Andriessen: De Stijl; M is for Man, Music, Mozart

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Andriessen
LABELS: Elektra Nonesuch
WORKS: De Stijl; M is for Man, Music, Mozart
PERFORMER: Gertrude Thoma (voice), Astrid Seriese (voice); Schönberg Ensemble, Asko Ensemble/Reinbert de Leeuw; Orkest de Volharding/Jurjen Hempel
CATALOGUE NO: 7559-79342-2 DDD
The novelty on this disc is M is for Man, Music, Mozart, and I must declare an interest: I commissioned it. Andriessen was one of six composers invited to devise their own 30-minute television ‘homage’ to Mozart in 1991, the bicentennial year of his death. The programmes were music-led and, unusually for film, the composers were invited to choose directors (Andriessen chose Peter Greenaway). The music for M is for Man… competes with strong screen images – involving nudity and semi-nudity – and Andriessen’s music, for all its powerful directness, seemed at times eclipsed, even if the film without his music is unwatchable. So here is the score – four songs and three instrumental sections – now revealed in all its witty splendour with a dazzling, driving, razor-sharp performance by the Volharding Orchestra and jazz singer Astrid Seriese. In fact, the fourth song, for time reasons, never made it into the film, so its inclusion here is an added bonus. The coupling with a white-hot performance of Andriessen’s punchy De Stijl from his opera De Materie, makes this disc irresistible. Annette Morreau