Louis Andriessen

Louis Andriessen (born Utrecht: June 6, 1939) is a Dutch composer based in Amsterdam. He teaches composition at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, and his music is published by Donemus in the Netherlands and Boosey & Hawkes in the United Kingdom. His recordings appear on the Nonesuch Records label.

Family and early life
Andriessen was born into a musical family, the son of the composer Hendrik Andriessen (1892-1981), brother of composers Jurriaan Andriessen (1925-1996) and Caecilia Andriessen (1931-), and nephew of Willem Andriessen (1887-1964).

Andriessen originally studied with his father and Kees van Baaren at Royal Conservatory of The Hague, before embarking upon two years of study with Italian composer Luciano Berio in Milan and Berlin.

Andriessen is married to the former Jeanette Yanikian, a guitarist. They have been a couple for over 40 years, but only married in 1996.[1]

Style and notable works
Andriessen's early works show experimentation with various contemporary trends: post war serialism (Series, 1958), pastiche (Anachronie I, 1966-67), and tape (Il Duce, 1973). His reaction to what he perceived as the conservatism of much of the Dutch contemporary music scene quickly moved him to form a radically alternative musical aesthetic of his own. Since the early 1970s he has refused to write for conventional symphony orchestras and has instead opted to write for his own idiosyncratic instrumental combinations, which often retain some traditional orchestral instruments alongside electric guitars, electric basses, and congas.

Andriessen's mature music combines the influences of Stravinsky and American minimalism. His harmonic writing eschews the consonant modality of much minimalism, preferring post war European dissonance, often crystallised into large blocks of sound. Large scale pieces such as De Staat [‘Republic’] (1972-76), for example, are influenced by the energy of the big band music of Count Basie and Stan Kenton and the repetitive procedures of Steve Reich, both combined with bright, clashing dissonances. Andriessen's music is thus anti-Germanic and anti-Romantic, and marks a departure from post war European serialism and its offshoots. He has also played a role in providing alternatives to traditional performance practice techniques, often specifying forceful, rhythmic articulations, and amplified, non-vibrato, singing.

Other notable works include Workers Union (1975), a melodically indeterminate piece "for any loud sounding group of instruments"; Mausoleum (1979) for 2 baritones and large ensemble; De Tijd [‘Time’] (1979-81) for female singers and ensemble; De Snelheid [‘Velocity’] (1982-3), for 3 amplified ensembles; De Materie [‘Matter’] (1984-88) a large four part work for voices and ensemble; collaborations with filmmaker and librettist Peter Greenaway on the film M is for Man, Music, Mozart and the operas Rosa: A Horse Drama (1994) and Writing to Vermeer (1998); and the recent La Passione (2000-02) for female voice and ensemble.

Andriessen helped to found the instrumental groups De Volharding and Hoketus, both of which performed compositions of the same names. He later played a role in the founding the ongoing Schonberg and Asko ensembles.

Works list
Nuit d'été (1957) for piano 4 hands
Séries (1958) for 2 pianos
Nocturnen (1959) (text by the composer) for 2 sopranos, orchestra
Prospettive e Retrospettive (1959) for piano
Trois Pièces (1961) for piano left hand
Ittrospezione I (1961) for piano 4 hands
Joli commentaire (1961) for piano 4 hands
Étude pour les timbres (1962) for piano
Triplum (1962) for guitar
Ittrospezione II (1963) for large orchestra
Registers (1963) for piano
Ittrospezione III (Concept II) – Fragment (1965) tenor saxophone ad libitum, 2 pianos (section of Ittrospezione III [Concept II]; may be performed separately)
Beatles Songs (1966) (satirical arrangements of four Beatles songs) for female voice and piano
Souvenirs d'enfance (1966) for piano
Anachronie I (1966-67) for large orchestra
The Garden of Ryoan-gi (1967) for 3 electronic organs
Choralvorspiele (1969) for barrel organ
Anachronie II (1969) for oboe, small orchestra (4 horns, harp, piano, strings), 1969; Hoe het is, 52 strings, live electronics
Reconstructie (1969) (with Reinbert de Leeuw, Misha Mengelberg, Peter Schat, Jan van Vlijmen, libretto by Hugo Claus, Harry Mulisch) Morality opera for soloists, 3 mixed choruses (4 voices each), orchestra (11 winds, 7 brass, 2 guitars, 11 keyboards, 10 strings), live electronics
De negen symfonieën van Beethoven (1970) for ice cream bell, orchestra
Spektakel (1970) for improvisational ensemble (saxophone [+ bass clarinet], viola, bass guitar, electronic organ [+ piano], percussion [or other instruments]), small orchestra (12 winds, 4 horns, 6 percussion)
La voile du bonheur (1971) for violin and piano
In Memoriam (1971) for tape
Canzone 3.Utinam (1972) (text from the Book of Job) for soprano, piano, 1962; Thanh Hoa (text by Nguyen Thay Mao), voice, piano
Il Duce (1973) for tape
Il Principe (1974) (text by Niccolò Machiavelli) for 2 mixed choruses, 8 winds, 3 horns, tuba, bass guitar, piano
Wals (1974) 1974 for piano
Symfonieën der Nederlanden (1974) for 2 or more symphonic bands (minimum 32 players)
De Staat (1972-74) (text by Plato) for 2 sopranos, 2 mezzo-sopranos, 4 oboes (3rd, 4th + English horn), 4 horns, 4 trumpets, 3 trombones, bass trombone, 2 harps, 2 electric guitars, 4 violas, bass guitar, 2 pianos
De Staat (1972-76) for 2 pianos (version of vocal work)
Nederland, let op uw schoonheyt (1975) for symphonic band
Workers Union (1975) for any loud sounding group of instruments
Mattheus passie (1976) (text by Louis Ferron) Music theatre work for 8 mixed voices, 2 oboes (both + English horn), Hammond organ, string quartet, double bass
Hoketus (1975-76) for 2 panpipes, 2 alto saxophones ad libitum, 2 bass guitars, 2 pianos, 2 electric pianos, 2 congas
Orpheus (1977) (text by Lodewijk de Boer) Music theatre work for 8 mixed voices, lyricon, electric guitar, bass guitar, synthesizer, percussion
Symphonie voor losse snaren (1978) for 12 strings
Laat toch vrij de straat (1978) (text by Jaap van der Merwe) for voice, piano
Hymne to the Memory of Darius Milhaud (1978) (version of chamber work)
Felicitatie (1979) for 3 trumpets
Mausoleum (1979 rev. 1981) (texts by Mikhail Bakunin, Arthur Arnould) for 2 high baritones, orchestra (12 brass, 2 harps, cimbalom, 2 pianos, 2 percussion, minimum 10 strings, bass guitar)
George Sand (1980) (text by Mia Meyer) Music theatre work for 8 mixed voices, 4 pianos
Un beau baiser (1980) for mixed chorus
De Tijd (1979-81) (text by St. Augustine of Hippo) for female chorus, percussion ensemble, orchestra (6 flutes, 2 alto flutes, 3 clarinets, contrabass clarinet, 6 trumpets, 2 harps, 2 pianos, Hammond organ, strings, 2 bass guitars)
Commentaar (1981) (text by Wilhelm Schön) for voice, piano
Ende (1981) for 2 alto recorders (1 player)
La voce (1981) (to a text by Cesare Pavese) for cello, voice
Disco (1982) violin, piano
Overture to Orpheus (1982) for harpischord
De Snelheid (1982-83 rev. 1984) for 3 amplified ensembles
Y después (1983) (text by Federico García Lorca) for voice, piano
Menuet voor Marianne (1983) for piano
Trepidus (1983) for piano
Doctor Nero (1984) Music theatre work
Berceuse voor Annie van Os (1985) for piano
De Lijn (1986) for 3 flutes
Dubbelspoor (1986 rev. 1994) Ballet music for piano, harpsichord, celesta, glockenspiel
De Materie (1984-88)(texts from the Plakkaat van Verlatinge, Nicolaes Witsen, David Gorlaeus, Hadewijch, M.H.J. Schoenmaekers, Madame van Domselaer-Middelkoop, Willem Kloos, Marie Curie, Françoise Giroud) Music theatre work for soprano, tenor, 2 female speakers, 8 amplified mixed voices, amplified orchestra (15 winds, 13 brass, harp, 2 electric guitars, 2 pianos [one + electric piano], off-stage upright piano, celesta, 2 synthesizers, 6 percussion, minimum 9 strings, bass guitar. Two of its four sections may be performed separately as concert works: [2] Hadewijch, [3] De Stijl
De Toren (1988, rev. 2000) for carillon
Nietzsche redet (1989) (text by Friedrich Nietzsche) for speaker, alto flute, English horn, clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon, 2 violins, viola, 2 celli, double bass, 2 pianos
Facing Death (1990) for amplified string quartet
Dances (1991) (text by Joan Grant, choreography by Bianca van Dillen) For soprano, small orchestra (amplified harp, amplified piano, percussion, strings). May be performed as a concert work.
M is for Man, Music, Mozart (1991) (texts by the composer, Jeroen van der Linden, Peter Greenaway) for female jazz voice, flute (+ piccolo), soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, horn, 3 trumpets, 2 trombones, bass trombone, double bass, piano (TV score; may be performed as a concert work with one additional song)
Lacrimosa (1991) for 2 bassoons
Hout (1991) for tenor saxophone, electric guitar, piano, marimba (+ woodblocks)
Romance voor Caecilia (1991) for piano
Nadir en Zenit (1992) improvisations on poems by Sybren Polet for voice, piano (+ synthesizer)
...not being sundered (1992) (text by Rainer Maria Rilke) for soprano, flute, cello
Song Lines (1992) for 3-6 saxophones
Deuxième chorale (1992) for music box
The Memory of Roses (1992) for piano (+ toy piano)
Chorale (1992) for piano
M is Muziek, Monoloog en Moord(1993) (text by Lodewijk de Boer) Music theatre work
Lied (1993) for piano
Rosa - A Horse Drama: The Death of a Composer (1993-94) (libretto by Peter Greenaway) Opera for 2 sopranos, tenor, 2 baritones, female speaker, 8 mixed voices, orchestra.
Een lied van de zee (1994) (text by Hélène Swarth) for female voice
Zilver (1994) for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, vibraphone, marimba
Base (1994) for piano left hand
Odysseus' Women (1995) (text by Homer, choreography by Beppie Blankert) for 2 sopranos, 2 altos, sampler
De komst van Willibrord (1995) for carillon
To Pauline O (1995) for oboe
Machmes Wos (1996) for voice, piano
Trilogie van de Laatste Dag (1996-97) (each of its three sections may be performed separately: (i) The Last Day (texts by Lucebert, folksong A Woman and Her Lass) for boy soprano, 4 male voices, orchestra; (ii) TAO (texts by Laozi, Kotaro Takamura) for 4 female voices, piano [+ voice, koto], small orchestra [5 winds, 2 horns, harp, piano (+ celesta), 2 percussion, minimum 14 strings]; (iii) Dancing on the Bones (text by the composer) for children's chorus, orchestra, 1997)
De herauten (1997) for 3 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani
Not an Anfang (1997) for piano
De eerste minnaar (1998) (text by Ton Tellegen) for boy soprano, organ, 1998 (section of music theatre work Oldenbarneveldt; may be performed as a concert work)
Tuin van Zink (1998) for viola, live electronics
Writing to Vermeer (1997-99) (libretto by Peter Greenaway) Opera for 2 children's voices, 2 sopranos, mezzo-soprano, female chorus, orchestra (7 winds, 2 horns, 2 trumpets [2nd + bass trumpet], 2 harps, 2 electric guitars, cimbalom, 2 pianos, on-stage harpsichord, 2 percussion, minimum 22 strings), CD (music by Michel van der Aa)
Woodpecker (1999) for percussion
Image de Moreau (1999) for piano
Dirck Sweelinck Missed the Prince (1999) for harpischord
Passeggiata in tram in America e ritorno (1999) (text by Dino Campana) for female Italian voice, violin and piano
What Shall I Buy You, Son? (2000) for voice, piano
Boodschappenlijstje van een gifmengster (2000) (text by the composer) for vocalist (also writes), voice (may be performed as Shopping List of a Poisoner [translated by Nicoline Gatehouse]
Inanna's Descent (2000) for mezzo-soprano, piccolo, oboe, violin, piano, 2 percussion ensembles (4-12 total players)
The New Math(s) (2000) (text by Hal Hartley) for soprano, transverse flute, violin, marimba, CD (music by Michel van der Aa), 2000 (film score; may be performed as a concert work)
Feli-citazione (2000) for piano
Passeggiata in tram in America e ritorno (2001) (text by Dino Campana) for female Italian voice, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, electric guitar, electric violin, double bass, piano, percussion, 1998 (also version for voice, flute, horn, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, amplified violin, double bass, piano
De vleugels van de herinnering (2001) (text by Larissa Tiginachvili [Dutch translation]) for voice, piano
Fanfare om te beginnen (2001) for 6 groups of horns
La Passione (2000-02) (text by Dino Campana) for female jazz voice, violin, small orchestra (7 winds, 7 brass, electric guitar, cimbalom, 2 pianos, synthesizer, 2 percussion, 3 violins, bass guitar)
Very Sharp Trumpet Sonata (2002) for trumpet
Strijkkwartet No. 2, 'Tuin van Eros' (2002) for string quartet
Klokken voor Haarlem (2002) for piano, celesta, synthesizer, vibraphone (+ glockenspiel)
Inanna (2003) texts by Hal Hartley, Theo J.H. Krispijn) for 4 voices, 3 actors, mixed chorus, contrabass clarinet, 4 saxophones, violin, film (by Hal Hartley)
Letter from Cathy (2003) (text from a letter by Cathy Berberian to the composer) for female jazz voice, harp, violin, double bass, piano, percussion
Tuin van Eros (2003) for violin, piano
RUTTMANN Opus II, III, IV (2003) for flute, 3 saxophones, horn, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, double bass, piano
Haags Hakkuh – The Hague Hacking (2003) for 2 pianos
Racconto dall'inferno (2004) (text by Dante Alighieri) for female jazz voice, small orchestra (8 winds, 6 brass, guitar, cimbalom, 2 pianos, 2 percussion, minimum 8 strings, bass guitar)
Xenia (2005) for violin