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Voormolen: Orchestral Works
The Classical Shop
release date: April 2000
Originally recorded in 1999
Residentie Orchestra The Hague
Dr Anton Philipszaal, The Hague, The Netherlands
Orchestral & Concertos
Total Time - 70:41
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Baron Hop Suite No. 1
Overture Baron Hop
March of the Hereditary Prince-Stadtholder
Concerto for Two Oboes and Orchestra*
Arioso: Andantino cantabile
Rondo: Vivo allegretto
Nocturne for Orchestra
Baron Hop Suite No. 2
Overture 'Viva Carolina'
Minuet Princess Royal
Air William V
Matthias Bamert conducts the Residentie Orchestra in a wide-ranging collection of works by Dutch composer Alexander Voormolen.
This disc is the second in a continuing series recorded by Matthias Bamert and the Residentie Orchestra, celebrating Dutch music from the last two centuries.
Voormolen’s musical gifts came to light at a very early age and in 1909, aged just fourteen, he was sent to study with the well-known composer Johan Wagenaar in Utrecht. A pupil of Roussel and a friend of Ravel, Voormolen was devoting his attention exclusively to the art of composition by the age of seventeen.
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.
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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