained. As shown in Example 5, the Handelian reference x—the parodied style that is historically contemporaneous to the period in which King George lived—undergoes continual distortion -x. In the process the musical idiom oscillates back and forth between tonal and atonal poles.

Biographies » Classical Composers, Louis Andriessen (page 1 of 1) | Presto Books

One could argue that Davies prolongs dramatic tension in this scene by mapping tonal and atonal references onto two distinct tropological poles of opposition tonal: atonal :: decadence: innocence and tonal: atonal :: illusion: reality. From a broader aesthetic realm, madness in this theatrical piece emerges as a trope that is doubly-coded.

By portraying madness as a societal phenomenon, the composer tries to lift the stigma attached to the individual affliction of madness. Here, the trope of madness is suggestive of what D. To provide a dialectic framework to the opera, Greenaway and Andriessen came up with the idea of introducing sudden ruptures or interpolations from the inner world of women and children into the turbulent outer world. The dramaturgical design of the opera consists of six scenes that contrast the domestic serenity of women and children with sudden interpolations into the outer world.

Though the inner world of women is kept apart from the outer world in the first half of the opera, the two worlds eventually collide and merge. The positively-charged themes and negatively-charged harmonization result in a kind of musical chiaroscuro play of light and shadow without tending toward reconciliation. Thus the strategy of dissonance relies on a topical correlation established between music and text, that is, text: music :: positive imagery light : negative image shadow.

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Figure 6. Example 6a.

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De-contextualization of SW1 scene 1, reh. Example 6b. Figure 7. Comparison of the parodic structure of the four works. The moment at which the transition from incomplete to complete statement of the theme corresponds with the Golden section of the opera see Example 6b and, moreover, the cathartic moment when the women begin to acknowledge their inner emotions of turmoil. At a broader metaphoric level, the de-contextualization of the Sweelinck quotation affirms the act of yearning as a trope that fuses life and death as an inseparable semantic unit.

It is the progressive de-contextualization of the Sweelinck quotation, spanning the entire opera, that gives rise to and sustains the dramatic irony. Topics include his artistic evolution, his relationship to minimalism, his prevalent interest in mysticism and meaning, the use of quotation and writing for the stage and an introduction to his musical language. Review This Product No reviews yet - be the first to create one!

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From a background of jazz and avant-garde composition, Andriessen has evolved a style employing elemental harmonic, melodic and rhythmic materials, heard in totally distinctive instrumentation. His acknowledged admiration for Stravinsky is illustrated by a parallel vigour, clarity of expression, and acute ear for colour.

The range of Andriessen's inspiration is wide, from the music of Charles Ives in Anachronie I , the art of Mondriaan in De Stijl , and medieval poetic visions in Hadewijch , to writings on shipbuilding and atomic theory in De Materie Part I. He has tackled complex creative issues, exploring the relation between music and politics in De Staat , the nature of time and velocity in De Tijd and De Snelheid , and questions of mortality in Trilogy of the Last Day. Andriessen's compositions have attracted many leading exponents of contemporary music, including the two Dutch groups named after his works De Volharding and Hoketus. Collaborative works with other artists include a series of dance projects, the full length theatre piece De Materie created with Robert Wilson for the Netherlands Opera, and three works created with Peter Greenaway: the film M is for Man, Music, Mozart , and the stage works ROSA , Death of a Composer and Writing to Vermeer , premiered at the Netherlands Opera in and respectively.

In October the German ensemble MusikFabrik premiered Racconto dall'Inferno , the first part of a forthcoming large music-theatre work based on Dante. The music of Louis Andriessen b. A contemporary of Glass and Reich, he hit the big time in with De Staat, a wild, aggressive choral-instrumental minimalist masterpiece. I see composing as an experiment.