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Lex van Delden Chamber Music

Quartetto op58 for flute, violin, viola and cello. (1957)

Sestetto per Archi op. 97 for 2 violins, 2 violas and 2 cellos (1971)

Duo op. 27 for flute and harp (1950)

Introduzione e Danza (Judith) op.26 for flute, clarinet, violin, viola, cello and piano (1950)

Nonetto per Amsterdam op 101 for clarinet, bassoon, horn, 2 violins, viola, cello, double-bass and piano (1975)

Viotta Ensemble; Members of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

Dabringhaus und Grimm MDG 603 1317-2 (TT 71.10)

Lex van Delden (1919-1988) was a Dutch composer who combined prolific composition with the occupation of music critic - he was music editor of the Amsterdam daily 'Het Parool' and saw this latter role as a way of helping to rebuild cultural life in post war Amsterdam.

Van Delden had been active in the Dutch Resistance and, from a Jewish background, he had lost most of his family in the extermination camps. This CD features a selection of Chamber pieces performed by musicians from the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, most of these pieces having been written for players from this Orchestra.

The highlights of the recording are the Sextet and the Nonet, both written in the 1970s. In the Sextet the composer achieves a fine balance between the three sets of instruments. The music would work well for a string quartet with additional viola and cello in a programme with Rubbra, Milhaud or Britten quartets. The Nonet offers an evocation of the city of Amsterdam and contains the panoply of impressions that one would expect, vitality, humour, wistfulness, happiness and unhappiness. Again it is a piece that deserves a public hearing in this country.

The music is, throughout this recording, extremely well crafted and lyrical, at the same time often containing a melancholic strand, and is performed to a high standard. It is an excellent testament to a fine composer.

To find out more about Lex Van Delden go to the website of the Lex Van Delden Foundation www.lexvandelden.nl

Mark Dennis

© Peter Grahame Woolf