12 January 2011

Simeon ten Holt - Canto Ostinato

I am going skiing for a week and won't be able to update this blog next monday, so I figured I might as well post something today. The last two posts were quite string-oriented, but today I will post a piano piece.

Simeon ten Holt's Canto Ostinato, played by Sandra & Jeroen van Veen.

Simeon ten Holt (1923-) is a Dutch composer, and this is his most famous piece. He's also written many other works for piano, including the amazing Solodevilsdance that you can see here. The Canto Ostinato is an extremely interesting piece, it was written for 2 to 4 pianos, but has been performed by even more (including quite a memorable performance of 5 grand piano's at Utrecht's train station). It can last up to several hours, the performers decide what sections they want to play and how long they want to play them for. The recording I'm posting is played by two pianos and lasts around 80 minutes (hence me cutting it in so many pieces!). It's also the composer's favourite recording! So you can't go wrong ;). I feel like I could go on and talk about how amazingly beautiful this piece is, about the rhythm and the melodies and how it's just so mesmerizing but I don't have a lot of time and I think that this is one of those works that really doesn't need any explanation. Just close your eyes and listen! If you enjoy the first fragment, click on "read more" for the others:







  1. (Here via your post on the gewooneenvraag community)

    This has been playing pretty much nonstop for the last few days, thanks for introducing me to it!

  2. Thanks a lot for this discovery!
    It really is a very beautiful and mesmerizing piece of music.

    It will definitely be on repeat for the days to come :D