Willem Boogman




ca 6 minutes

commissioned by

Vincent van Amsterdam

dedicated to

Vincent van Amsterdam


December 10, 2011
Eindhoven, Stadskerk Sint Cathrien
(KamerMuziek in de Cathrien)

Genieting - the cycle

›Genieting V‹ is the fifth in a series of solo compositions entitled ›Genieting‹ (›pleasure‹, ›enjoyment‹), the translation of the French ›jouissance‹ used by the philosopher Emmanuel Levinas. I interpreted this term not only in the sense of what it means to be a soloist but also as the kind of music the soloist plays. In ›Genieting‹ the music is brought back to its constituent elements, whence it is built up once again.

»La jouissance est un retrait en soi, une involution.
... une exaltation vibrante où le soi se lève.«

Emmanuel Levinas

buy the score


Genieting V

for accordion (2011)


(mp3) recording November 2016 by Vincent van Amsterdam
Also at Soundcloud >>

program notes | toelichting (NL)

One of the elements that make up the cycle of solo pieces entitled ›Genieting‹ is the discovery and utilisation of the physical properties of the instruments. This elementary world, in which the player immerses himself, is the starting point for the notes and the form of the composition.
Apart from the fact that it is an aerophone, the accordion’s most important characteristic is that one button can be used for each triad on the manual for the left hand. This system is called the ›standard bass‹, or alternatively the ›Stradella Bass System,‹ and forms the basis for the composition.

The standard bass has four rows of buttons, for minor, major, diminished and dominant seventh triads. Whether they sound in root position or in an inversion varies per button, and depends on the accordion maker’s choice.
Most accordions incorporate nineteen buttons per row. I am therefore employing seventy-six buttons in total.
If you go through a series of nineteen buttons from bottom to top, the triads on the first seven tones of the octave – twelve notes – are repeated, which produces a three-part structure , 7+5+7, which I have used as the form of the piece.

›Genieting V‹ opens with nineteen (7+5+7) major triads, followed by a bridge to the middle section in which seventy-six (28+20+28) major, minor, diminished and dominant seventh chords alternate in a fixed sequence, followed by another bridge to the final series of nineteen (7+5+7) minor triads.

In another layer, rhythmically shifted relative to the left hand, the right hand plays the same sorts of triads, like a stimulating caress.
The difference between the triads in each hand is that I have prescribed in which positions the triads in the right hand appear, and the accordion maker has determined the positions of those in the left hand. It is therefore quite possible that the piece will sound different on another instrument.

The bridges described earlier consist of the three chords of the tonal cadence with which Robert Schumann opens his song cycle ›Frauenliebe und Leben.‹ This quote brings us to the motif of ›Genieting V‹, which is love.

(Translation: Robert Coupe)

Back to top