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Tide and time. Piano work
Marijyke van Duin (piano)
Etcetera KTC 1228. [60.05]
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Mannerism, Numero due, Serial fray, Bagatelle, Captive Balloons, Suite, Stage music, Vienna dance, Nouveaute de I annee passe, Sammedi, Expansitivite, Being there, In red, wise, cold; Rubber time

It would appear that Wiel Conen is a Dutch composer who studied in Los Angeles and then at the Juillard School of Music in New York. He is an experimental composer in that he is searching for a personal style and therefore trying out many. His music is therefore unoriginal, having no personal voice. It is also eccentric but that, in itself, is not a bad thing. Some eccentric works are splendid such as Satie's Parade

Conen's music is depressing. There is nothing cheerful about it and after 14 pieces lasting a hour I felt dispirited. There is no lively music as such and no coherence. None of the pieces get off the ground. His music stops and starts and never gets going. The opening piece, Mannerism, has a good six note theme which is then hacked to death in various styles from Chopin to Debussy and Bartok. Numem Due is a clever title but that is about all. It is jerky music stopping and starting. Several styles within a piece is very off-putting and the music has neither direction nor purpose. It is eccentric, annoying, confusing and distressing. He is trying to be modern and he fails in a big way. Serial Fray is a poor attempt at another style. The work does have atmosphere but he ridicules a system which is difficult to compose in because of its discipline. Bagatelle last 74 seconds but is akin to a dozen miniature introductions to suggested other works. That is what is sounds like. Captive Balloons is a silly title for a silly piece. Suite is another example of the poor compositional device of stop and start. None of his music flows and music that has many rests must be ultra good, as was Weberns, for it to succeed. This piece and, in fact, none of the pieces, do.

Stage Music is weird, grossly eccentric and ghastly. It is boring in the extreme. The noises off were far more interesting. Vienna Dance is rubbish and simply awful. By now, I am genuinely feeling sick and depressed .

I have had enough . I can't take any more.

David Wright


David Wright

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