‘My compositions take shape without any predetermined plan and are, as it were, the reflection of a quest for an unknown goal.’ Simeon ten Holt
The Dutch composer Simeon ten Holt (b.1923) began his career immersed in the intricacies and innovations of serialism, exploring what he described as ‘the semantics of musical language’ in an endeavour to expand his musical expression. However, in 1970 he abandoned the complex twelve-note technique that had been the standard since the Second World War, and returned to sounds and patterns that were easier for the ear to understand. In doing so, he created a unique Dutch minimalist style, using simple triads, shifting rhythmic patterns and repetition.
Canto Ostinato, scored for four grand pianos, is the quintessential example of Ten Holt’s groundbreaking minimalist style, one of his most well-known and critically-acclaimed compositions. Constructed using short cells that can be repeated an indeterminate number of times by performers, the music is hypnotic and emotionally moving, taking listeners on a journey through musical landscapes.With an expert performance by Piano Ensemble, a group that includes a number of specialists in minimalism, this recording is authoritative, complex yet accessible, and an essential addition to the collection of anyone interested in minimalism.
- Considered one of the best and most successful works of “Minimal Music”, the Canto Ostinato by Dutch composer Simeon ten Holt acquired a cult status.
- Performed on four Fazioli Grand Pianos.
- Performances all over the world work their magic power over the audience, hypnotising the listeners in the sequences of repeated phrases, subtly changing textures and unheard sonorities.
- Booklet notes written by the performers and composer.