Klaas Hoek: Recently published new organ music

by Klaas Hoek | Het ORGEL | Year 95 | (1999) | Issue 13


Klaas Hoek ‘Recently published new organ music’
het ORGEL 95 (1999), nr. 2, 6-12 [summary]

Over the last few years the editorial board of het ORGELreceived approximately 50 new organ compositions. A large range of styles can berecognised:

  • liturgical music,
  • music in the styles of the 1930s-19505,
  • music in the style of the 1950s and later,
  • experimental music,
  • minimal music,
  • ‘complexity’,
  • neo-romantic music,
  • neo-expressionistic music.

At least two problems are represented by this collection.Piet Kee’s Network was the result of the wish of the commissioner to strive for a betterintegration of the organ into musical life in general. This goal has a negative aspect aswell: ‘splendid isolation’ has not done the organ that much harm either. Another problemis illustrated by the music of Dick Klomp: how far should one go when making style copies?Many compositions are not convincing, because they add nothing substantial to the stylethey are written in: Bethke’s improvisations are not as good as Hindemith’s Sonatas,Haselböck’s Rappel resembles Manneke’s Patronen but is not better, Schuba’sharmonisations are not as interesting as Reger’s.

On the other hand, many new compositions are quiteworthwhile, like the ones written by Bruynèl, Eben, Pärt, Planyavsky, Raxach, Rihm, DeRuiter and Vriend. The works by Bovet, Escaich, Kee, Leitner, Pirenne and Suslin deserveattention as well.