Hendrik Andriessen – Variations On A Theme Of Kuhnau – Willem van Otterloo, Hague Residente Orchestra – broadcast concert – 1950 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection.
Over to Hilversum, Holland this weekend for a performance of the Variations on a theme of Kuhnau by Netherlands composer Hendrik Andriessen. Recorded in concert in 1950 and part of the Radio Nederland Transcription service series Dutch Composers.
Although he was a composer of much Chamber and Orchestral music, Andriessen is primarily known for his Organ improvisations – and aside from a prominent position among Dutch composers of the 20th century, he’s not that well known outside The Netherlands and however little known he is in other parts of Europe and even the U.S., he’s all but forgotten now.
Of course, the Netherlands Music Society via the government subsidized label Donemus have done their level best to keep music such as Andriessen’s very much alive by reissuing performances glommed from Radio Nederland’s rich and vast broadcast archives.
So all you really have to do is go exploring and you’ll find a healthy representation of the the music of Hendrik Andriessen (and all of the Andriessen family, for that matter, available for purchase.
Obviously, that’s something most countries whose vast output of composers works is largely forgotten would do a massive service to the Music World by following in Donemus’ footsteps – but I doubt that’s going to happen any lifetime soon.
For now though, dip your feet into the music of Hendrik Andriessen and go exploring via the massive archive of Donemus – we may not see you again for months, but the trip is definitely worth it.
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