Ten Holt: Canto Ostinato (DeLuxe)

Ten Holt: Canto Ostinato (DeLuxe)
Composer Simeon ten Holt
Artist Aart Bergwerff organ
Eric Vloeimans trumpet
Format 1 CD
Cat. number 97409
EAN code 5028421974095
Release May 2024

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About this release

A new and strikingly effective arrangement of a modern minimalist classic.

Canto Ostinato is a familiar landmark of modern Dutch art music. Known affectionately and simply as the Canto, it receives many performances each year in a plethora of arrangements, whether with the two or four pianos which Simeon ten Holt had in mind when he wrote the work in 1976, or performed by soloists and ensembles. This flexibility is inherent in the form of the piece. Ten Holt supplies a sequence of 106 rhythmic cells which may be repeated one or many more times, thus potentially creating a duration of one or many more hours. The simple and repetitive patterns blur the listener’s sense of time, which becomes space: space for the performers, space for creation, but also space for the listeners, space for imagination.

At the invitation of Orgelpark Amsterdam, the organist Aart Bergwerff has been giving annual performances of Canto Ostinato, always in a new instrumentation, in company with different musicians. This groundbreaking version for trumpet and organ arose as the result of a chance meeting backstage between Bergwerff and the trumpeter Eric Vloeimans. The recording captures a concert given in October 2023 at the Orgelpark, presenting Canto Ostinato as a kind of monody for trumpet and organ, like a long-spun solo with basso continuo. Bergwerff and Vloeimans had known each other as students at the conservatoire in Rotterdam, and so this artistic partnership was a renewal of friendship as well as a synthesis of common musical values.

Relying as it does on the stamina of a solo trumpeter, this version of Canto Ostinato is necessarily shorter than most of the canonic versions, but it illuminates the piece with a fresh perspective, more melodically focused than keyboard-centric instrumentations, and evolving more rapidly through Ten Holt’s cycle of harmonic change.

- It is impossible to imagine the Dutch musical landscape without Canto Ostinato.
- This neoclassical masterwork by composer Simeon Ten Holt (1923-2012) ends up high in the top ten classical charts every year.
- The piece - affectionately called the Canto - is multicolored, it has many performances and just as many line-ups. Every performance is unique and more of a ritual than a concert, Ten Holt says.
- The minimalistic and repetitive patterns make the sense of time disappear and make way for space. Space for the performers, space for creation, but also space for the listeners, space for imagination. With this live recording, Eric Vloeimans (trumpet) and Aart Bergwerff (organ) add a new dimension to the kaleidoscope of Canto.


Track list

Disk 1

  1. Simeon ten Holt: Canto Ostinato: Part 1
  2. Simeon ten Holt: Canto Ostinato: Theme (74)
  3. Simeon ten Holt: Canto Ostinato: Transition (86)
  4. Simeon ten Holt: Canto Ostinato: Part 2B
  5. Simeon ten Holt: Canto Ostinato: Theme (95)
  6. Simeon ten Holt: Canto Ostinato: Coda

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