Straesser, Joep

Joep Straesser geldt als een van de belangrijkste vertegenwoordigers van de generatie die rond 1960 het beeld van de nieuwe muziek in Nederland hielp bepalen. De grote lijn in de ...

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Subgenre: Piano
Bezetting: pf

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Ramasasiri : for soprano and five instrumentalists, (1968) / Joep Straesser

Uitgever: Amsterdam: Donemus, [1981]
Uitgavenummer: 05645
Genre: Vocaal
Subgenre: Zangstem en instrument(en)
Bezetting: sopr fl 2perc vibr(mar) pf(cemb)
Bijzonderheden: Instr. bez.: fluit, vibrafoon (tevens marimba), piano (tevens klavecimbel) en 2 slagwerkers. - Tekst van Joep Straesser naar het Melanesisch apart afgedrukt. - In opdracht van de Belgische Radio en Televisie. - Cop. 1968. - Tijdsduur: 9'-10'
Tijdsduur: 10'00"
Aantal spelers: 5
Compositiejaar: 1968
Status: nog niet gedigitaliseerd (verwachte levertijd 14 dagen)

Overige auteurs:
Straesser, Joep (tekstdichter/librettist)
Program note (English): The text consists of words from several of the Papuan languages spoken in New Guinea, in the compilation of which the composer consulted J.C. Anceaux, a specialist in Papuan languages at Leiden University. 'Ramasasiri' means travelling-song. Songs of this kind are sung by the members of tribes travelling - usually by canoe - through regions inhabited by other tribes. Their texts contain words from the languages spoken by the local tribes. The inclusion of such 'foreign' words is intended to propitiate them and to show that the travellers have no hostile intentions.
The composer's intentions cannot be termed hostile either. Though the song has not been written as neutral entertainment, he feels that everyone has the right to use it as background music. At the same time, however, he feels that putting it to this use would be rendering it less than justice. The work has a message which is not textual - the words are incomprehensible and are used for their phonetic value - but musical in the sense in which music itself is a kind of language which, properly understood, induces communication between the composer and the listener. 'Ramasasiri' belongs to the so-called avant-garde music of the fifties and sixties, even though it is not a strictly serial work. The basis for this trend was laid at the beginning of the century by great innovators like Debussy, Webern, Schoenberg and Varèse, who introduced profound changes into the musical thinking of the twentieth century. Despite these changes, however, and despite the existence of a musical landscape that
would have been inconceivable a century ago, certain elements remain unchanged in all kinds of music and in all kinds of interpersonal communication. Music is a complex system of relations between components of different kinds and between specific aspects of those components. Music fluctuates between non-alteration, stability, alteration and deviation, though that fluctuation it not constantly in balance. The listener can decide for himself with which parts of 'Ramasasiri' he feels more certain, and with which parts he feels more uncertain; his feelings of uncertainty about any particular part will not necessarily disappear after repeated hearing. The element of uncertainty has been introduced deliberately by the composer (and by many other composers, past and present). An essential part of music, it is bound up with the way in which themes and structures are handled. The development of the first movement of Beethoven's third symphony engenders no less excitement, is no less unique,
after repeated hearing, for the exposition allows scope for the retention of all its qualities. So it is a matter of guiding, of carefully directing the listener, which is a challenge for both the composer and the audience. - JOEP STRAESSER

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