Willem Boogman




13 minutes


harmonium or accordion, two violins, viola, violoncello,
a glass pane, two handfuls of pebbles in different sizes, a hammer, five wooden caskets with lids

commissioned by

Asko Kamerkoor & festival Musica Sacra Maastricht

dedicated to

Klaas Hoek


September 16, 2016
Sint Janskerk, Maastricht
(Festival Musica Sacra)

Klaas Hoek - harmonium, Janneke van Prooijen - vln I, Cordelia Paw - vln II, Carlos Delgados Antequeres - viola, Eilidh Martin - cello & Jos Leussink - conductor

This score can be purchased from the composer


Modulationes super Passionem secundum Joannem
for harmonium or accordion and string quartet (2016)


listen here or in Soundcloud

Vincent van Amsterdam - accordion, Janneke van Prooijen - violin I, Emma Breedveld - violin II, Frank Brakkee - viola, Eilidh Martin - violoncello
Recorded for the Concertzender by Bert van Dijk during the concert ›Composer Portrait: Willem Boogman‹ at the Orgelpark, Amsterdam on February 24, 2019


Intermezzo I
Intermezzo II
Intermezzo III

program note (E) | toelichting (NL)

The Intermezzi for harmonium and string quartet were composed in 2016 for a series of concerts by the Asko Chamber Choir of St John Passion by J.S. Bach in a edition of Klaas Hoek and conducted by Jos Leussink.
The three Intermezzi compensate for the deliberate omission of the arias, as moments of reflection. The Intermezzi are being played after the first part, when in Bach’s time the sermon was held, after Choral no. 40 Durch ein Gefängnis, Gottes Sohn, the moment when Pilate considers to let Jesus go, and after Choral no. 56 Er nahm alles wohl in acht, right before the phrase Es ist volbracht.

Subtitle for the Intermezzi is: Modulationes super Passionem secundum Joannem.
The modulations, in the original meaning of ›measuring‹ music, of ›composing‹ and singing, relate to techniques to transform existing, fixed musical material into another musical reality. These techniques have been described by Stockhausen in his article Musikalische Metamorphose (1983) and have often been applied by him.
In the Intermezzi motives of the arias of St John Passion have been ›modulated‹ into a new music, in which now and then Bach is audible.

To the Intermezzi I added three Fluxus-like elements. These are the compositional counterpart of the principle of Formwidrigkeit which Klaas Hoek applies in his version of St. Johns Passion by Bach. He states: ›The listener looses, as it were, direction as he listens, and can only rely upon his personal way of relating or not relating sounds to each other.‹ (See: Klaas Hoek, Vormgevend gebruik van klank en dynamiek. De uitvoering van Bachs Johannespassion benaderd als een autonome esthetische verschijning. KU Leuven, 2019, chapter V, p. 226-227)

The Intermezzi can be performed as an autonomous work consisting of three parts.

The Intermezzi are written in commission of the Asko Chamber Choir and the Festival Musica Sacra in Maastricht, The Netherlands.
The Intermezzi have been dedicated to Klaas Hoek.

Willem Boogman (2016)

read more

Read more about these music composition techniques in Notes - No Notes, nr 7

performance notes

An essential part of the score and of the performance of the Intermezzi consists of three actions inspired by Fluxus, which cause a specific sound. The musicians themselves perform these actions. It is important that the attributes involved are chosen with great care. The musicians have to handle the attributes just as carefully as their instruments.

five wooden boxes with lids
16 pebbles of different sizes and a handful of small pebbles
a thin glass plate on trestles
a large container to catch the glass shards
a hammer, a glove and protective goggles

The actions should be visible for the audience, and have to be executed attentively and musically, without any attempt at trying to impress.

Opstelling glasplaat kopie_v2
Set-up of the glass plate (photo: Co Broerse)

Set-up of the boxes
Set-up of the boxes with lids (photo Co Broerse)
Ensemble: Janneke van Prooijen and Emma Breedveld - violins, Vincent van Amsterdam - accordion, Frank Brakkee - viola, Eilidh Martin - violoncello


Frits van der Waa | De Volkskrant, 19/09/2016:
›Alles maakt deze versie van de Johannes tot een curieuze, maar behartigenswaardige visie op Bachs muziek.‹


Frits van der Waa | De Volkskrant, 19/09/2016:
›Everything makes this version of the Johannes a curious, but worthy view of Bach's music.‹

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