A New Costume For The Emperor

Programme note

I           Speculate

II          Mist-dew

III         Eureka!

IV         Blue

To the extend that Roosenschoon's works If music be (1985) and The Magic Marimba (1991) pay homage to Bach and Mozart respectively, his piano trio, A new costume for the Emperor (2000), equally, is a tribute to Beethoven.

Although all of Beethoven's piano trio's figure in one way or another, the Ghost op. 70, and Archduke op. 97 are more often in the foreground as the music unfolds. In addition, extracts from the Eroica symphony, and the slow movement from the Emperor concerto, are just as much part of the substructure of the work as a whole.

In the oeuvre of Hans Roosenschoon, his piano trio, stylistically speaking, should be seen as a transitional work.

But the piano trio is not merely a transcription of Beethoven's material.  Rather it resembles a process of transliteration.

Especially in the first, third and last movement, various themes get tangled in the perpetual movement of the music and are thus transformed.  The composer is fascinated by a sound-play were the borders between two types of music get blurred: on the one hand the simultaneous presentations of various themes, and on the other, the various dimensions of one theme. Through superposition and juxtaposition the music transcends it original roots and associations with Beethoven becomes a sounding allegory.


Muller, Stephanus. 31 August 2002, DIE BURGER