Jablonski, Marek (Michael)

Download 6.47 Mb.
Size6.47 Mb.
1   ...   263   264   265   266   267   268   269   270   ...   1182

Janssen, Guus

(b Heiloo, 13 May 1951). Dutch composer and improviser. At the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam he studied piano with Jaap Spaanderman and Ton Hartsuiker, and composition with Ton de Leeuw. From the early 1970s he showed a remarkable independence of thought, influenced, among other things, by the improvising methods he, along with his two brothers, developed in his teens. He has always been equally at home working in composed as in improvised music. Early on he played the piano in the Asko Ensemble, which gave the première of his Octet in 1978. The following year he introduced the first of the many improvisation ensembles of which he was to be the nucleus: groups that played a considerable part in the emergence of a characteristically Dutch style of improvisation, where fully notated and free elements are blended to such an extent that the two can hardly be distinguished.

Janssen's solo improvisations, both on the piano and on the harpsichord, show the same playfulness and formal sense that is distilled in his written music. However, his method of composing is anything but improvisatory. Many of his works involve chord tables, numerical patterns and other kinds of self-imposed rules. But these cerebral processes only serve as a mould. At the heart of his thinking lies the notion of approaching different musical traditions and phenomena with an innocent ear. His favourite example, by analogy, is the Flemish painter Roger Raveel, who views and depicts reality as though it were an abstraction. Thus anything can occur in Janssen's music, from jazz chords and Baroque trills to quarter-tones, but always estranged from their origins. The effect can be disconcerting as well as hilarious. Quirky rhythms, dissociated hints of harmony and jagged transitions give Janssen's music a Haydnesque quality, not only in its capacity to surprise, but also in its logical, clearcut construction. His Streepjes (1981) is a fine example of his guileful guilelessness. The fabric consists almost exclusively of harmonics, which nevertheless yield a chromatic scale, because most of the strings have been retuned. As a result, the four players must combine their notes to produce a single melody. The strange sonority, resembling a glass harmonica, is repeatedly interrupted by full, regular vibrato chords. His most successful work is the opera Noach (on a libretto by Friso Haverkamp), staged during the Holland Festival in 1994 with Pierre Audi as director and Karel Appel as designer. Scored for an extended version of Janssen's own ensemble, it contained a vital and moving mix of notated and improvised music.


(selective list)

Op: Faust's licht (chbr op, F. Haverkamp, after G. Stein), Mez, 4 spkrs, str qt, 1985–6, rev. 1988 and 1994; Noach (Haverkamp), 1991–3, 17 June 1994, Stadsschouwburg, Amsterdam; Hier0 (Haverkamp), 1997–9, 21 Jan 2000, Stadsschouwburg, Amsterdam

Vocal: Aanvallen van uitersten [Attacks of Extremes], (ov., Toebosch), spkr, orch, 1983; Zonder [Without] (Haverkamp), SATB, 1986; Dodo's Groove, B, insts, 1992; Wening, S, cl, str qt, tape, 1992; Faust's licht, Mez, spkr, str qt, 1994 [concertante version of chbr op]; Dodo: kleines Bestiarium Noachs (Haverkamp), B-Bar, inst ens, 1996; Hong, 4 S, Bar, chorus, spkr, inst ens, 1997 [part of op Hier0]

Orch: Gieter [Watering Can], 1973; Dans van de malic matrijzen [Dance of the Malic Moulds], 1976–7; Toonen, 1980; Bruuks, 1985; Deviaties, 1986; Keer [Turn], 1988; Zoek [Seek], pic, hpd, str, 1993; Passevite, 1994; Verstelwerk [Mending], t sax, pf, perc, chbr orch, 1996

Chbr and solo inst: Muziek, 6 ww, 1972; Str Qt no.1, 1973–5; Brake, pf, 1974; Met spoed [Urgent], b cl, pf, 1975; Octet, 5 ww, 3 str, 1978; 5 kreukels [5 Creases], 1–3 accdn, 1979; Juist daarom [For That Very Reason], ob, cl, s sax, pf, vc, 1981; Streepjes [Dashes] (Str Qt no.2), 1981; Danspassen, cl + b cl, mand, gui, vc, db, 1982; Dik en dun [Thick and Thin], carillon/pf, 1982; Ut, re, mi, sol, la, wind qnt, str qnt, pf, 1982; Sprezzatura, b cl, 1984; Temet [Almost], fl + b fl + pic, vn, vc, hp, 1983, rev. 1984; Wandelweer [Walking Weather], 3 gui, 1984; Woeha, fl, hn, 3 sax, 3 trpt, 3 trb, pf, db, 1984; PF, pf, a sax, perc, 1985; Voetnoot I, pic, 1987; Largo, rec, 1989; Pogo 3, hpd, 1989; Veranderingen [Changes], 2 pf, 1990; Zangbodem [Sounding Board], rec qt, pf, 1990; Echo's en fantasieën, org, 1991; Winter, gamelan ens, 1991; Bah Rock, fl, 1992; Klotz, vn, hi-hat, cl, basset hn, b cl, gui, db, 1994; Mikado, vn, vc, pf, 1995; Tapdance, hp, perc, 1995; Toestand [State], fl, hn, 3 sax, 3 trpt, 3 trb, pf, db, 1995; Blauwbrug, pf, 1996; Timmerwerk [Woodwork], 1 perc, 1997; Basset, 3 basset hn, 1998

Principal publisher: Donemus

Principal recording companies: Composer's Voice, Geestgronden

Download 6.47 Mb.

Share with your friends:
1   ...   263   264   265   266   267   268   269   270   ...   1182

The database is protected by copyright ©essaydocs.org 2023
send message

    Main page