“…aus Liebe” (2013/14) for string quartet
Commission of the Doelen-Quartett and the Eduard von Beinum- Stichting / Netherlands
World Premiere: 01.03.2014, Laurenskerk, Rotterdam, Doelenquartett16′
The process of composing always feels like the start of a long walk in unknown territory for me. The starting point here was a meeting with Hans Woudenberg, the cellist of the Doelen Quartet – the commissioner. We soon agreed that the new piece should refer to the coloured light of stained-glass church windows. Another inspiration was Peter Sellars’ and Simon Rattle’s version of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, especially Mary Magdalene’s breathtaking aria Aus Liebe with its overwhelming prelude, but suddenly the fact that I was writing a piece for a Dutch quartet became very important to me. My father came from a Dutch family and returned to Holland as a refugee escaping the Nazis in 1939. I remembered the stories of my childhood and reflected once again on how he told me about the ‘Dutch Hunger Winter’, a shocking experience. All this came together in creating the piece Aus Liebe – and now the title ‘Because of love’ changed its meaning. Bach’s aria is still there, but only as far as a shining memory of a very deep impression.
© Iris ter Schiphorst