HENDRIK ANDRIESSEN (1892-1981): Symphonies No. 1 (Albert van Raalte. May 23, 1947), No. 2 (Willen van Otterloo. May 7, 2005), No. 3 (Jean Fournet. Sept. 4, 1968) and No. 4 (Fournet. May 13, 1982), Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Johann Kuhnau for String Orchestra (Jaap van Zweden. May 2, 2005), Variations on a Theme of Couperin for Flute, String Orchestra and Harp (Adraan Bonsel [flute], van Otterloo. Jan. 13, 1965), Ricercare (Edo de Waart. May 7, 2005), Symphonische etude (van Otterloo. Jan. 23, 1969).
Catalogue Number: 06I003
Reference: KTC 1307
Description: As a glance at the dates above will confirm, two items were recorded especially for this release (Kuhnau Variations and Ricercare) while the rest come from the Dutch radio archives. Andriessen is the last of three important Dutch symphonists to receive his due on CD (after Vermeulen and Pijper). None of his works sounds particularly like any other, a problem in getting a handle on what he "sounds like" (a point made in the notes by his son Louis who can only say that "they have something that is deeply personal in their harmonic language in common". So, one might hear echoes of late Romanticism in the first symphony, Pijper and between-the-wars French music in the second (although its Pavane slow movement also sounds like something Herrmann might have cooked up for a Hitchcock film), the third (1946) seems to by Andriessen's "war symphony" and may make one think of Vaughan Williams' own essay in that genre while the two variation sets might suggest French neo-classicism. Then, after hearing the Symphonic Study and the fourth symphony, you might be shocked to find that they are both based on twelve-note rows since they are so musical and approachable (but let's not forget how approachable Benjamin Frankel's twelve-note symphonies are also). In the end, you'll just want to say that here is a 20th century musician who consistently wrote attractive, listenable music with a variety of influences and in a variety of styles. 2 CDs. Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra.