The range of styles and techniques adopted by some composers provides
a trunkful of costumes donned and cast off with such speed within a composition
that to us as listeners everything blurs to a whirligig. Marijn Simons,
a young Dutch composer and violinist is, behind the mask, a talented musician
brimming with ideas. His strong sense of the ridiculous as a creative tool
follows many such in the past and of today. It derides any feeling of musical
sanctity by deflating music and listener.
There arises a question simple and straightforward: 'Will the real Marijn
Simons please stand up?' I'm sure that he would respond immediately and
provide an excellent introduction to his music. I think though, if we pursue
this question through our musical ears, the thoughtful will respond to
what is suddenly thoughtful in the music, and most of us can accept clowning
when it's apparent that a talent for clowning has brought it about.
put all this into context for this CD, Simons' first Violin Concerto is
subtitled Cuddly Animals to portray his favourites from early childhood.
There are five movements starting with Gorby the gorilla through to Wappy
the chimp [listen to music from 'Ricky, the frog'
- track 4, 00:16-01:00]. Next comes 'serious' String Quartet No 2 with
various devices and musical ideas to build three movements, most of which
is unified through patterning and structure [listen
- track 7, 03:45-04:20].
Capriccio for Stan and Ollie for nine players can hardly claim
a serious purpose, and doesn't. Yet I find this the most musical and resourceful
of the three works. The composer of this touch of riotous nonsense shows
his skill in combining music and theatre - or perhaps I should say the
cinema's Laurel and Hardy [listen - track 10, 00:14-00:59].
Copyright © 8 March 2000 Basil Ramsey, Eastwood,
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