• Tristan Keuris
  • Clarinet Quintet (1988)

  • Novello & Co Ltd (World)

Written for the centenary of the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, with the financial support of the Fonds voor de scheppende Toonkunst

Written for the centenary of the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam

  • Clarinet in Avn.vn.va.vc
  • 22 min

Programme Note

Lamento Scherzo-Passaggio Elegia Finale

Written for the centennial celebration of the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, this work was first performed on 20 January 1989 by George Pieterson and the Orlando String Quartet in the Kleinezaal of the Concertgebouw.

Tristan Keuris is, along with Louis Adriessen, the most significant composer working in Holland today. Whereas his international reputation is growing in a way that might have been expected from such a talent, Keuris' position in Dutch musical life has been ambiguous and it is only recently that the establishment has warmed to his output and uniqueness.

When listening to Keuris' most recent music, two elements leave a lasting impression: one is the sheer beauty of the sounds - the composer's ear for instrumental and vocal colour is perhaps unparalleled amongst his contemporaries - and the other is the aptness of his structures for the chosen medium. In the Clarinet Quintet, for instance, one is conscious of his ability to detect the perfect balance between exposition and development so much so that the outcome is one of strong accessibility. Beguiling sounds are firmly rooted in structures that are succinct but coherent so that the listener is drawn into the sound-world of each movement without having to worry about the mechanical details. Keuris ensures not only that each movement makes its own point but also that his audience, perhaps unconsciously is aware of and appreciates the work's shape and content as a whole.

© Leslie East 1992