CD release Robin de Raaff: Orphic Descent

Robin de Raaff (photo: Marco Borggreve)
Robin de Raaff (photo: Marco Borggreve)

Dutch composer Robin de Raaff (b. 1968) has long been in the international spotlight with his surprisingly creative and inventive work. On May 5, '23, the CD Orphic Descent will be released with recordings of three of his works from the past two decades.

Shortly after his graduation (1997, cum laude at the Conservatory of Amsterdam), Robin de Raaff won the Henriƫtte Bosmans Prize, and in 2009 he received the Buma Toonzetters Prize for the Netherlands' best composition of 2008 for his Violin Concerto No. 1 'Angelic echoes'. Robin de Raaff's work can regularly be heard in the live music series of NTR and AVROTROS, with the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and the Groot Omroepkoor as major players.

Orphic Descent
Some of De Raaff's compositions have now been recorded on nine CDs, four of which have been released by the Challenge Classics label. This quality label is also signing on for the May 5, 2023 release of the latest album Orphic Descent, featuring live recordings of three, widely acclaimed works by Robin de Raaff from the past two decades.

In chronological order:
Orphic Descent for mixed instrumental ensemble was commissioned by Ensemble Ictus, Compagnie Rosas and ECHO in 2003 and had its premiere that same year at Brussels Palais des beaux arts. The work subsequently appeared on the program of the November 21 NTR ZaterdagMatinee, among others, performed by the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Lawrence Renes.

De Raaff's Violin Concerto No. 2 'North Atlantic Light' was inspired by the 1977 work of the same name by Dutch/American painter Willem de Kooning. The composition followed the Sonata for violin and piano No. 2 ' North Atlantic Light,' with a different vision of the same canvas and an orchestral scoring. The Sonata for violin and piano was premiered at Carnegie Hall in 2018; the Violin Concerto was premiered May 18, 2019 at The Concertgebouw by the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and violinist Tosca Opdam conducted by Marc Albrecht.

The special location of Westergas - the former gas factory in Amsterdam West - was both the source of inspiration and the place of performance for De Raaff's Circulus, on June 10, '22 during the Holland Festival by the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Ralph van Raat conducted by Matthias Pintscher. Robin de Raaff wrote Circulus especially for master pianist Ralph van Raat, who also premiered his First Piano Concerto. The space in which Circulus came to life and the arrangement of orchestra, pianist and audience were reminiscent of a clockwork, a metaphor for time. This is also exactly what De Raaff wants to refer to with Circulus: the transience of life and our place in the universe. This unique live recording is also recorded on the CD Orphic Descent.

> For more information and ordering: visit the Challenge Classics site.

> Listen on Spotify

CD Robin de Raaff - Orphic Descent-2023


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