On the way to the first 100 compositions

The Black Pencil ensemble will soon receive its 100th composition. To celebrate this, the ensemble has compiled the Black Pencil’s New program.


In Black Pencil’s New you will hear a selection of the best music from the rich repertoire of the ensemble. Black Pencil’s New is an adventurous and sparkling program in which different characters alternate and complement each other:


Warm and sultry sounds by Klaas de Vries, pure polyphony and humor in the work Martijn Padding, virtuosity by Klas Torstensson, melancholy in music by Roderik de Man, meditative atmosphere by Wim Hendrickx, mechanical patterns and endless power by Louis Andriessen.


'Delightfully unusual' - NRC

'A virtuoso contemporary broken consort' - Opus Klassiek

'Exciting contrast with complex compositions' - De Volkskrant


Based on excerpts from "Lachrymae Pavane" by John Dowland, Klaas de Vries aims to interpret the distance in time between today and the sixteenth century (when pieces for the so-called ‘broken consort’ were written) as an imaginary distance in space. The music of the past comes to us from a distance (da lontano), as if it were a fragmented memory. A memory that sometimes fades by enveloping them in a haze of sounds or suddenly interrupted by "contemporary" percussive outbursts. The memory can also go by moving fragments of the old compositions over each other or breaking them up into short repetitive motifs or extremely slowing them down.


In "Baldwine Close Ups" Martijn Padding investigates pure polyphony in a substantial way, using Renaissance techniques such as canon and palindrome, applied in polyphony: harmonic language based on modality but placed in a chromatic framework. In one of the 6 parts of the work, the life of John Baldwine is told in an infectious way.


Klas Torstensson focuses on the wide range of colors, playing techniques and sound possibilities of Black Pencil. His piece Color Consort is virtuosic and exciting.


Roderik de Man, composer-in-residence of the ensemble, investigates the concept of "Heimat" in his new viola concerto for Esra Pehlivanli, reflecting on the famous romantic song "Aus der Heimath" by Robert Schumann.


Wim Henderickx's work breathes an introspective and meditative atmosphere. Seven musical episodes merge into one another without interruption. The music remains calm and melodic throughout the work with a predominantly consonant harmony. The electronics act as a harmonic space, a kind of musical canvas above which the instruments enter into a dialogue. This is in contrast to the iconic work of Louis Andriessen, full of mechanical patterns and endless power.



Klaas De Vries (1944)      From Far…Broken   (2016) *

For recorder, panflute, viola, accordion, percussion


Martijn Padding (1956)      Baldwin Close ups   (2018) * 

For recorder, panflute, viola, accordion, percussion and electronics


Klas Torstensson (1951)      Colour Consort  (2019) * 

For recorder, panflute, viola, accordion, percussion


Roderik De Man (1941)      Viola Concerto “Aus der Heimath”  (2019)

For viola solo, recorder, panflute, accordion, percussion 


Wim Henderickx (1962)      Sacred Places IV  (2019) * 

For recorder, panflute, viola, accordion, percussion and electronics


Louis Andriessen (1939)      Workers Union  (1975)  

Version by Black Pencil for amplified contrabass recorder,

amplified contrabass panflute, viola, accordion and percussion. 

* commissioned by the Performing Arts Fund NL


Black Pencil: a virtuosic unity that utilises their unique sound world to achieve an extremely expressive result’ – Martijn Padding