CeBeDeM

CeBeDeM

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CORYN, Roland

Roland CORYN, born on 21 December 1938 in Kortrijk, came into contact early with the artistic world. His brother sketched and painted, and his family maintained links with artistic circles. After his musical studies at the Municipal Music Academy in Harelbeke, he pursued further studies at the Royal Conservatory of Ghent. There he earned his Higher Diploma in viola and chamber music, while continuing to study in the theory department and subsequently receiving his First Prize in composition.

As a teacher he held positions at the music academies of Harelbeke, Izegem and Oostende. In 1979 he was named director in Harelbeke. For many years he held an important function as a teacher of composition at the conservatory in Ghent. On 1 September 1997, he took early retirement in order to devote his full attention to composing.

In the period from 1960 to 1975, he was chiefly active as a performing musician. He played viola in the Belgian Chamber Orchestra, where he came into contact with modern music, and he was a founding member of the Flemish Piano Quartet, which focused on the works of well-known composers and Belgian masters. From 1986 to 1997 he was the leader of the Nieuw Conservatoriumensemble in Ghent, with which he performed mainly contemporary works. This activity proved highly fruitful for his composition class.

As a composer, Coryn has won numerous prizes, including the Tenuto Prize in 1973 ( Quattro Movimenti ), the Jef Van Hoof Prize in 1974 ( Triptiek ), the Koopal Prize in 1986 for his chamber music oeuvre, and the Visser-Neerlandia Prize in 1999 for his complete output.

In 1993 he was elected a member of the Academy of Fine Arts, Letters and Sciences of Belgium.

WORKS
Since 1970, Roland Coryn has written more than sixty works. His preference for absolute music is evident in the dominance of instrumental music over vocal music in his oeuvre. The titles of his works also tend to be abstract, as he often uses musical forms as titles, such as Sonatine for solo viola (1959-60), or he makes reference to the scoring, as in Per piano solo (1972) or Saxophone Quartet (1982): "I think I have an aversion to titles and explanations. Maybe this is a way of resisting a tendency dominant since 1950 of wanting - or needing - to explain everything with words. At a certain moment, around 1980, I moved beyond that problem and started to notate more interpretative and emotional indications in the score. I had the feeling that this suited me and that it stimulated the performer to produce a better performance" (from Y. Knockaert, Roland Coryn in Campo , p. 3). This quotation shows that Coryn demands of his musicians a performance that as nearly as possible approaches perfection. The contact between the performer and the composer is for him of crucial importance. This is one of the reasons why, at least in the late 1980s, he has been interested mainly in composing chamber music: he believes that the communication with most orchestras and their conductors tends to be inadequate.

Since his fiftieth birthday, Coryn, has increased the intensity of his compositional activity. This increase is evident not only in the number of his works, but also in the large scale of the works produced, including the Violin Concerto (1987), Due Pitture for large orchestra (1989), the Concerto grosso for large string orchestra (1989), the Concerto for vibraphone, marimba, xylophone and orchestra (1994) and Tre Pezzi per orchestra d'archi (1995). The explanation for this lies in the fact that Coryn cut back on his activities as a viola player in order to devote more of his time to composition.

The various musical parameters are each dealt with by Coryn in a specific manner, whereby a particularly intense attention to rhythm and tempo is most striking. Rhythmic developments are produced by means of an inner kinetic drive, where rhythmic cells generate new rhythmic motifs, which then form the basis for further development. This can lead to a high degree of complexity, such as 'rhythm polyphony' or polyrhythmic layering. The multi-layered quality of such rhythmic developments is, for example, evident in the Introduzione from the orchestral work, Quattro Movimenti (1973), in which a two-note cell, linked with its inversion, appears in various durational values in different combinations of instruments.

Just as rhythm produces movement that continually spins forward, so too the tempo is always fluctuating. Constant tempi are almost never encountered in Coryn' s music.

The rhythm and tempo fluctuations are always constructive and purposeful. It is not so much a question of indicating a simple accelerando and ritenuto in the score, which gives the performer much room for interpretation, but rather of making precise demands, as in, for example, the transition from a binary to a ternary rhythm or from a quintuplet to a sextuplet. This can be combined with changes of metre, changes of note-values (from binary to ternary, while keeping the tempo constant), or changes of tempo. The Introduzione, cited above, includes a systematic acceleration of a two-note cell, where the acceleration leads finally to glissandi. Similarly, in Reflexie I , from the Sonata for orchestra (1975), the glissando represents the fastest possible velocity of successions of pitches and rhythms. The glissando subsequently represents the point of departure for a deceleration by means of trills and written-out rhythms.

Melody is not of prime importance in Coryn' s music; lyrical melodies are seldom heard. Phrases are often constructed by means of cell-development. In their development, the interval of the second (as well as the seventh and the ninth) is very important, appearing both horizontally and vertically. The use of such small intervals can lead to twelve-tone wholes or superpositions of sound with field structure. On the other hand, the many canonic passages in the voice leading are clear references to the classical polyphonic tradition.

Coryn's free post-serial style allows him to work out the basic row very personally in all its possible variations. A motif of six notes links the three movements of the Saxophone Quartet (1982), providing the basis for the whole composition. If these six notes were followed by a transposition one tone lower, a dodecaphonic series would be created. However, Coryn limits himself to the use of the six-note motif, appearing both in its original form and in retrograde, inversion, or retrograde -inversion (either transposed or not).

From the end of the 1980s, Coryn's music becomes more robust, self-confident and militant. In his oratorio, Opus: Mens (1987), a work for two vocal soloists, choir and orchestra, he arrives at an optimistic affirmation of life. His Violin Concerto (1987) also contains a virtuoso second movement, after a slower first movement that ends as a quiet chorale. Many of his compositions end with a slow movement that breathe a mood of acquiescence. Over the course of the 1990s, his attention was drawn more to the voice. This resulted in many works for a capella choir, such as 5 Dickinson liederen ,Triptiek der Deernis (Compassion Triptych), on texts by Luuk Gruwez, and Vier ernstige Gezangen (Four Serious Songs), on texts by Marsman, Blockeel and Joyce. This period reached its highpoint in two extended compositions, Deux mille regretz for mixed choir and Renaissance instruments and the concert-length work, Winds of Dawn , subtitled Missa 'Da Pacem' for soprano, tenor and baritone solo, mixed choir, children's choir and full orchestra.

SELECTIVE LIST OF WORKS
- Chamber music: Sonatina for viola solo (1959-1960), Per piano solo (1972), Triptiek (1974), Sonatine for 2 clarinets (1977), Improvisation II for viola and piano (1979), Saxophone quartet (1982), Sonata for 2 piano's (1982), Saxophone quartet (1984) exists also in a version for clarinet quartet, Sonata for viola and piano (1985) exists also for cello and piano, 13 Miniatures for flute and string quartet.
- Orchestra: Quattro Movimenti (1973), Sonata for orchestra (1975), Violin concerto (1988), Concerto grosso (1989), Due Pitture (1989), Tre Pezzi per orchestra d'archi (1995)
- Choir: Landschappen en stillevens (1985), Drie volksliederen (1991), Pain (1993), A letter to the world (5 Dickinsonliederen)(1993), Triptiek der Deernis (1997), Sotto voce voor gemengd koor (2000)
- Oratorio: Opus: Mens (1987)
- Mass: Winds of Dawn - Missa da Pacem (2000)
- Wind orchestra: Concerto per Banda (1997), 5 Concert preludes for Oboe solo and Wind orchestra

BIBLIOGRAPHY
- COUVREUR, W., Coryns postmodernism, in Muziek & Woord, april 1989, p. 6.
- DECRUYNAERE, F., De moed om een blij mens te zijn, in Muziek & Woord, november 2000, p. 12.
- DELAERE, M., Y. KNOCKAERT and H. SABBE, Nieuwe Muziek in Vlaanderen, Brugge, 1998.
- In de voetsporen van keizer Karel, in Muziek & Woord, juni 2000, p. 8.
- KNOCKAERT, Y., Roland Coryn: een mens in klank verborgen, in Tijdschrift van de Nieuwe Muziekgroep, december 1987, p. 2-37.
- KNOCKAERT, Y., Roland Coryn in Campo, in Muziek & Woord, may 1996, p. 3-4.
- VERCAMMEN, E., De tweede generatie modernisten: Vic Nees, Elias Gistelinck, Roland Coryn en Raoul De Smet, written for Seminarie Nieuwe Muziek in Vlaanderen, KULeuven, 1998-1999.

DISCOGRAPHY
- Quattro Movimenti for big orchestra (De Philharmonie van Antwerpen cond. Frederic Devreese), Cultura 'Muziek in Vlaanderen' 5073-N2
- Sonata for 2 piano's (Levente Kende and Heidi Hendrickx), Terpsichore 1984 NV Phonic S.A. Belgium
- Thoughts on a Theme for contrabassolo (Frank Coppieters), René Gailly International Productions 86 006, 1993.
- Concerto for violin and orchestra (Henry Raudales and the Nieuw Vlaams Symfonieorkest cond. Patrick Peire), René Gailly International Productions 87 063
- Vier ernstige Gezangen for mixed choir a cappella (Vlaams Radiokoor cond. Vic Nees), Phaedra 92006 - In Flanders Fields Vol. 6
- Due pitture for orchestra (Nieuw Vlaams Symfonieorkest cond. Dirk Brossé), René Gailly International Productions 87 080, 1994.


[© 2001 Els Vercammen and Kris Gabriels, for MATRIX]

works

  • 13 Miniature, 1997
    flute or piccolo and string quartet 00:15:02
  • A game of fives, 2006
    mixed Choir a cappella 00:04:25
  • A Kaleidoscope alike..., 2010
    flute, oboe, clarinet, basoon, violin, viola, cello and double bass 00:16:48
  • A letter to the world op. 51, 1985
    mixed Choir a cappella 00:07:10
  • A letter to the world op. 51, 1985
    mixed Choir a cappella 00:07:10
  • A meeting with... (First volume), 2005
    mixed Choir a cappella 00:06:00
  • A meeting with... (Second volume), 2011
    mixed Choir a cappella 00:10:25
  • A meeting with...Emily Dickinson, Alexander Pushkin, James Joyce, 2005
    mixed Choir a cappella 00:06:00
  • A Tribute to William Blake op. 74, 2006
    Bass-baritone and mixed choir 00:30:00
  • Amidst the Flowers, 2006
    men's choir a cappella 00:03:13
  • Ascenscion op. 26, 1982
    Soprano and alto saxophone 00:01:43
  • Ave Maria op. 47, 1992
    mixed Choir a cappella 00:01:25
  • Ballade op. 16, 1977
    trumpet and piano 00:05:10
  • Beeldspraak 92 in 1993 op. 50, 1993
    women or children's choir a cappella 00:08:00
  • Canticum Canticorum Salomonis, 2008
    two Soprano, two Altos and violin solo 00:10:15
  • Concerto op. 38, 1987
    violin and orchestra 00:21:00
  • Concerto op. 38, 1987
    violin and piano 00:21:00
  • Concerto op. 76, 2003
    cello and orchestra 00:23:00
  • Concerto grosso op. 41, 1989
    large string orchestra 00:15:00
  • Concerto grosso (revised version) op. 41bis, 1988
    string orchestra 00:15:00
  • Concerto per vibrafono, marimba, silofono ed orchestra op. 54, 1994
    vibraphone, marimba, xylophone and orchestra 00:27:23
  • Dansloze suite op. 59, 1995
    piano 00:06:00
  • Death be not proud, 2006
    mixed Choir a cappella 00:03:09
  • Deux mille regretz, 1999
    Narrator, mixed choir, renaissance instruments 00:45:00
  • Divertimento op. 13, 1977
    clarinet and piano 00:08:35
  • Divertimento op. 13, 1977
    clarinet and band 00:08:35
  • Drie eenstemmige kinderliederen, 2005
    children's choir and orchestra 00:07:36
  • Drie eenstemmige kinderliederen, 2005
    Children's choir and piano 00:07:36
  • Drie kerstliedbewerkingen op. 46, 1991
    Choir a cappella 00:06:20
  • Drie stukken op. 02, 1970
    piano 00:08:35
  • Due Cantici op. 72, 2005
    mixed Choir a cappella 00:11:06
  • Due contrasti op. 56, 1995
    4 trumpets, 4 horns, 4 trombones and 1 bass tuba 00:12:30
  • Due pezzi op. 11bis, 1996
    cello and chamber orchestra 00:08:15
  • Due pitture op. 40bis, 1988
    orchestra 00:12:30
  • Een 'reke' rijmkes en nageldeuntjes op. 77, 2007
    women's or children'schoir a cappella 00:07:00
  • Eléphantasia op. 67, 2001
    double bass 00:06:35
  • Entrata op. 22, 1980
    brass ensemble 00:05:00
  • Fantasia op. 07, 1973
    flute and piano 00:05:00
  • Fantasia op. 07, 1973
    oboe and piano 00:05:00
  • Fantasia op. 07, 1973
    clarinet and piano 00:05:00
  • Fantasia op. 07, 1973
    alto saxophone and piano 00:05:00
  • Fantasia op. 07, 1973
    bassoon and piano 00:05:00
  • Five concert preludes op. 42ter, 2005
    oboe and symphonic orchestra 00:09:34
  • Five concert preludes op. 42bis, 1991
    oboe and orchestra 00:09:34
  • Five Songs, 2009
    mixed Choir a cappella 00:15:10
  • Illumina Faciem Tuam op. 83, 2011
    men's choir a cappella 00:03:10
  • Improvisatie 1 op. 20/1, 1979
    violin and piano 00:04:59
  • Improvisatie 2 op. 20/2, 1979
    viola and piano 00:04:20
  • Improvisatie 3 op. 20/3, 1979
    cello and piano 00:05:00
  • In un tempo op. 28, 1982
    tenor tuba 00:04:10
  • Inquieto op. 42, 1991
    tenor tuba 00:08:00
  • Intrada I op. 04, 1972
    3 trumpets, 2 trombones and tuba or bass trombone 00:01:00
  • Intrada II op. 04, 1972
    2 trumpets and trombone 00:00:45
  • Introducione e Ciaccona op. 33, 1985
    brass and percussion 00:06:00
  • Inventies voor strijkensemble op. 36, 1986
    string orchestra 00:12:42
  • Jokaste tegen God op. 24, 1981
    theatre music 00:10:00
  • Klarinet kwartet op. 31/b, 1991
    4 clarinets 00:17:05
  • Kwartetbeweging op. 27, 1982
    4 tubas 00:05:00
  • Landschappen en stillevens op. 34, 1985
    mixed Choir a cappella 00:06:30
  • Landschappen en stillevens (herziene versie) op. 34, 1985
    mixed Choir a cappella 00:06:30
  • Life, 2011
    mixed Choir a cappella 00:03:58
  • Maria Vasalistriptiek op. 69, 2004
    mixed Choir a cappella 00:09:30
  • Merel Miranda op. 23, 1980
    children's choir and orchestra 00:25:00
  • Miscellanea op. 75, 2006
    Choir a cappella 00:00:00
  • Opus : Mens op. 37, 1987
    mixed choir, S., Bar. and instrumental ensemble 00:20:00
  • Out of darkness op. 68, 2002
    orchestra 00:11:00
  • Pain op. 51bis, 1993
    three-part choir a cappella 00:01:15
  • Pater Noster, 2010
    mixed Choir a cappella 00:03:00
  • Per pianoforte solo op. 05, 1972
    piano 00:05:00
  • Pianosuite voor de jeugd op. 19, 1979
    piano 00:11:00
  • Quattro movimenti op. 08, 1973
    symphonic orchestra 00:10:00
  • Regina op. 09, 1976
    middle voice and piano 00:07:00
  • Riflessioni op. 55, 1994
    double bass and piano 00:15:00
  • Rorate caeli desuper..., 2009
    fourvoices man choir a cappella 00:04:15
  • Saxofoonkwartet op. 31/a, 1982
    4 saxophones 00:17:05
  • Sinfonia piccola op. 60, 1996
    string orchestra 00:10:25
  • Sonata op. 25, 1981
    2 pianos 00:14:00
  • Sonata op. 32, 1984
    viola and piano 00:16:00
  • Sonata op. 29, 1982
    bass tuba 00:09:55
  • Sonata op. 32bis, 1984
    cello and piano 00:16:00
  • Sonate voor orkest op. 12, 1975
    orchestra 00:21:40
  • Sonatine op. 15, 1978
    2 clarinets in B flat 00:12:10
  • Sonatine op. 01, 1959
    viola 00:06:46
  • Sonatine op. 21, 1981
    violin and piano 00:08:56
  • Sonatine voor de jeugd op. 39, 1988
    piano 00:04:00
  • Song op. 75, 2006
    mixed Choir a cappella 00:04:00
  • The Bells op. 75, 2006
    women's choir 00:04:10
  • There is another sky op. 71, 2005
    mixed Choir a cappella 00:15:02
  • Thoughts on a Theme op. 20/4, 1979
    double bass 00:06:07
  • Toccatella op. 18, 1978
    piano 00:04:00
  • Tombeau op. 70, 2005
    organ 00:06:21
  • Tre pezzi op. 57, 1995
    string orchestra 00:15:00
  • Trio voor houtblazers op. 03, 1971
    oboe, clarinet, bassoon 00:13:00
  • Triptiek op. 10, 1974
    flute, oboe and 8 strings 00:14:00
  • Triptiek op. 10bis, 1974
    2 clarinets and 8 strings 00:14:00
  • Triptiek der deernis op. 61, 1996
    mixed Choir a cappella 00:08:20
  • Trombonekwartet op. 35, 1986
    4 trombones 00:12:30
  • Twee stukken op. 11, 1976
    cello and piano 00:08:15
  • Une ménagerie Minuscule
    two sopranos and Alto 00:00:00
  • Van Teo, voor Teo op. 14, 1977
    Choir a cappella 00:03:25
  • Vier ernstige liederen op. 43, 1991
    mixed Choir a cappella 00:14:25
  • Vier ernstige liederen op. 43, 1991
    mixed Choir a cappella 00:14:25
  • Vier miniaturen op. 06, 1972
    piano 00:05:53
  • Vijf bagatellen voor fluitsolo op. 17, 1978
    flute 00:07:00
  • Vijf bewegingen op. 49, 1993
    flute, oboe, clarinet, horn and bassoon 00:12:10
  • Vijf concertpreluden op. 44, 1991
    oboe and band 00:10:30
  • Vijf concertpreluden op. 44, 1991
    oboe and piano 00:10:30
  • Viri Galilaei op. 83, 2010
    men's choir a cappella 00:04:00
  • Zes liederen op. 58, 1995
    high voice and clarinet quartet 00:06:30
  • Zes liederen op. 58, 1995
    Soprano, clarinet, violin, cello and piano 00:06:30
  • Zes liederen op. 58, 1995
    high voice and piano 00:06:30
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