Louis Andriessen (1939-2021)

Zilver (1994)

for ensemble

  • General information
    • Composition date: 1994
    • Duration: 15 mn
    • Publisher: Boosey & Hawkes
Detailed formation
  • flute, clarinet, marimba, vibraphone, piano, violin, cello

Premiere information

  • Date: 11 January 1995

    États-Unis, Los Angeles, Modern Art Museum.

Program note

The idea behind Zilver was to write a chorale variation as Bach did for organ: a long, slow-moving melody, combined with the same melody played faster. The ensemble is divided into two groups: the wind and strings play the sustained melody in chorale-like four-part harmony, and the rest of the instruments – vibraphone, marimba and piano – play increasingly fast staccato chords. The two groups play in canons.

Zilver is one of a planned series of chamber pieces named after a type of physical matter. Hout (‘wood’) is the first, and Zilver (‘silver’) is the second. The title also refers to the two silver instruments – flute and vibraphone – which start and end the piece.

Louis Andriessen.