Willem Boogman




7:22 minutes

commissioned by

Ilonka Kolthof

dedicated to

Ilonka Kolthof


February 2, 2016, Cenakel, Tilburg (De Link)
Ilonka Kolthof - piccolo

Genieting - the cycle

›Genieting VI‹ is the sixth 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

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Genieting VI

for piccolo (2015)

program notes | toelichting (NL)

Genieting VI for Piccolo was written for the Dutch Piccolo Project, an initiative of flutist Ilonka Kolthof with the aim of creating more repertoire for the piccolo.

My series of Genietingen for solo instruments is founded on a twofold way of enjoyment: not only inward, the joy of mastering the physical properties of the instrument, but also outward, to show ›my‹ skills.

The professional attitude of Ilonka Kolthof as a musician meets this dichotomy: the piccolo poses endless challenges for her and is at the same time a source of pleasure.

The subject of Genieting VI for piccolo is the desire for death and the purification of the soul, which is expressed by a passcaglia theme of my own, consisting of two (octave) leaps downwards, a ›fall‹ as it were, and ascending triads.

Genieting VI consists of nine variations. The theme with which the piece opens sounds in the low- and middle register of the piccolo. While variations expand into the higher regions and become more complicated, the passacaglia theme repeats itself unchanged. It is the art of the piccoloist to make these almost simultaneously occurring musical elements audible.
A similar process can be found in the chaconne for violin by Johann Sebastian Bach. Here, too, the soloist keeps different voices in the air, as if there were more players.

One of the nine variations, number three, was inspired by a Bach cantata: the ticking away of time by the flute in ›Liebster Gott wann werd’ ich sterben‹. This variation is thus explicitly connected to the the subject of Genieting VI for piccolo.

Genieting VI for piccolo, written in 2015, was commissioned by and dedicated to Ilonka Kolthof.