Van Dijk

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

LABELS: Emergo
WORKS: Violin Sonata; Works for soprano, flute and piano; Sonatina for piano
PERFORMER: Ilse van de Kasteelen (soprano), Anthony Marwood (violin), Kyoko Hashimoto (piano), etc
CATALOGUE NO: EC 3943-2 (import only from Evident, Amsterdam, tel +31 36 5365 544)
Contemporary music is full of patient, unfashionable craftsman composers who toil away in the shadows, getting infrequent performances in not-quite top-grade halls, teaching in second-rank conservatoires. But thanks to the CD, they can now get a hearing beyond their narrow circle of admirers. Rudi Martinus van Dijk is just such a composer. This disc contains chamber music written over the last 40 years, and though there’s nothing here that says ‘undiscovered genius’, the disc certainly deserves a hearing. His attractive early Sonatina reveals a muscular lyricism with French-tinged harmonies, which moves gradually and cautiously towards a more tensely Expressionist style. The results seem a bit unfocused and over-dramatic in the vocal settings – though this could be blamed partly on Van Dijk’s foggily philosophical English text, and a soprano who seems ill at ease with the music. However, the instrumental pieces are much stronger and have some striking inventions. The general tone of purposeful energy is leavened by sudden touches of nostalgic delicacy, and in one piece a piano melody is doubled by a bass flute, which makes a very uncanny sound indeed. Ivan Hewett