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This website offers you information about one of the greatest Dutch composers and writers on music Matthijs Vermeulen (1888-1967). Informational texts, audio fragments and pictures give you insight in his life and work.
In his book Opus est: Six Composers from Northern EuropePaul Rapoport focuses on Vermeulen's Symphony No.2. Click on the mp3 button on the left to hear the first theme of this amazing work, written in the years 1919-1920.
During the Holland Festival edition of 1997 Vermeulen's complete oeuvre was performed, thanks to the efforts of Jan van Vlijmen who considered Vermeulen "the only true symphonist" from the Netherlands.
Leo Samama named the chapters of his survey on Dutch music in the 20th century (Nederlandse muziek in de 20-ste eeuw. Voorspel tot een nieuwe dag) after the titles of Vermeulen's symphonies.
And recently Kyle Gann discovered this music during a sabbatical stay in Europe. Gann considers Vermeulen "the most astonishing composer I learned about there". He enthuses about Vermeulen's Second Symphony: "The tone clusters, polyrhythms, percussion, and atonal counterpoint it opens with are easily as daring as anything Varèse would write in the next decade."
Make up your own mind by surfing this website. All compositions by Vermeulen you can find on the English webpages.
But you may start by listening to a video registration of Vermeulen's First Cello Sonata performed by Viola de Hoog and Paolo Giacometti – transmitted by the Dutch radio and television broadcaster, the VPRO, on 10 February 2008.
Open the site here and click on 'De Hele Cello Sonate (M. Vermeulen)'.
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