Duration: 10’30”
First Performance: March, 18, 2004, Aurelia Saxophone Quartet
Written for the Aurelia Saxophone Quartet, with financial support of Fonds voor de Scheppende Toonkunst.


Program Note

Quodlibet (Latin: what you please) is a conglomeration of highly diverse stylistic resources and musical gestures, with very different types of music changing into one another. Sometimes these changes are quite abrupt, sometimes they are more gradual when the piece almost imperceptibly transforms from one type of music to another. Central to the piece is the opposition between three broad types of musical material: first, there are static chromatic textures and long chromatic lines; second, there is a diatonic type of music, with a lot of energy, repetitive patterns and a propulsive rhythmic drive; and third, there is material that refers to the music of the past (in particular the music of Pérotin and Bach).
Quodlibet can be experienced like a surreleastic time-machine journey, in which it is often unclear what time or era the listener is actually in. A hint of baroque music may suddenly lilt through a dissonant chromatic texture, or one may hear a passage that sounds like medieval dance music yet there’s something alienating about it, as if one has come into a strangely distorted past. Towards the end of the piece, a Bach-like fugue seems to take over the music completely, but then this fugue gets obscured as well, by long notes forming a chromatic cluster – like a memory of the past that suddenly fades away...


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