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I decided to draw upon Plato to illustrate what I mean. Everyone sees the absurdity of Plato’s statement that the Mixolydian mode should be banned because of its damaging effect on the development of character. It is equally clear that he was confusing the issue in wanting to ban dulcimers and the craftsmen who made them from his ideal state. What he wished to ban was the social effect of the music played on them, something similar perhaps to the 'demoralising nature' of the Rolling Stones’ concerts.
My second reason for writing De Staat is in direct contradiction to the first. Perhaps I regret the fact that Plato was wrong: if only it were true that musical innovation represented a danger to the State! When Bertolt Brecht returned to Europe after the war he chose to settle in East Germany. The first play he wrote there was censored by the party. But Brecht said to the assembled Western journalists, 'In what Western country would the government take the time and trouble to spend thirty hours discussing my plays with me?'
De Staat has nothing to do with Greek music, except perhaps for the use of oboes and harps and for the fact that the entire work is based on tetrachords, groups of four notes, which also explains the scoring for the groups of four.
Just before the final choral section the orchestra splits into two identical halves, as announced earlier in the work. They play two melodies which sound like one because their rhythms are complementary (the performers play one after the other).
Polyrhythm is introduced for the first time in the coda following the choral finale, with the two orchestras each playing their own separate score. But this time they have the same melody, a canon. Finally, in the last bars, they attain the homophony introduced shortly after the opening choral section. I regard this as the major subject of the work.
from notes by Louis Andriessen © 2011
English: Richard Wigmore
|Andriessen: Anaïs Nin & De Staat|
London Sinfonietta's live recording of UK premiere of Anaïs Nin by Andreissen, a monodrama based on the diaries of the same famed author, as well as those of her lovers (Antonin Artaud, René Allendy, Henry Miller and her own Father), alongside his ...» More