Rozalie Hirs

Sacro Monte (1997, CD 1999)

Sacro Monte (1997) is a music composition for ensemble by Rozalie Hirs, recorded by the Ives Ensemble, and released on CD single by NM Classics/Donemus Publishing in 1999.

1997-10
Commissioned by Antidogma Musica and La Nuova Arca, Turijn, Italië, at the occasion of Il Suono dei Parchi (artistic directors: Enzo Restagno, Louis Andriessen, George Benjamin, Gérard Grisey).

“Though the quality of performance and recording is impeccable in all four recordings, Sacro Monte by Rozalie Hirs has something unique, due to the fascinating performance by the Ives Ensemble. It’s a mysterious piece, with its Feldman-like, weightless weave of harmonics, buzzing metal sounds and its tinkling, widely spread piano tones. In spite of its quiet character the music is consistently in motion, and the mixture of timbres is so subtle that it takes a sharp ear to hear which instruments are at play. Even the CD case, which was designed like the three other ones by students of the Academie voor Beeldende Kunsten in Den Haag, reflects the balanced transparency of this work. A faultless little treasure.” Frits van der Waa, Volkskrant

Contents

1. Program notes, review
2. Sound recording
3. Technical details
4. Past performances

Program notes

Sacro Monte was commissioned by La Nuova Arca, Turin, for the concert series ‘Il Suono dei Parchi’ by the ensemble Antidogma, touring seven natural reserves in Piemonte, northern Italy, in the fall of 1997. Seven composers, hailing from England, Italy, France and the Netherlands, each wrote one piece as a musical reaction to their stay earlier that year in one of these reserves. The reserve that Rozalie Hirs visited was the Sacro Monte di Varallo Sesia, a pilgrimage site on top of a mountain, which includes a path with countless little shrines, inhabited by life-size terracotta statues.

The composition Sacro Monte is a slow and contemplative work, meant to be performed in the basilica on top of the mountain. The ensemble plays long sustained, delicate chords, interspersed with pizzicati in the strings. Piano, glockenspiel and vibraphone occupy a central position with a continuously varying motive that is characterized by large intervallic leaps. Halfway through the piece, the violin takes the initiative with a solo, which is constructed from fast, high figures, as if you are staring at a static mountainous landscape, when suddenly a solitary cyclist passes by.

Sound recording

Technical details

instrumentation
flute
clarinet
French horn
percussion
piano
violin 1
violin 2
viola
cello
double bass

dedication
The composition Sacro Monte (1997) is dedicated to Yannis Kyriakides.

duration
10′ ca.

Past performances

10 November 2011, 12:30, Muziekcentrum Frits Philips, Jan van Lieshoutstraat 3, Eindhoven, The Netherlands – F.C. Jongbloed, Arnold Marinissen (conductor)

9 November 2011, 12:30, November Music, MC De Toonzaal, Den Bosch, The Netherlands – F.C. Jongbloed, Arnold Marinissen (conductor)

3 November 2011, 12:30, Conservatoriumzaal, Fontys Conservatorium, Zwijsenplein 1, Tilburg, The Netherlands – F.C. Jongbloed, Arnold Marinissen (conductor)

15 September 2007, 20:00, Dreikönigskirche, Hauptstraße 23, Dresden, Germany – Ensemble Courage, Titus Engel (conductor)

10 April, 2007, 19:00, Konsertti Aboa Nova III, Sigyn-sali, Turku Music Academy, Finland – Musiikkiakatemia NYTT! Ensemble, Erkki Lahesmaa (conductor)

26 January 2003, 20:30, Holland Amerika Lijn, De Witte Dame, Eindhoven, The Netherlands – Ives Ensemble

23 January 2003, 20:30, Holland Amerika Lijn, De Rode Hoed, Amsterdam, The Netherlands – Ives Ensemble

19 January 2003, 15:00, Holland Amerika Lijn, Theater Romein, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands – Ives Ensemble

17 January 2003, 20:30, Holland Amerika Lijn, Lantaren/Venster, Rotterdam. The Netherlands – Ives Ensemble

20 February 2000, 20:00, Columbia Composers‘ Concert, Miller Theater, New York, United States – Columbia Composers Ensemble, J.D. Hixson (conductor)

3 November 1999, (CD recording) Stadsgehoorzaal, Leiden, The Netherlands – Ives Ensemble

24 April 1999, 20:00, Concert IX, Concerten Tot En Met, Posthoornkerk, Amsterdam, The Netherlands – Ensemble Insomnio

5 October 1997, 21:00, Il Suono dei Parchi, Parco Valgrande, Verbano Cusio Ossola, Italy – Antidogma Musica, Raffaele Mascolo (conductor)

4 October 1997, 21:00, Il Suono dei Parchi, Parco Fluviale del Po e dell’Orba, Alessandria, Italy – Antidogma Musica, Raffaele Mascolo (conductor)

3 October 1997, 21:00, Il Suono dei Parchi, Basilica Sacro Monte, Parco Sacro Monte di Varallo Sesia, Vercelli, Italy – Antidogma Musica, Raffaele Mascolo (conductor)

2 October 1997, 21:00, Il Suono dei Parchi, Parco La Mandria, Torino, Italy – Antidogma Musica, Raffaele Mascolo (conductor)

30 September 1997, 21:00, Il Suono dei Parchi, Parco Sacro Monte di Orta, Novara, Italy – Antidogma Musica, Raffaele Mascolo (conductor)

29 September 1997, 21:00, Il Suono dei Parchi, Parco Burcina, Bessi, Biella, Italy – Antidogma Musica, Raffaele Mascolo (conductor)

28 September 1997, 21:00, Il Suono dei Parchi, Auditorium del Centro Giovani, Via Goltieri 3, Asti, Italy – Antidogma Musica, Raffaele Mascolo (conductor)