Louis Andriessen (1939-2021)

Hadewijch (De Materie Part II) (1988)

for soprano, eight voices and large ensemble

  • General information
    • Composition date: 1988
    • Duration: 29 mn
    • Publisher: Boosey & Hawkes
    • Cycle: De Materie
    • Libretto (details, author):

      Septième vision d'Hadewijch, tiré de Het Visionenboek van Hadewych (néerlandais)

Detailed formation
  • soloist: solo soprano
  • ensemble of vocal soloists(2 solo soprano, 2 solo contralto, 2 solo tenor, 2 solo bass voice)
  • 3 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 English horns, 5 clarinets, 2 bass clarinets, contrabass clarinet, 4 horns, 4 trumpets, 4 trombones, tuba, 5 percussionists, harp, 2 guitars, electric bass guitar, 2 electronic/MIDI keyboards/synthesizers [synthétiseurs] , 2 pianos, 2 violins, 2 second violins, 2 violas, 2 cellos, double bass

Premiere information

  • Date: 1 June 1989

    Pays-Bas, Amsterdam, Muziektheater


    Wendy Hill : soprano, Materie Orkest avec des membres du Netherlands Chamber Choir, direction : Reinbert de Leeuw.

Program note

Hadewijch is the second part of the large four-section work De Materie (Matter) but can also be performed independently.

The text is one of the visions of Hadewijch, a 13th-century Dutch mystic poetess, and expresses her passionate vision, both spiritual and erotic, of union with Him.

The composition is organised to mirror the architectural plan of the cathedral of Reims in France. The intervals of time between the chords of the pianos, tuned percussion and guitars, which ring through the canvas at set points, have the same proportional relationship as the distance in space between the cathedral’s pillars.

Louis Andriessen.