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Otto Ketting: Early Orchestral Works

Ketting / Cgb / Nwe / Bour / Haitink / Vonk
Release Date: 05/11/2010 
Label:  Etcetera Records   Catalog #: 1349   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Otto Ketting
Performer:  Dick TeunissenArend Van Der Knaap
Conductor:  Bernard HaitinkHans VonkOtto KettingDavid Porcelijn,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw OrchestraHague Residentie OrchestraNetherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra,   ... 
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 8 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

KETTING Symphony No. 1. 1 2 Canzoni. 2 Concertino for 2 Trumpets. 3 Variations for Orchestra. 4 Collage No. 9 for 22 Musicians 5 1 Bernard Haitink, 2 Hans Vonk, 3 David Porcelijn, Read more class="SUPER12">4 Ernest Bour, cond; Arend van der Knaap, Dick Teunissen (tpt); 1,5 Concertgebouw O; 2 Hague Residentie O; 3 Netherlands RCO; 4 Netherlands Wind Ens ET’CETERA KTC 1849 (68:24)

Otto Ketting (b. 1935) was a leader of mid-to-late-20th-century Dutch composition (he was still composing in 2008), following the musical generation of Pijper, Vermeulen, Badings, Henkemanns, and Escher. Ketting is a contemporary of the student radicals of the 1960s: Louis Andriessen, Peter Schat, Reinbert de Leeuw (the conductor), Jan van Vlijmen, and Mischa Mengelberg, the five composers of Reconstructie , the 1969 opera that served as a radical pronouncement. But Ketting went his own way, remaining connected to the continuum of music within and beyond the Netherlands.

These are all early works, written from ages 23 to 28. Ketting learned his craft early; they are each well organized, tightly structured music. Too much so, perhaps: It is as if he didn’t yet trust himself to let go. The Concertino for Two Trumpets echoes Stravinsky; although Ketting was himself a leading trumpet player, the solo writing has little of the virtuoso about it. Each piece provides something of interest, but not one convinces the listener that it has something important to say. Some of his later music displays a wider imagination, reaching for, and achieving, another level—and finding beauty along the way.

The fine performances and recordings reissued here make up a useful collection, documenting his work at that time, but this is not a disc to draw listeners to Ketting. For that, I recommend a disc of two stunning works: Symphony No. 3 (1990) and The Light of the Sun (1983), the latter a 37-minute, six-movement orchestral work with soprano soloist. The admirable craft of the earlier works has become second nature, allowing a soaring compositional voice to be heard. I have them on BVHAAST CD9105, a Dutch disc that is not available on ArkivMusic. I encourage readers to search for it, or its equivalent, on the Net.

FANFARE: James H. North
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Works on This Recording

Symphony no 1 by Otto Ketting
Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1959; Netherlands (Holland 
Date of Recording: 10/04/1981 
Venue:  NPS Concertgebouw, Amsterdam 
Length: 16 Minutes 21 Secs. 
Canzoni (2), for orchestra by Otto Ketting
Conductor:  Hans Vonk
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hague Residentie Orchestra
Period: Modern 
Written: 1957 
Date of Recording: 06/24/1982 
Venue:  Polygram, Nieuwe Kerk, The Hague 
Length: 4 Minutes 51 Secs. 
Concertino for 2 trumpets & orchestra by Otto Ketting
Performer:  Dick Teunissen (Trumpet), Arend Van Der Knaap (Trumpet)
Conductor:  Otto Ketting,  David Porcelijn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra
Written: 1958 
Date of Recording: 02/17/1979 
Venue:  NCRV, Hilversum 
Length: 11 Minutes 38 Secs. 
Variations for orchestra by Otto Ketting
Conductor:  Ernest Bour,  David Porcelijn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Wind Ensemble
Written: 1960 
Date of Recording: 12/19/1989 
Venue:  Paradiso, Amsterdam 
Length: 11 Minutes 9 Secs. 
Collage for orchestra No. 9 by Otto Ketting
Conductor:  Ernest Bour
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Written: 1963 
Date of Recording: 01/27/1966 
Venue:  AVRO, Concertgebouw, Amsterdam 
Length: 18 Minutes 45 Secs. 

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