|Composer||Andriessen, Louis (1939)|
|Remarks||Louis Andriessen, Facing Death
The Dutch composer Louis Andriessen (b.1939) has at various times drawn on compositional processes taken from the 15th through to the 18th centuries, as weil as being profoundly influenced by Stravinsky. He has taken concepts from Ives and Satie, and been consistently fascinated by popular music and jazz. The quintessential Andriessen ensemble sound, heavily reliant on brass, keyboards and electric guitars owes much to his interest in these latter genres, and the jazz world clearly provides the foundation for Facing Death (1991). This work takes as its starting point the be-bop lines of jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker, an artist who was important to the young Andriessen in his formative years. Originally the work was scored for string quartet, a curious paradox since, as Andriessen himself has admitted, be-bop lines are not at all idiomatic for string instruments. They are, however, idiomatic for saxophones, and parker's angular and frenetic style sits much more comfortably in this version than the ‘original’.
Text: Stephen Cottrell / Amstel Quartet