Dirk Luijmes: New music for the psalm pump0

by Dirk Luijmes |Het ORGEL |Year 95 |(1999) |Issue 19

 

Dirk Luijmes ‘New music for the psalm pump’
het ORGEL 95 (1999), nr. 2, 34-38 [summary]

After a period of professional interest in the harmonium,shown by composers like Cesar Franck and Franz Liszt, the instrument declined inpopularity. During recent years, however, it seems that a revival is taking place.19th-century music is investigated and played again and harmoniums are restored.Furthermore, the harmonium appears in pop music (Tom Waits) and ensembles like the UpThere Trio. To stimulate this revival, Dirk Luijmes asked several composer to write musicfor the French harmonium he owns. As a result, four compositions where written.

Hommage a Victor Mustel (1997), by LouisToebosch, shows the characteristics of Toebosch’s other music: impressionistic harmo-nies,polytonality, polyphony and joyful improvisation-like ele-ments. The division of the stopsinto bass and treble plays a major part in the composition.

Harmonologue (1997), by Walter Hekster,is quite different: departing from several low frequencies – one of the specialities ofthe instrument – chromatic sound structures are developed bit by bit. As a kind ofreminiscence of the organ, the BACH-motive appears in bar 37.

Longen en Tongen (1998), by Andries vanRossem, is inspired by an Eastern ‘mouth-organ’ the composer owns (a Japanese ‘she’, orChinese ‘sheng’). Van Rossem explores the possibilities of the harmonium in hiscomposition. 3-pt. (untampered)

Product (1998), by Peter Adriaansz, is apiece for harmonium and other instruments: the bass of the harmonium is reinforced by atrombone, the treble by a piccolo (or flute). Percussion instruments are added as well.