Louis Andriessen De Materie Soloists, Schonberg Ensemble, Asko Ensemble, members of the Netherlands Chamber Choir / Reinbert de Leeuw Nonesuch 7559-79367-2, two discs
Friday 14 February 1997
Hadewijch occupies Part 2 of the parent work, whereas Part 4 - which commemorates Marie Curie and her husband Pierre - uses material by Louis's father Hendrik and Part 1 opens to the revolutionary "Act of Abjuration" of 1581. Dutch history is an invariable presence, but beyond the foundation of the first Republic, Andriessen whisks us off to a shipbuilder's yard, has his singers teach us the ropes, and colours their instructions with enough percussive thrashing to send the neighbours berserk. Therein lie just a few components of a thrilling music drama that's upbeat one moment, meditative the next, but absolutely never boring. Sound and performance are both superb.
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