Born in 1923, Simeon ten Holt was a leading Dutch composer who came to attention following studies in Paris with Honegger and Milhaud. His music is best described as minimalist, and draws on the principles of Western harmony as well as those of aleatoricism.
This 5CD compilation is dedicated to Ten Holt’s music for piano, an instrument that dominates his output and which for him contained all the possibilities he needed as a composer. Undoubtedly the most famous work featured is Canto Ostinato – a piece of stretched tones and fixed parts which, depending on the amount of repetition/phrasing/emphasis and volume as determined by the individual performer, provides for an almost endless range of performances. The process of listening to this music is similar to that of experiencing a ritual, and the same can be said of the other works on the compilation: Natalon in E, Aforisme II, the four Solos Devils Dances and Eadem Sed Aliter, the latter of which demands a high level of skill through the ‘two sixteenths’ separation between the left and right hand.
Performing these works is the acclaimed Dutch pianist Jeroen van Veen, a Brilliant Classics regular who is one of Ten Holt’s biggest advocates. The release is an engaging follow-up to his 11CD box set with Ten Holt (‘Multiple Piano Works’) and the 9CD ‘Minimal Piano Collection’, which includes his own 24 minimal preludes.
- Recorded 2012, The Netherlands.
- Very recently passed away at age 89, Simeon ten Holt was the Icon of Dutch minimalism. His works for multiple pianos include his most famous work, “Canto Ostinato”, which gained cult status with a large audience not necessarily familiar with traditional classical music.
- The slowly shifting repeated patterns in Ten Holt’s music have a hypnotic and hallucinatory effect on listeners, during concerts which may take several hours.
-This issue is a tribute to a composer who opened new horizons in classical music, and secured the interest and devotion of a new public.
- Includes extensive liner notes on the music as well as the artist.