Stanza is based on the riddle canon "Ave Maris Stella" (±1549) by the Dutch composer Ghiselin Danckerts, which has the appearance of a chess board filled with notes.
Stanza exists in three versions. The first one is for a diatonic music box containing white "keys" only. The piece is dedicated to the Italian composer Aldo Clementi, himself a keen chess player and creator of numerous compositions using music boxes.
The second version of Stanza is chromatic (white & black keys). The work is a lament for solo positive organ and eight instruments. The ensemble limits itself to lengthening notes coming from the organ, sparse and at set times. The piece is composed in memory of the American composer John Cage, also a keen chess player.
The third version of Stanza is microtonal. The work is for a solitary bass flute, wandering, contemplating, surrounded by erratic, sudden string sounds. The piece was written for and is dedicated to Rik Andriessen, the flute-player of the Ives Ensemble (not a chess player).
Each piece can be performed separately or as part of the entire cycle
music box (solo), positive organ (solo), bass flute (solo),
bass clarinet, trombone, vibraphone,
4 violins, 2 violas, cello, double bass
15 November 2008 - November Music
Toonzaal, 's-Hertogenbosch (Netherlands)
Richard Rijnvos - music box
John Snijders - positive organ
Rik Andriessen - bass flute