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Cat. No. CHAN 9815 Price: £10.5 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 9815 - Voormolen: Orchestral Works
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Available From: 20 April 2000
For many Dutch people the music of Alexander Voormolen evokes the city of The Hague in all its eighteenth century splendour, the city of Princess Caroline with her great love of music, of Baron Hop who loved coffee so much that he had a candy made of it (the well-known Haagsche Hopjes), the city of the famous ‘fin-de-siècle’ author Louis Couperus and his fictional creation Eline Vere.

During the 1920s and 1930s Voormolen searched intently for a truly Dutch musical style. Although his earlier works had shown some sympathy with the French impressionist-symbolist movements of the day, these seemed too superficial for his taste and did not correspond with the inspiration he received from his native country and culture. He withdrew many compositions and step by step acquired a personal voice.

The two Baron Hop Suites (1924 and 1931) were composed once the acquisition of the personal voice was complete, They were the result of an aborted project for an ‘opéra comique’ on eighteenth-century The Hague. In spite of many quotations of Dutch tunes the neoclassicism of these suites reminds us more of Richard Strauss’s Le bourgeois gentilhomme than of Stravinsky’s Pulcinella: Voormolen’s neoclassicism, though charming and roguish, was never quite so spicy and modern

Voormolen’s Concerto for Two Oboes and Orchestra was composed in 1933 and was premiered in 1935 by the Residentie Orchestra with the composer conducting. It is a virtuosic score in eighteenth-century concerto style with hints of popular dance.

The Nocturne Eline was composed for piano in 1951 and orchestrated later. It was inspired by Couperus’s famous novel Eline Vere (1889) with its marked atmosphere of melancholia, unfulfilled passions and strained verves.
Reviews

Voormoolen developed an attractive individual style from a curious fusion of Dutch folk melody, witty originality and a distinctly French orchestra palette… a thoroughly rewarding programme.
The Daily Telegraph

 

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