Schat, Peter

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Schat, Peter

Schat, Peter, significant Dutch composer; b. Utrecht, June 5, 1935. He was a student of Baaren at the Utrecht Cons. (1952–58), of Seiber in London (1959), and of Boulez in Basel (1960–62). Settling in Amsterdam, he was active with the Studio for Electro-Instrumental Music (from 1967), and with the Amsterdam Electric Circus (from 1973). After teaching at the Royal Cons. of Music in The Hague (1974—83), he devoted himself fully to composition. In his early works, he followed a diligent serialist path. Later he combined serial and tonal elements in his works. Finally, he experimented with a method of 12 tonalities related only to each other as formulated in his “tone clock” (1982). In his “tone clock”, Schat distinguishes between 12 trichords, one being the natural trichord, which are interrelated through their steering principle. This expansive harmonic and melodic method points the way to a new tonal system. He explained his system in the book De Toonklok, Essays en gesprekken over muziek (Amsterdam, 1984; Eng. tr., 1993).


DRAMATIC : Labyrint, a kind of opera (1964; Amsterdam, June 23, 1966); Reconstructie, a morality (Amsterdam, June 29, 1969; in collaboration with L. Andriessen, R. de Leeuw, M. Mengelberg, and J. van Vlijmen); Het vijde seizoen (The 5th Season), music theater (1973); Houdini, circus opera (1974–76; Amsterdam, Sept. 29, 1977); I am Houdini, ballet (1976); Aap verstaat de knekelgeest (Monkey Subdues the White-Bone Demon), strip opera (1980); Symposion, opera (1989). ORCH .: Mozaïeken (Mosaics; 1959); Concerto da camera (1960); Entelechie I for 5 Instrumental Groups (1960–61); Dansen uit het Labyrint (Dances from the Labyrinth; 1963); Clockwise and anticlockwise for 16 Winds (1967); On Escalation for 6 Percussionists and Orch. (1968); Thema for Oboe and Orch. (1970); 2 syms.: No. 1 (1978; rev. 1979) and No. 2 (1983; rev. 1984); Serenade for 12 Strings (1984); De hemet (The Heavens; 1990); Opening (1991); Études for Piano and Orch. (1992); Préludes for Flute and Small Orch. (1993); Arch Music for St. Louis (1997). chamber: Introduction and Adagio for String Quartet (1954); Septet for Flute, Oboe, Bass Clarinet, Horn, Cello, Piano, and Percussion (1956); Octet for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Horn, 2 Trumpets, and Trombone (1958); 2 Pieces for Flute, Violin, Trumpet, and Percussion (1959); Improvisations and Symphonies for Wind Quintet (1960); Signalement for 6 Percussionists and 3 Double Basses (1961); Hypothema for Recorders (1969); Diapason for Ensemble (1996). keyboard: Piano : Inscripties (1959); Anathema (1969); Polonaise (1981). Organ: Passacaglia and Fugue (1954). VOCAL : Cryptogamen, 5 songs for Baritone and Orch. (1959); The Vail for 16 Voices (1960); Entelechie Il for Mezzo-soprano and 10 Instruments (1961); Stemmen uit het Labyrint (Voices from the Labyrinth) for Alto, Tenor, Basso Profondo, and Orch. (1963); Koren uit het Labyrint (Choruses from the Labyrinth) for Chorus and Orch. (1964); Scènes uit het Labyrint (Scenes from the Labyrinth) for Reciter, Alto, Tenor, Bass, Chorus, and Orch. (1964); Improvisaties uit het Labyrint (Improvisations from the Labyrinth) for 3 Singers and 4 Instrumentalists (1964); To You for Mezzo-soprano, Amplified Instruments, and Electronics (1972); Het vijde seizoen (The 5th Season), cantata for Soprano and Chamber Ensemble (1973); Canto General, “in memoriam Salvador Allende,” for Mezzo-soprano, Violin, and Piano (1974); Mei ’75, een lied van bevrijding (May ’75, a Song of Liberation) for Mezzo-soprano, Baritone, Chorus, and Orch. (1975); Houdini Symphony for Soprano, Mezzo-soprano, Tenor, Baritone, Chorus, and Orch. (1976); De briefscène (The Letter Scene) for Soprano, Tenor, and Orch. or Piano (1976); Kind en kraai (Child and Crow), song cycle for Soprano and Piano (1977); Adem (Breath) for Chamber Chorus (1984); For Lenny for Tenor and Piano (for Leonard Bernstein’s 70th birthday; 1988); De Trein (The Train) for 5 Men’s Voices and Orch. (1989); Een Indisch Requiem for Tenor, Chorus, and Orch. (1995); The Food of Love for Mezzo-soprano, Tenor, and Chamber Orch. (1997). OTHER : Banden uit het Labyrint (Tapes from the Labyrinth), electronic music (1965); The Aleph, electronic music (1965); The Tone Clock for Mechanical Clock (1987); Alarm for Carillon and Ringing Bells ad libitum (1994).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire