Erik LOTICHIUS (b.1929)
Symfonietta for Strings* [22:12]
Piano Concerto No. 2 for piano, strings and 3 saxophones [22:23]
Four Songs on native American Poetry for mezzo and orchestra (With
Rejoicing Mouth 4:34; The Arrival of the Whites 5:04; On the Death
of Atahualpa 4:31; Lord, Most Generous 2:58) [17:07]
Jo Vercruysse (violin) *; Eliane Rodrigues (piano)
Maria Liekens, Karla van Loo, Rudy Haemers (saxophones)
Michelle Mallinger (mezzo)
Prima La Musica/Dirk Vermeulen
rec. 6-8 July 2008, Sound Recording Centre Steurbaut. DDD
BRILLIANT CLASSICS 9158 [60:41]
Erik LOTICHIUS (b.1929)
CD 1: Songs, French chansons, ditties for mezzo, piano and alto
Hantzen Houwert (mezzo); Erik Lotichius (piano); Benny Laureyn (saxophone)
rec. studio Crescendo, Genk.
CD 2: Hymns and French chansons for mezzo and piano.
Caren van Oijen (mezzo); Alessandro Misciasci (piano).
Titles of songs listed at end of review
rec. Bloomline Coryphee (producer/director Leo de Klerk), s'Gravendeel.
Q DISC Q 97008 [61:04 + 48:21]
Rebotko, for two flutes and piano [15:40]
Inez Lotichius (flute); Pauline Lotichius (piano), Lilian Lotichius
String Quartet 1 [18:12]
String quartet 7 [13:16]
Four pieces from Anaitalrax (15 pieces for piano).[12:26]
Ralph van Raat.(piano)
rec. 2001-02. released 2003
Q DISC Q97057 [59:54]
Erik Lotichius was first taught piano by his mother. He turned
to violin and composition during his teens and continued his
studies with piano, composition and music theory at the Amsterdam
Conservatoire. There he became professor of counterpoint, harmony,
ear-training and analysis, and later arranging. His receptive
and accessible inclinations are very evidently not avant-garde
and happily accommodate and synthesise jazz, popular styles
His prodigious worklist includes Eindhoven '44 (about
the liberation of Eindhoven), Lyrisch Intermezzo (a day
in the lives of Rossini, Wagner and Schubert), Variations
on Mood Indigo for symphony orchestra, Hiphop - a
burlesque for piano and (amateur) orchestra, Concerto giocoso
for violin and string orchestra, Concerto for two double-basses
and string orchestra, Concerto for two trumpets and youth orchestra
(strings), 24 preludes and fugues for string quartet, three
symphonies, a Requiem and Eline (1990) an opera
for mezzo, two baritones and an instrumental ensemble. There
are, at last count, some nine other stage works - operas, musical
and entertainments. You can read more about his life and music
He has also written Roos and Roos ontdekt de wereld -
children's books about an English Sheepdog.
We turn to the Brilliant Classics disc (easily accessible) first.
The Symfonietta is in five cleanly orchestrated brief
movements and would make a nice companion to the Wirén Serenade.
The Praeludium is imbued with a ripely brusque life-force
around a challenging motif echoing Beethoven's 5th - the Fate
motif. The Blues Fantasia transforms the motif further
and is coupled with music lent a bluesy sway. This comes before
a rattling and chattering Zuniga with just a touch of
Spain about it. The Moorish caste to Jo Vercruysse's capriciously
romantic violin solo shoots adoring glances back to Bruch and
Sarasate. The insistently shivering steely-delicate finale is
an emotionally drier affair.
The three movement Second Piano Concerto starts with a severe
gesture from the strings contrasting with gently unassertive
lightheartedness from the piano. The piano soon persuades the
orchestra into the same mood which is further consolidated in
honeyed intimacy from the choir of three saxophones. The romantic
and nostalgic proclivities of these ideas remind me of Malcolm
Arnold and Glazunov; the latter in his Saxophone Concerto. The
pensive middle movement continues the theme. The final Poco
Allegro ripples along giving urgent chase with something
of the character of a tarantella but with those delectable saxophones
again softening the ruthless mood Ultimately a sort of optimistic
anxiety wins the day.
The Four Songs are in a populist sentimental style yet
highly polished and capable. They have the shadows of the fashionable
tango, of Gershwin and of French film music of the 1950s alternating
and commingling over their pages. Mezzo Michelle Mallinger rises
to the drama though the control-desk should have favoured her
more against the orchestra. The final song leans on that brand
of urgency angst and Philip Glass motor-rhythm that we hear
in the Symfonietta. The words of the songs are printed
in the booklet.
The Q disc 2 CD set of songs continues the trend but on a more
intimate scale. The 25 songs on CD 1 are sung very stylishly
by Hantzen Houwert. The words are English and Houwert's lightly
accented voice suits their cabaret loucheness, jazzy pulse and
tango smokiness to a tee. They are traced, touched off and caressed
by the saxophone. All very entertaining, provocative and touching.
Splendid and rather in the same mould as Elizabeth Montgomery's
recitals with Richard Rodney Bennett, Cleo Laine's Shakespeare
songs and Madeleine Dring's intelligent cabaret contributions?
We also hear the native American Poetry songs heard on
the Brilliant disc. These are all songs confidently migrating
around the shadowlands between concert hall and popular sophistication.
The second disc is packed with 20 lieder in a tonal pattern.
Their roots are struck deep into nineteenth century lieder.
Schoeck might be a parallel but these are more varied in mood
being extruded and transformed through a late 20th century alembic.
The chamber concert voice of Caren van Oijen suits the music
in much the same way that Houwert fulfils the requisite qualities
demanded by the lighter world of the more populist CD1.
The other volume - one disc this time - samples the Lotichius
chamber music. Rebotko, for two flutes and piano is an
urgently and sometimes slowly insistent, even obsessive and
flighty, little melodic affair - very tuneful though the ideas
do not go very far. Definitely affected by minimalism but then
so is the First String Quartet which, across its four characterful
and melodically direct yet by no means simplistic movements,
also touches on the worlds of Weill and tango. The Anaitalrax
pieces represent an exhibition of diverse styles culminating
in Ragtime - all convincingly carried off. The three movement
Seventh Quartet begins very strongly in a Glass-insistent hush
of urgency with some Bruckner subsumed alongside Bernard Herrmann.
Excellent performances throughout. This is music that is not
hard to like. It will appeal on first hearing yet have enough
fibre to draw you back.
We must hope to hear more especially Eline, the three
symphonies, the complete Anaitalrax sequence, the Variations
on Mood Indigo and the Hiphop burlesque. Though hardly the
same this music should appeal to those who like Kapustin, Glass
Contents of Vocal works - Q Disc set
It really must be nice; Sondern ich werde sterben; Familiale;
Chanson; Since you, sir went away; Poem in three parts; Und
ich werde nicht mehr sehen; Makes me feel funny; Petite camusette;
With rejoicing mouth; Dass von mir gereinigt werde; The day
it rained; Mort; On the death of atahualpa; Weil ich eingebrochen
bin; So many memories; Le meilleur moment des amours; Lord,
most generous; Brüder, wenn ich bei euch wäre; I'm glad; Floris
& stokstra; First man was the first to emerge; Erinnerung
an die Marie; One of these days; Egidius, waer bestu bleven?;
Come away death; Gegen ferführung; My down mood; O mistress
mine; Intermezzo van de oude heer en het danseresje; Am grunde
der Moldau; Music makes me think; Sigh no more, ladies; La luna
asoma; Das lied vom freudenmädchen; A moon rising white; I like
my body; Malagueña; Nummer één zei; Green, green; What lips
my lips have kissed; La guitarra; Pour toi mon amour; Pure peace