Ten Holt: Canto Ostinato, 2 Piano Version Jeroen van Veen & Sandra van Veen
- Simeon ten Holt (1923 - 2012):
- 1Holt: Section 0105:46
- 2Holt: Section 1012:22
- 3Holt: Section 1703:51
- 4Holt: Section 2009:51
- 5Holt: Section 3406:13
- 6Holt: Section 4109:11
- 7Holt: Section 5602:41
- 8Holt: Section 6001:51
- 9Holt: Section 6903:51
- 10Holt: Section 74, Cumulation I08:23
- 11Holt: Section 8303:14
- 12Holt: Section 8403:33
- 13Holt: Section 88 A11:54
- 14Holt: Section 88 E21:28
- 15Holt: Section 8902:16
- 16Holt: Section 91 A08:22
- 17Holt: Section 91 F08:53
- 18Holt: Section 95, Cumulation II09:15
- 19Holt: Section 10504:11
- 20Holt: Section 84 (2)03:38
- 21Holt: Section 89 (2)02:10
- 22Holt: Incanto 603:27
- 23Holt: Incanto 6, Chords18:39
- 24Holt: Incanto 6, Conclusion07:20
- 25Holt: Section 91 A (2)08:31
- 26Holt: Section 91 F (2)09:02
- 27Holt: Section 95, Cumulation II (2)09:23
- 28Holt: Section 105 (2)01:49
- 29Holt: Section 10602:10
Info for Ten Holt: Canto Ostinato, 2 Piano Version
A new recording of the Dutch minimalist classic made by two of its most experienced champions.
Canto Ostinato is the work that defines the legacy of the composer Simeon ten Holt, who died in 2012 at the age of 89. There are 106 sections of repeating five-beat patterns whose patterned, repetitive but gradually evolving repetition produce a mesmerising effect on the listener – a dance-like sense of even unevenness – akin to masterpieces from the US minimalist school such as Steve Reich’s Music for 16 Musicians and Philip Glass’s Music in 12 Parts. However, the sections need not be repeated literally, and the performers can vary the dynamics, the manner of playing (legato vs. staccato, for example), and the octave in which the material is played.
Ten Holt completed Canto Ostinato in 1979 for an instrumentation of three pianos and electronic organ, but the cycle has proved itself adaptable to several different combinations of keyboard instruments, and these versions were brought together by Jeroen van Veen on a compendium produced by Brilliant Classics in 2014. ‘Canto Ostinato XL’ (9453) included this two-piano scoring as well as versions for prepared pianos, organ and marimbas, but Jeroen and Sandra van Veen have re-recorded it in 2021; the fourth version they have produced, which brings together all the varieties of arrangement and articulation developed through the course of concert performances given across the world.
‘Tonality after the death of tonality’, Ten Holt described the language of Canto Ostinato, and Jeroen van Veen compares its style to the music of Chopin: tranquil, immersive, melancholic and romantic. He worked closely with the composer over many years and can justly be regarded as the most authoritative living performer of his music.
Anyone having experienced the power of Canto Ostinato by Simeon ten Holt (1923-2012) will come under the spell of the hallucinatory effect of this iconic work, the most famous Dutch work for piano of the 20th century, one of the “classics” of minimal music.
Over the years Jeroen van Veen and friends presented the work in a variety of arrangements, ranging from piano solo through multiple pianos, organ, marimbas and synthesizers, each revealing other aspects of this deceptively simple work in which the harmonies shift imperceptibly in slowly changing waves.
About this new recording for two pianos Jeroen van Veen says: “Since each performance creates a new version the piece is evolving during the years. In 1996 Sandra and I recorded the first version, in 2008 a version that Ten Holt liked the most and the last one was in 2014 (Canto Ostinato XXL, four pianos and organ). This new version you are holding now is the latest including all the varieties we developed during the many performances we did worldwide. The last few years we also included a composition written by me, Incanto 06, which is a sort of more minimalistic approach. It fits into the Canto Ostinato and has become our signature over the years.”.
Without doubt Jeroen van Veen established himself as “The leading exponent of minimalism today” (Fanfare), “Jeroen van Veen has been a powerhouse in the piano world” (Musicweb). His numerous recordings for Brilliant Classics include works by Glass, Reich, Ten Holt, Pärt, Satie, Tiersen, Einaudi, Preisner and many others.
Jeroen van Veen, piano
Sandra van Veen, piano
Jeroen Van Veen
born 1969 started playing the piano at the age of 7. He studied at the Utrecht Conservatory with Alwin Bär and Håkon Austbö. In 1993 he passed the Performing Artists' Exam. Van Veen has played with orchestras conducted by Howard Williams, Peter Eötvös, Neal Stulberg and Robert Craft. He has played recitals in Austria, Belgium, Canada, England, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Russia & the USA. Van Veen attended master classes with Claude Helffer, Hans-Peter & Volker Stenzl and Roberto Szidon. He was invited to several festivals; Reder Piano Festival (1988), Festival der Kunsten in Bad Gleichenberg (1992), Wien Modern (1993), Holland Dance Festival (1998) Lek Art Festival (1996-2007). Van Veen recorded for major Dutch Radio- and Television companies like AVRO, NOS, IKON, NCRV, TROS/Internet, WTBC-TV & Radio (Florida, U.S.A.) and Moscow Television. In 1992, Van Veen recorded his first CD with his brother Maarten as the internationally recognized Piano duo Van Veen. In 1995 Piano duo Van Veen made their debut in the United States. They were prizewinners in the prestigious 4th International Murray Dranoff Two Piano Competition in Miami, Florida. After this achievement they toured the United States and Canada many times. The documentary "Two Pianos One Passion" (nominated with an Emmy Award 1996) documents them as a duo.
In 1995 Jeroen Van Veen founded the duo Sandra & Jeroen van Veen, a piano duo with Sandra Mol. As such, they mainly perform (minimal) music for multiple pianos by Erik Satie, Douwe Eisenga, Simeon ten Holt and many more. Beside his career as a solo pianist Van Veen also participates in the following ensembles: ‘Piano Ensemble’, ‘The International Piano Quartet’, ‘Piano Mania’, ‘DJ Piano’ and ‘Jeroen van Veen & Friends’.
The various (>80) compositions by Van Veen may be described as ‘Minimal Music’ with different faces, Crossovers to Jazz, Blues, Soundscape, Avant-Garde, Techno, Trance and Pop Music. Currently Mr. Van Veen is director of Van Veen Productions, Chairman of the Simeon ten Holt Foundation, Culemborg Cultural Foundation, Pianomania Foundation and artistic director of several music festivals in Culemborg, Utrecht and Veldhoven. He is active in Murray Dranoff Two Piano Competition based in Miami (USA). Over the last 20 years Van Veen recorded more than 100 CDs for several labels Mirasound, Koch, Naxos, Brilliant Classics, and his own label PIANO. The recording of Les Noces for Koch and Naxos was stated in the New York Times as " the best recording ever". Classics Today on Erik Satie pianoworks four hands, 10 artistic quality, 10 sound quality.