Asie

Composition

for symphony orchestra (2014-2015)
27 minutes | no.62

Asie is the third part of Grand Atlas, a cycle in which each of the seven world continents is depicted in an orchestral composition.

The work embarks on a journey that takes us to the archipelago of Japan, the volcanic island of Bali, and finally to the Korean Peninsula, experiencing various weather conditions along the way. There are six sections that succeed each other without a break:

1. Prelude

Banshun no Kaze (Late Spring Breeze)

2. JAPAN

Seigaiha (Blue Sea Wave)

3. BALI

Sekar Kamuda (after I Ketút Gedé Asnawa)

4. Interlude

Turun Kabut (Descending Fog)

5. KOREA

T'aep'yongga (Song of Great Peace)

6. Postlude

Jangmajeonseon (Early Summer Rain)



Scoring

3.3.0.0.sax-0.3.1.0-perc(6)-cimb-hrp(2)-pf-str(12.12.10.8.6)

commissioned by

NTR ZaterdagMatinee

written for

Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra

dedicated to

Kunsu Shim

première

19 March 2016
NTR ZaterdagMatinee
Concertgebouw Amsterdam (Netherlands)
Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
Pablo Heras-Casado (conductor)



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Press

It is inconceivable that the reservoir of orchestral sounds will ever be exhausted. If only because, every now and then, composers apply brilliant changes to the standard line-up. Take for instance Asie by Richard Rijnvos, premièred during the ZaterdagMatinee concert series. In this third part of the cycle Grand Atlas, horn, clarinet, and bassoon remain absent, substituted by cimbalom and prepared piano, providing extra clout.

Rijnvos explicitly brings the traditional music of Japan, Bali and Korea to life, but manages to avoid orientalistic connotations due to serious musicological knowledge. He thus manages to steer clear from the sort of kitsch that sticks to the pleasing music of the Chinese [composer] Tan Dun.

Floris Don, NRC Handelsblad, 21 March 2016


What is most curious is that Rijnvos based most of this part on existing music, meticulously orchestrated and providing an additional prelude, interlude and postlude. Equally curious is that the composer [...] yet again has produced a typical Rijnvos. That is due to the fantastic gamut of timbral mixtures he manages to draw from the orchestra. The imitations of oriental instruments in Asie, incorporating various overtones, are simply fascinating.

Frits van der Waa, Volkskrant, 21 March 2016



Audio fragments

Performance

Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
Pablo Heras-Casado - conductor

recording

19 March 2016, NTR ZaterdagMatinee, Concertgebouw, Amsterdam (NL)
by NTR Dutch Radio (reproduced with permission)


Asie

excerpt 1

Asie

excerpt 2

Asie

excerpt 3



Score Excerpts