Piano Music, Jeroen van Veen
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Composer: Jeroen van Veen
Title: Piano Music, Lego Music
Performer: Jeroen van Veen



5 CD box
Recording: Studio I, Culemborg
Label: Brilliant Classics 9454






Select your region








Piano Music, CD I
Minimal Prelude 25 (piano) 08:58
Minimal Prelude 26 (piano) 12:26
Minimal Prelude 27 ** (piano four hands) 02:15
Minimal Prelude 28 (piano) 32:41
Minimal Prelude 29 (piano) 08:41
Minimal Prelude 31 (piano) 07:47
Minimal Prelude 37 ** (piano four hands) 04:54

Piano Music, CD II
Minimal Prelude 32 (piano) 07:35
Minimal Prelude 33 ** (piano four hands) 12:15
Minimal Prelude 34 (piano) 06:00
Minimal Prelude 35 ** (piano four hands & organ bass line) 07:57
Minimal Prelude 36 ** (piano four hands) 08:46
Minimal Prelude 38 (piano) 14:09
Ballade for Frank *** (piano & carillon) 08:16
Slash** (two prepared pianos) 09:36

Piano Music, CD III
Incanto #3 ** (two pianos) 16:50
Minimal Blurrr * (piano & tape) 07:22
Incanto #4, Part I ** (two pianos) 27:29
Incanto #4, Part II ** (two pianos) 12:57
Incanto #4, Part III ** (two pianos) 13:46

Piano Music, CD IV
The Four Elements: Air ** (piano & tape) 07:04
The Four Elements: Water ** (piano & tape) 05:18
The Four Elements: Earth ** (piano & tape) 10:18
The Four Elements: Fire ** (piano & tape) 07:06
Repeating History ** (two pianos) 21:02
Molly ** (two pianos eight hands) 27:30

Piano Music, CD V
NLXL (four pianos, two keyboards, two toy pianos and tape) *
Soundscape: North Sea 01:39
NLXL I: Opening 06:45
Soundscape: The dunes 01:10
NLXL II: Going down 02:30
Soundscape: Oud-Maarsseveen 01:10
Structures 04:12
Soundscape: A10 near Amsterdam 03:22
Density 03:36
Space 03:12
Soundscape: Passing Trains 01:05
On the Train 02:44
Rollercoaster 00:44
On our way to? 01:29
In Holland 01:42
Soundscape: Amsterdam 01:36
Industrial threat 05:31
Soundscape: Industry 01:38
Incanto 03, 7 notes on 7 instruments 08:59
Soundscape: Extrema 00:18
On the beat 03:28
NLXL 00:16
Who will win? 05:04
Soundscape: Zaanse Schans 01:14
Sliced country 05:51
Heartbeat 00:05
Music box playing NLXL waltz 00:25
NLXL III 08:48

Jeroen van Veen, piano
*piano & tape
** with Sandra van Veen, piano four hands or two pianos
*** with Frank Steijns, carillon


Lego Music

Already from a young age I felt connected to minimal music. I have played the works of composers like Philip Glass, Steve Reich, John Adams, Simeon ten Holt and many others to this day, and I regularly perform many of their pieces all over the world. I am fascinated with composing minimalist works for multiple pianos; achieving maximum product with minimal tools (notes).
As a child I listened enchantedly to Igor Stravinsky’s Sacre de Printemps for four pianos. The score for this particular rendition was not available and my piggy bank contained too little allowance to buy the four-piano sheet music, so me and my brother started writing down the piece ourselves.
These invaluable childhood years were well-spent on solfège practise and learning about harmony, skills I happily apply in my daily work. In addition to writing down the Sacre, playing piano concert cadences and improvising on a basis of simple chords has helped me a lot in becoming a proficient composer. But the best preceptor was my teacher in harmony at Utrechts Conservatory: Wim Witteman; he could bring music to its essence.
Both colleagues and teachers questioned my preference for minimal music. Not the future, they thought. I was utterly convinced that repetitive tonal music had very much future potential. I am also attracted to the required interaction among the performers in musical works from composers like Simeon ten Holt. It creates variation for both the performers and the audience.
Repetitions of motives (“lego bricks”) within a composition is not new; it occurs in Soler’s Fandango, Bach’s Chaconne and Pachelbel’s Canon!
Around the millennium change I recorded several cds with works of Glass, ten Holt and Pärt. Since then I started collecting works from the whole spectrum of minimal music. By now I recorded 20 cds entitled “Minimal Piano Collection”, and I recorded the complete works of Simeon ten Holt in boxes of 11 and 5 cds respectively.
As a Brilliant Classics producer I am responsible for the idea, repertoire, recording, editing and mastering of cds. In addition to producing cds and performing concerts, the element of composing always stayed with me. Throughout the years I have always continued to write music without subsidiaries, for I felt obligated to do so. After the first series of “24 minimal preludes”, written between 1999 and 2003, I continued to work on this series. Furthermore I composed solo, duo and four-hand pieces for piano, pieces for piano in combination with either organ, Hang, voice or carillon, pieces for prepared pianos, and various ensemble-pieces. Some of these 100+ compositions are performed globally by many performers, most of which can be heard in the media regularly.
Besides some other pieces, this new cd-box contains follow-up pieces of the minimal preludes. My style is characterised by a specific layering of time signatures like 5/8, 7/8,11/8 and 13/8. All works I compose with the distinct physical qualities of the instrument in mind. I frequently call my works lego music because it is composed of many individual components, or “bricks” as it were. The idea behind this is to create variation. lego refers to the Danish phrase “leg godt,” which means “to play well.” Many motives reappear in various works, like lego bricks in lego structures do. Even though my music has both a melodic and rhythmic component, there is the absence of a typically Western musical development. Rather, the performers play key part in deciding what will piece will sound like in the end. I hope you’ll enjoy listening to lego music as much as I enjoyed creating it!

© Jeroen van Veen translation: Joeri van Veen