H Andriessen, Van Gilse, Diepenbrock & Badings

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COMPOSERS: Diepenbrock & Badings,H Andriessen,Van Gilse
LABELS: Olympia
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Dutch Masters
WORKS: Works by H Andriessen, van Gilse, Diepenbrock & Badings
PERFORMER: Hague Residentie Orchestra/Ed Spanjaard
This useful conspectus of Dutch orchestral composition in the first half of the century omits the radical voices (Pijper, Vermeulen) but is enjoyable listening throughout. Alphons Diepenbrock’s refined post-Mahlerian, post-Debussian idiom unfolds to perfection in Lydische Nacht (1913), a purely orchestral arrangement of a work originally including singer/speaker. Jan van Gilse, the least familiar name here, is represented by dourly impressive funeral music from his Till Eulenspiegel opera (1911). Henk Badings’s Symphonic Prologue, which Karl Bohm rather bravely commissioned for the centenary of the Vienna PO in 1942, has (deliberately?) Brucknerian overtones but develops into a stormily inspiring piece that should appeal to anyone who likes, say, Karl Amadeus Hartmann as well as Vaughan Williams. It’s a reminder of a highly prolific composer whose output probably contains a lot more just as good. Yet the disc is really dominated by Louis Andriessen’s father Hendrik, a substantial creative personality in his own right, represented by two of his very best works. In the Ricercar (1949) and Symphony (1952) his principled, craftsmanly neoclassicism, reminiscent of Hindemith and Honegger, is infused by a sense of urgent inspiration to produce utterances of Bach-like strength. All this music is worth making time for, and I warmly recommend the disc. Calum MacDonald