Rapprochement for microtonal ensemble (2017, 10’)

First performance: Muziekgebouw Amsterdam, Notherlands, January 17th 2018, by Ensemble SCALA


Rapprochement: (especially in international affairs) an establishment or resumption of harmonious relations (oxforddictionaries.com)
Rapprochement: a work for microtonal ensemble by Arnold Marinissen, written for Ensemble SCALA / Stichting Huygens-Fokker.
The core quartet of Marinissen’s Rapprochement consists of Carrillo piano, Fokker organ, meantone guitar, percussion; four instruments, each with its own highly individual world of tuning and intonation. The Carrillo piano, with its extremely fine tuning of 96 notes in an octave, offers a microscopic view on the inside of one octave. The 31 tones within the octave of the Fokker organ cater well for just intonation, and at the same time offer a rather distinct intonational flavour. The meantone guitar of Ensemble SCALA’s guitarist Stefan Gerritsen uses a selection of pitches from the Huygens-Fokker scale, allowing for enharmonic differentiation in most keys. Percussion, a family of instruments rather than an instrument, offers tunings that range from well-tempered to voluptuously rich, harmonically chaotic, fuzzy to the point of unrecognizable, or even completely random.
Marinissen gives each of the core instruments the space to speak for itself, in its own intonational language - at the same time inviting it to have a tranquil conversation with the others.
Although Rapprochement can be performed by the core quartet only, Marinissen composed two so-called shadow parts which allow a number of players to join in, mingle and parrot. The shadow players discreetly follow and double the core players, copy as well as they can their intonation and timing, and thus provide the core quartet with a a subtle and flexible instrumentation - a musical shadow.
Rapprochement was premiered by Ensemble SCALA at the Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ Amsterdam on Sunday January 14th 2017.

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