3(I, II, III=picc).2.bcl.dbcl.ssax.asax.0-18.104.22.168-perc(2):SD/2 sm tom-t/2 brake dr/glsp/vib/2 lg susp.cym/xyl/2 sets t.bells/sm susp.cym/2 sm timpani or rototoms/cyms/lg guiro/2 lg tgl/gong-harp-cimbalom-elec.gtr.bass gtr-strings(22.214.171.124.2)
Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, CA
Katia and Marielle Labèque, pianos / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Esa-Pekka Salonen
The opening of The Hague Hacking refers to an existing piece, which was in my mind while composing, but could not be tracked down immediately. I called a composer friend and sang the melody to him. ‘Liszt!’ he said and, after some thinking, ‘Hungarian Rhapsody No.2’. I did not know the Liszt piano piece but, when one evening I watched some early Tom and Jerry cartoons again, I saw and heard my true source: The Cat Concerto. In the cartoon Tom is the piano virtuoso accompanied by an invisible orchestra.
In The Hague Hacking the orchestra starts to play, in very slow note values, yet another melody: a once popular sing-along song about the city of The Hague. The whole work, which we could call a Toccata, has been composed with the material of these two melodies.
At the end of the piece, as a kind of triumphant denouement, the sing-along song is totally deconstructed by all the musicians. The material for this ‘de-composition’ had been first created in 2003 for my friends, the piano duo of Gerard Bouwhuis and Cees van Zeeland, as an encore for the concert on the occasion of their 25th anniversary.
The Hague Hacking was written for the matchless pianists Katia and Marielle Labèque. Like the group Hoketus, which I founded in the seventies, they manage to make the hocketing (interlocking) sound as if it is being played by one person.
Louis Andriessen (2008)