Notes and Editorial Reviews
Symphony No. 1.
Concertino for 2 Trumpets.
Variations for Orchestra.
Collage No. 9 for 22 Musicians
Ernest Bour, cond; Arend van der Knaap, Dick Teunissen (tpt);
Hague Residentie O;
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
, 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
Works on This Recording
Symphony no 1 by Otto Ketting
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
Hague Residentie Orchestra
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
Dick Teunissen (Trumpet),
Arend Van Der Knaap (Trumpet)
Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra
Date of Recording: 02/17/1979
Venue: NCRV, Hilversum
Length: 11 Minutes 38 Secs.
Variations for orchestra by Otto Ketting
Netherlands Wind Ensemble
Date of Recording: 12/19/1989
Venue: Paradiso, Amsterdam
Length: 11 Minutes 9 Secs.
Collage for orchestra No. 9 by Otto Ketting
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Date of Recording: 01/27/1966
Venue: AVRO, Concertgebouw, Amsterdam
Length: 18 Minutes 45 Secs.
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