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Andriessen: De Materie


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Product details

  • Orchestra: Netherlands Chamber Choir, Schönberg Ensemble
  • Conductor: Reinbert de Leeuw
  • Composer: Louis Andriessen
  • Audio CD (17 Feb 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B000005J3J
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 305,829 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. De Materie: Part I
2. De Materie: Part II: Hadewijch
Disc: 2
1. Da Materie: Part III: De Stijl
2. Da Materie: Part IV

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 23 Mar 2005
Format: Audio CD
I don't normally leave ratings for things, but I just had to here as I can't believe noone else has...
Suffice it to say that I am a BIG music fan, across so many genres, and very fussy about what I like - but track 2 here, 'Hadewijch' I think has to be my favourite piece of music in the world. Shivers down the spine every time.
I absolutely love the rest too, though I'd have to concede that it is perhaps an acquired taste... for instance track 1 starts with one single chord repeated around 150 times, and the final track ends with just spoken voice on its own for a while. But if you're willing to surrender yourself to the Andriessen world it is absolutely mind-blowing. And even if you never listen to the rest, it's worth the purchase price for track 2 alone.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By theuniverseiscomposedofvalues on 11 Feb 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Louis Andriessen's 1988 classic "De Materie" ("Material") receives a knockout performance from some of the Netherlands' finest musicians.

Material and sources of inspiration for the work include: a text on shipbuilding by Nicolaes Witsen, the "Ideae Physicæ" of David van Goorle, Hadewijch's "Zevende Visioen" (Seventh Vision), "The Principles of Plastic Mathematics" by M. H. J. Schoenmaekers, texts about the Dutch painter Piet Mondriaan, excerpts from two sonnets by Willem Kloos, and finally a passage from the diary of Marie Curie and her Nobel Prize speech.

It's a Blue Whale of a piece: nearly 2 hours of relentless kinetic force. The first movement (of 4, each lasting 25-28 minutes) begins, famously, with a single chord repeated 144 times. But the full extent of Andriessen's ambition and audacity only begin to emerge as this juggernaut of a movement progresses: a full 25 minutes of more-or-less just hammering out richly harmonised chords in a furious mantra.

The third movement, "De Stijl", inspired by the life of Mondriaan, uses boogie-woogie music as its motor along with a big band-style lineup, building up a 26-minute powerhouse of incessant funk. At one point, there's even a sort of boogie-woogie "fugue" built from piling successive entries of the main theme on top of each other and letting them play out independently.

The two slow movements - "Hadewijch" and the untitled final movement - also deal in unrelenting, obsessive focus on musical material and process (hence the title). But here, sheer power is traded in for glacial implacability: indeed, the last movement takes a full 19 minutes to reach its first climax!

Suffice to say this music is gigantic, thrilling, uncompromising and of visionary grandeur: a composer going the whole hog to do justice to the sheer magnitude of his subject-matter. One of the 20th century's key works, and perhaps the achievement of a lifetime for Andriessen - not to be missed!
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By A human on 9 Mar 2014
Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
Absolutely crazy stuff! But it's awesome too. Nothing you've heard before. Really new sounds. Like it a lot...very interesting stuff
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
A monumental work by an incredible creative voice 2 April 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Listeners unfamiliar with Andriessen's music may hesitate to invest in this two-disc set, but it is perhaps the best introduction to this unfortunately underappreciated composer. Andriessen brings together seemingly disparate elements--from jazz and rock to neo-medievalism, Stravinskian rhythmic inventiveness and Messaien-like mysticism--and molds them into his own intensely incisive musical personality. De Materie contains some of the most captivating examples of "minimalism" I've ever heard: the luminous, hypnotically slow unfolding of Part 4 is genuinely otherworldly, while the 144 accelerating fortissimo chords which open Part 1 create an exhilirating, terrifying "granite wall" of sound. Other sections, especially the bold choral declamation in Part 1 and much of "De Stijl" seem highly anti-minimalist in their rhythmic and harmonic intricacy. The performance, under the direction of Reinbert de Leeuw, is consistently forceful (though I think I detected some insecurity in the quick accelerandos and retardandos of Part 1) and the sound quality is uniformly excellent. I recommend this set without reservation and anticipate future Andriessen releases, as he is still very much with us.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Jeff Gordon will like this CD! 23 April 2000
By Justin Weaver - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Part 1 will wake you up, Part 2 will make you think, Part 3 will get you dancin', and Part 4 will make you cry! This is music you have to hear to believe. Andriessen flouts just about every convention of music, contemporary and traditional, to stupendous effect. Who says you can't repeat the same chord 144 times? Who says a boogie woogie can't be polytonal? Who says the inventory of equipment for a Dutch ship can't be an opera/drama text? Who says the Contrabass Clarinet can't take solos? Who says you can't write a five minute passage for two anvils? If you're not interested by now, let me add that even if you don't normally go for minimalism, you'll go for this amazing theatre piece -- it features, in addition to some of the most powerful triple forte music ever written, some of the most amazingly conceived slow and quiet music too-- Part 2: Hadewijch might even be called spiritual... and Madame Curie's diary entires, interlaced with the most poignant glistening chord, definitely have tear-jerker potential. Buy now or consider yourself deprived!
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Justin was right! 8 May 2000
By Jeffrey Gordon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Just got a chance to hear it in completion in the libary this weekend. The third movement (this was my second time for this gem) is absolutely mind-blowing. Bye-bye lunch money!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Listen to this music. 4 Nov 2005
By New music dude - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I will just add a similar comment to the others posted. Even if you don't like some of Louis Andriessen's music, you could very well love this. In my opinion, one of the most unconventional and strikingly beautiful pieces I have ever heard. As a jazz native, I sometimes have some issues with the boogie-woogie movement, but I assume (hope) that it is completely tongue-in-cheek, in which case it is hilarious simply because of its audaciousness.

Listen to this stuff.
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Andriessen...easily the most underappreciated composer. 30 Mar 2000
By Ryan D. Stroud - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
There is something in this music that has more life than anything I've heard recently. It's a burning energy combined with a genuine craft, and superior technique. Wonderful washes of sound, huge powerful blasts of energy. This CD made me go out and buy EVERYTHING that Andriessen had to offer. He is one of the greatest composers of our time. I highly reccomend this music, but add it is not for the faint of heart...it gets pretty deep :)
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