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FEATURED COMPOSERS
Andriessen, LouisDe Staat (1972-76) 35'
for 4 women's voices and large ensemble

Music Text  
Plato's Republic (Gr)

Scoring
2S.2M-0.4(III,IV=corA).0.0-4.4.4(IV=btrbn).0-2elec.gtr-bass gtr- 2harps-2pft-4vla.
Abbreviations (PDF).

Territory
This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.

World Premiere
11/28/1976
Amsterdam
Netherlands Wind Ensemble / Lucas Vis


Composer's Notes      Deutsch    Français
I wrote De Staat (The Republic) as a contribution to the debate about the relation of music to politics. Many composers view the act of composing as, somehow, above social conditioning. I contest that. How you arrange your musical material, the techniques you use and the instruments you score for, are largely determined by your own social circumstances and listening experience, and the availability of financial support. I do agree, though, that abstract musical material - pitch, duration and rhythm - are beyond social conditioning: it is found in nature. However, the moment the musical material is ordered it becomes culture and hence a social entity.

I have used passages from Plato to illustrate these points. His text is politically controversial, if not downright negative: everyone can see the absurdity of Plato's statement that the mixolydian mode should be banned as it would have a damaging influence on the development of character.

My second reason for writing De Staat is a direct contradiction of the first: I deplore the fact that Plato was wrong. If only it were true that musical innovation could change the laws of the State!

L.A., 1994

Reproduction Rights:
This programme note may be reproduced free of charge in concert programmes with a credit to the composer.

Press Quotes  
"Andriessen's big boned, hectically minimalist political essay De Staat demonstrated that it is possible to adapt Stravinskian rhythmic material to wholly individual ends." Daily Telegraph

News stories for this title :

  • Louis Andriessen: Russian premiere of De Staat
  • New book explores Andriessen's De Staat





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