Ten Holt: Canto Ostinato

Ten Holt: Canto Ostinato
Composer Simeon ten Holt
Artist Piano Ensemble: Irene Russo-Fred Oldenburg-Sandra van Veen-Jeroen van Veen pianos
Format 2 CD
Cat. number 9261
EAN code 5029365926126
Release April 2012

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About this release

‘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.

Other information:
- 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.

Track list

Disk 1

  1. Canto Ostinato, Part I: Section 1
  2. Canto Ostinato, Part I: Section 5
  3. Canto Ostinato, Part I: Section 10
  4. Canto Ostinato, Part I: Section 14
  5. Canto Ostinato, Part I: Section 20
  6. Canto Ostinato, Part I: Section 25
  7. Canto Ostinato, Part I: Section 35
  8. Canto Ostinato, Part I: Section 41
  9. Canto Ostinato, Part I: Section 56
  10. Canto Ostinato, Part I: Section 60
  11. Canto Ostinato, Part I: Section 69
  12. Canto Ostinato, Part I: Theme I, Section 74
  13. Canto Ostinato, Part I: Section 78
  14. Canto Ostinato, Part I: Section 83

Disk 2

  1. Canto Ostinato, Part II: Section 88 A
  2. Canto Ostinato, Part II: Section 88 B
  3. Canto Ostinato, Part II: Section 88 E
  4. Canto Ostinato, Part II: Section 88 F
  5. Canto Ostinato, Part II: Section 88 C
  6. Canto Ostinato, Part II: Section 89
  7. Canto Ostinato, Part II: Section 91 A
  8. Canto Ostinato, Part II: Section 91 C
  9. Canto Ostinato, Part II: Section 91 E
  10. Canto Ostinato, Part II: Section 92
  11. Canto Ostinato, Part II: Theme II, Section 95
  12. Canto Ostinato, Part II: Section 97
  13. Canto Ostinato, Part II: Section 105
  14. Canto Ostinato, Part II: Section 106