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By Culturekiosque Staff

AMSTERDAM, 18 MAY 2009 - The French-American composer Edgard Varèse (1883 -1965) was a gruff character who was prepared to fly in the face of every convention. Known as the "Father of Electronic Music", he was one of the first composers to take percussion and use it as a weapon against the academicism of traditional instruments.

The Parisian-born Varèse left behind a significant oeuvre that will be performed in its entirety over two evenings next month (13 - 14 June) during the Holland Festival in Amsterdam.

Winds, brass and percussion, at times augmented by voices, dominate in Var√®se's often raw, rhythmic orchestral works. His Po√®me √Člectronique, in which sound fanned out over the Le Corbusier-designed Philips pavilion at the Brussels World's Fair in 1958, became legendary.

In addition to his D√©serts (source of one of the Th√©√Ętre des Champs-Elys√©es¬īs most memorable scandals when it was created in 1954) the Holland Festival presents the premiere of √Čtude pour Espace, a sketch for his never-realized utopian opera Espace, in an orchestral arrangement by Var√®se's former assistant Chou Wen-chung. Conductor Peter E√∂tv√∂s will be joined by new work by video artist Gary Hill.

Varèse 360 degrees, the first production to be staged by the Holland Festival for a long time, will also visit Festival d'Automne in Paris and London's South Bank Centre.


Saturday 13 June 2009

Hyperprism (1923)
for 9 wind instruments and 9 percussionists

Un Grand Sommeil Noir (1906)
for soprano and piano
Anu Komsi, Niek de Vente

Octandre (1923, rev. & ed. Chou Wen-chung 1980)
for wind instruments and double bass

Offrandes (1921)
for soprano and chamber orchestra
Anu Komsi, Asko|Schönberg

Intégrales (1926, rev. & ed. Chou Wen-chung 1980)
for 11 wind instruments and percussion

Nocturnal (1961, ed. & compl. Chou Wen-chung 1972)
Rotterdams Philharmonisch Orkest, Cappella Amsterdam

Arcana (1931 -1964)
Rotterdams Philharmonisch Orkest

Tuning Up (1947, completed from sketches by Chou in 1998)
Rotterdams Philharmonisch Orkest

Amériques (1922, performance edition prepared from the original manuscript by Chou wen-chung 1997)
Rotterdams Philharmonisch Orkest

14 June 2009

Ionisation (1934)
for 13 percussionists

Ecuatorial (1933-1934)
Cappella Amsterdam
for male voices, 8 brass, piano, organ, 2 theremin or ondes-Martenot and 6 percussionists
Asko|Schönberg, Cappella Amsterdam

Density 21.5 (1936)
for flute solo
Jeannette Landré

√Čtude pour Espace (1947, new arr. Chou Wen-chung) world premi√®re
for chorus and ensemble
Asko|Schönberg, Cappella Amsterdam

Dance for Burgess (1949, ed. Chou Wen-chung 1998)

Déserts (1950-1954)
for wind instruments, piano, percussion and electronic tape

Reconstruction of Po√®me √Člectronique (1958)
360¬į multimedia piece for the 1958 Brussels world expo

Concert venue: Westergasfabriek Gashouder
Klönneplein 1
1014 BE Amsterdam

Performances at 20h

Holland Festival 2009 Website

CD TIP: All CD releases are chosen by the editors as being of interest to Culturekiosque readers.

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Asko Ensemble
Riccardo Chailly
, conductor
Decca: 460 208-2 (2 CDs)

Edgard Varèse without an agenda and Culturekiosque Klassiknet's vote for the most important classical recording of 1998.

BOOK TIP: All titles are chosen by the editors as being of interest to Culturekiosque readers.

Edgard Varèse: Composer, Sound Sculptor, Visionary
Edited by Felix Meyer and Heidy Zimmermann

Suffolk: Boydell & Brewer, 2006, reprinted with corrections 2007
507 pages. - 24.5 x 28.5 cm
10 digit ISBN: 1-84383-211-9
13 digit ISBN: 978-1-84383-211-9
EUR 39.95 / CHF 69.50
Available from the Paul Sacher Stiftung (Paul Sacher Foundation)
Auf Burg, M√ľnsterplatz 4
CH-4051 Basel

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