Hans Abrahamsen, a composer of Danish origins, arranged ninety Bach canons in the early 1990s. Minimalistic repetition of these proved to be the key to a meditative exploration of time and space, which developed into Schnee in 2009. An immaculate, crystalline sound universe with a great variety of ice cold bells, transparent sweeping sounds and intriguing stirring movements. Lines that calmly flow into each other taper off, ‘schleppend und mit Trübsinn’, in the controlled tempo of Tai Chi exercises. Touches of folklore (pervaded with pain) and more highly-strung music are transformed into a childlike simplicity, with oriental-style flute sounds and thrumming piano playing. Abrahamsen’s light-hearted remake of Carl Nielsen’s final symphony dating from the 1920s is imbued with cheerfulness and refined humour.
Zesde Symfonie (bew. Hans Abrahamsen) (Dutch première)
Reinbert de Leeuw