Several world-premiere recordings complementing a powerful sacred song-cycle by Hendrik Andriessen.
In Miroir de Peine, five stages of the Agony of Christ are viewed from the perspective of Mary, mother of Jesus. Composed in 1923, Hendrik Andriessen’s settings of poems by Henri Ghéon eschew both Romantic and modernist tropes of the time in favour of a meditative consideration of intimate, mystical simplicity. This quality is shared by his later setting of a Paul Claudel text, La Sainte Face.
In the midst of the Second World War, imprisoned in an internment camp by Nazi occupying forces, Andriessen then made a devotional setting of a medieval Marian text, Maria, schone vrouwe’, as a wedding-anniversary gift to his wife. The consciously archaic style of this prayer for aid conveys an intimate yearning, while his Sonata da Chiesa for solo organ employs a more chromatic language despite the neoclassical origins of the form.
In search of companion pieces for Miroir de Peine, Klaartje van Veldhoven and Matthias Havinga turned up the music of Rosy Wertheim, a Dutch-Jewish pianist, teacher, writer and composer who organised covert concerts in the cellar of her home in Amsterdam during the Occupation. Like Andriessen, she also set Magna res est amor, a hymn in praise of love by Thomas a Kempis. Just as Miroir de Peine is heard here in a version with solo organ rather than the original string-orchestra accompaniment, Wertheim’s accompaniment for violin and viola has been adapted for solo organ by Matthias Havinga.
Havinga has also transcribed the piano part of Vrijheid, a neoclassically styled ode to freedom composed at the end of the war by Bertus van Lier. Between the vocal items on the album, he interleaves solo-organ pieces by Henk Badings including an early Toccata and two densely woven preludes and fugues.
Both of these Dutch artists have made critically acclaimed recordings for Brilliant Classics. They include ‘Delight in Musicke’ (95654), a collection of songs and dances from Elizabethan England, and a journey through the genre of organ passacaglias from Buxtehude to Shostakovich (9269).
- This disc presents songs for soprano and organ by Dutch composers, notably by Hendrik Andriessen.
- Hendrik Andriessen was born in Haarlem, The Netherlands. He received lessons from his father, Nicolaas Hendrik Andriessen, who was the music director and organist at the St. Josef Church in Haarlem, a post Hendrik took over after his father’s death in 1913.
- Hendrik Andriessen had composition lessons from Bernard Zweers. His first mature works include religious compositions, organ works, chamber music and lieder. Andriessen’s style shows obvious influences of the French composers Vincent d'lndy, César Franck, Gabriel Pierné and Albert Roussel.
- The main work on this CD is Miroir de Peine, a languorous song-cycle to Henri Vangeon’s poems of religious ecstasy describing the suffering of Christ from the perspective of the Virgin Mary. Also included are organ works by Andriessen, as well as songs and organ works by Rosy Wertheim, Bertus van Lier and Henk Badings.
Beautifully sung by Dutch soprano Klaartje van Veldhoven. Educated at the Amsterdam Conservatorium and the Schola Cantorum in Basel she collaborated with conductors Ton Koopman, Sigiswald Kuijken, Alfredo Bernardini and Shunsuke Sato. Dutch organist Matthias Havinga enjoys a successful international career and is organist of the Oude Kerk and Ronde Lutherse Kerk in Amsterdam. He made several highly praised CDs for Brilliant Classics.