Hanne DENEIRE (b. 1980)
Lotus [19:09]
Zear [7:56]
D.W.E. [11:38]
Mitäa [7:21]
Johannes BRAHMS (1833 – 1897)
Andante from Clarinet Sonata Op.120/1 (1894) [4:22]
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685 – 1750)
Part 1 from Violin Sonata BWV 1001 (1720) [4:25]
Franz SCHUBERT (1797 – 1828)
Moment Musical D 780 No.3 (1823/8) [1:59]
Robert SCHUMANN (1810 – 1856)
Allegretto from Violin Sonata No.1 Op.105 (1851) [3:46]
Ensemble Hommages (Wouter Aerts (clarinet/bass clarinet); Jozefien Peelman (cello); Eliot Lawson (violin); David van Looveren (piano)); Beethoven Academie/Jan Caeyersa
rec. Rijksakademie, Anderlecht, Belgium, 26-28 September 2009
PHAEDRA 92063 [60:36]

The name and music of the young Flemish composer Hanne Deneire were totally unknown to me until I received this disc. A bit of biographical information may not be superfluous. She studied at the Royal Conservatoire in Antwerp where her teachers were Win Henderickx and Luc Van Hove. Next to her composition studies she was also trained as bass clarinettist and pianist, which makes her an all-round and versatile musician. She has quite an output to her credit.

In 2009 as composer-in-residence of Ensemble Hommages she was asked to draw together a repertoire list that included examples of beauty in music (Deneire’s own words). She thus came up with works by Bach, Brahms, Schubert and Schumann that were played along with some of her own music including a newly composed piece written specially. This explains the rather wide-ranging programme. Her music clearly has the lion’s share. Her works as recorded here alternate with the standard classical ones.

I was much more interested in hearing the music of Hanne Deneire. It is – I think – the main purpose of this release. Unfortunately I cannot give you dates of composition of Deneire’s works because neither her site nor the disc’s insert notes mention them. All, however, are fairly recent. These works allow a first appreciation of her music and her stylistic approach. Judging by the works recorded here her approach seems fairly consistent.

Lotus is a piano trio. It is in two parts and they more or less mirror each other in that Part 1 has calm, mysterious outer sections framing a more animated, dance-like one whereas Part 2 opens rather furiously before calming down at the close. Zear for solo bass clarinet was written with the composer in mind as the performer. It is a lovely suite of four short movements or studies exploring the expressive range of the instrument. The music is predominantly melodic and – again – dance-like. D.W.E. for clarinet, violin and piano was composed for members of Ensemble Hommages and the title actually stands for D(avid van Looveren), W(outer Aerts) and E(liot Lawson). The music is again full of energy, vitality and alert rhythms, albeit allowing for calmer sections. It thus has much in common with Lotus.

Mitä is probably one of her earliest works and is scored for large chamber orchestra rather than for full orchestral forces. The composer displays a fine ear for vivid orchestral textures in which she also weaves aleatoric opportunities à la Lutoslawski. Judging by this compact orchestral study I wish that Deneire would compose more for orchestra. She has a remarkable flair for arresting textures and gestures.

Performances and recording are very fine indeed and well up to Phaedra’s best. This release presumably provides a fair idea of Deneire’s present output. As such, it is most welcome in revealing a relatively new voice in Flemish music. I could have done without the classical pieces if only we could have had more of Deneire’s music.

Hubert Culot

A fine introduction to a young composer’s music.