Hemel, Oscar van

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Hemel, Oscar van

Hemel, Oscar van, Dutch composer; b. Antwerp, Aug. 3, 1892; d. Hilversum, July 9, 1981. He was a student of L. Mortelmans and de Boeck at the Royal Flemish Cons, in Antwerp. In 1914 he settled in the Netherlands, and later pursued his training with Pijper in Rotterdam (1931–33). The style of his works oscillated between Austro-German Romantic trends and the more complex technical structures of the Dutch modernists.


dramatic: Radio Opera: Viviane (Hilversum Radio, 1950). ORCH.: 5 syms.: No. 1 (1935), No. 2 (1948), No. 3, Sinfonietta for Small Orch. (1952), No. 4 (1962), and No. 5 (1963-64; rev. 1980); Suite for Chamber Orch. (1936); Suite for Flute and Chamber Orch. (1937; also for Flute and Piano); Piano Concerto (1941–42); Ballade (1942); 3 violin concertos (1945, 1968,1977); De stad, symphonic poem (1949); Viola Concerto (1951); Feestelijke ouverture (1952); Olof Suite (1953); Entrada festante (1953); Tema con variazioni (1953); Oboe Concerto (1955); Concerto for Wind Orch. (1960); Concerto da camera for Flute and Strings (1962); Cello Concerto (1963); Divertimento for Strings (1964); Entrada (1964); Serenade for 3 Solo Winds and Strings (1965); Polonaise (1966); Concerto for 2 Violins and String Orch. (1970–71); Divertimento for Piano and Orch. (1974). CHAMBER: 6 string quartets (1931, 1936, 1947, 1953, 1956, 1961); 2 violin sonatas (1933, 1945); Piano Trio (1937); Piano Quartet (1938); Viola Sonata (1942); String Trio (1951); Clarinet Quintet (1958); Trio for Flute, Oboe, and Bassoon (1959); Sextet for Piano and Winds (1962); Donquichotterie for 4 Trombones (1962); About Commedia dell’arte for Oboe Quartet (1967); Wind Quintet (1972). VOCAL: Maria Magdalena, sacred cantata for Contralto, Tenor, and Orch. (1941); Ballade van Kapitein Joos de Decker for Contralto, Bass, Chorus, and Orch. (1943; rev. 1959); De bruid for Soprano, Men’s Chorus, and Orch. (1946); Da liet van Alianora for Soprano, Men’s Chorus, and Orch. (1946); Ballade van Brabant for Baritone/Reciter, Boy’s Chorus, Men’s Chorus, and Orch. (1952); Krans der middeleeuwen for Baritone, Chorus, and 7 Instruments (1952); Canticum psalmorum for Contralto, Men’s Chorus, 2 Pianos, and Timpani (1954); Le Tombeau de Kathleen Ferner for Contralto and Orch. (1954); Herdenkingshymne 1940-1945 for Chorus, Children’s Chorus, Brass, and Percussion (1955; with full Orch., 1970); Les Mystères du Christ, symphonie hymn for Contralto, Baritone, Men’s Chorus, and Orch. (1958); Te Deum for Soprano, Contralto, Tenor, Bass, Chorus, and Orch. (1958); Tuin van Holland for Soprano, Baritone, Chorus, and Orch. (1958); Trittico liturgico for Soprano and Organ or Strings (1959); Huwellijkscantate Beatrix for Soprano, Tenor, Chorus, and Orch. (1966); Song of Freedom for Chorus and Orch. (1968-69; rev. 1981).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire