Compulsory Vocal Work 2017
51st International Vocal Competition 's-Hertogenbosch 2017 - Opera | Oratorio
Composer: Monique Krüs *1959
Title: Lunam, ne quidem Lunam
Duration: ca. 4'30 minutes
Two instrumentations: piano & voice | orchestra & voice
Three different keys, six voice-types
On a text by Pé Hawinkels (1942-1977)
Poems "Bosch en Bruegel"
De tuin der lusten
Publisher: De Stiel - Nijmegen
Translated into Latin by Dr. Harm-Jan van Dam
Commissioned by the International Vocal Competition 's Hertogenbosch as compulsory piece for the 51st IVC 2016/2017
Published under direct management of Stichting ’s-Hertogenbosch Muziekstad
Sheet music published by Deuss Music. Available via this link.
IVC Jheronimus Bosch Song-cycle
After the first IVC commission of Het Narrenschip by composer Wilbert Bulsink (based on a text by Sebastian Brandt) in 2010, the cycle continued in 2012 with a composition by Jeppe Moulijn based on an extract from the Bosch poems by Pé Hawinkels. The extract chosen is a fragment concerning Hieronymus Bosch’s painting The Garden of Earthly Delights and has been translated into Latin for this commission by Dr. Harm-Jan van Dam.
In 2014 the compulsory vocal work was composed by Willem Jeths, again on texts by Pé Hawinkels about Bosch's painting The Garden of Earthly Delights.
The IVC has the intention to complete the cylce in 2016 with a composition by Monique Krüs, based on the right-hand panel of Bosch’s painting The Garden of Earthly Delights.
The final composition will mark the 500th anniversary of Bosch’s death.
All singers who take part in the IVC must prepare the compulsory vocal work.
Diorapthe Composition Prize € 1,750 per category
The Diorapthe Composition Prize will be awarded to the participant who best performs the compulsory piece by Monique Krüs. All candidates in both categories perform the piece in the Semifinals.
The jury will nominate a maximum of 2 candidates per category, who will perform the piece in their respective Finals.
Dutch composer, soprano and conductor Monique Krüs studied psychology for three years at the University of Utrecht(NL) before starting her classical voice training at the Utrecht Conservatory.
She finished her studies with one year opera class at the Mozarteum in Salzburg.
For 3 years she was engaged at the Operahouse of Essen (D). Since then she appears as guest artist on an international stage. She worked with conductors like Reinbert de Leeuw, Markus Stenz, Edo de Waart and Michael Schönwandt, among others in the Zaterdagmatinee at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam as Empress CiXi, the leadrole in the opera ‘Hôtel de Pékin’ by Dutch composer Willem Jeths.
Since 1995 Krüs writes and produces music for television, for ensembles and increasingly for opera and music theatre, using her vast experience as a singer. 2000-2009 she composed for a.o. Z@ppelin, the Dutch national TV station for kids. She has also created the leader music for several AVROTROS TV-shows.
Her work is accessible, colorful and lyrical.
Her first opera was ‘Gods Videotheque’ (2007), commissioned by Opera Spanga (NL). She sang the soprano role herself. For the Impuls Festival für neue Musik in Magdeburg she composed ‘Eine Odyssee’, music theatre for and with adolescents on a librettto by Dutch author Ad de Bont.
On a text by the same author, her youth opera ‘Anne en Zef’ will see its premiere on April 7th, 2015 with the Nederlands Philharmonic Orchestra in Amsterdam.
The Gergiev Festival in Rotterdam invited her to compose the family-show ‘Soeraki’ in 2011.
After almost 30 performances a follow-up is planned for February 2016.
For the Peter the Great Festival for Chamber Music she wrote 'The Tsar, his wife, her lover and his head' (2013). The premiere of this opera (performed among others at the Grachtenfestival Amsterdam) marked the first time she has conducted her own music.
Dr. Harm-Jan van Dam was an associate professor of Latin at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam until 2011, his research concentrates on classical Latin poetry and Neo-Latin poetry of the 16th and 17th centuries. He is also active in the field of translation and is one of the editors of Filter, the Dutch periodical on translation. He has translated poetry and Erasmus' Praise of Folly and other works from Latin as well as a selection of Holland’s most famous children’s stories into Latin: these include twenty-one stories from Annie M.G. Schmidt’s Jip en Janneke (Jippus et Jannica). He has won several contests for the translation of poetry from English, Italian and Latin into Dutch.
Notes on the painting, poetry & translation
Dr. harm-Jan van Dam
Bosch en Bruegel was the first book of poems by the writer, poet and translator Pé (Petrus Hermandus Hubertus) Hawinkels (1942-1977) and was published by Ambo in Utrecht in 1968. It contains seven poems inspired by paintings by Hieronymus Bosch and thirteen poems inspired by paintings by Brueghel the Elder. The Garden of Earthly Delights is the last of the seven Bosch poems. The reasons for Hawinkels’ choice of these poems and their placement in this order remain unknown.
Words themselves play the leading roles in Hawinkels’ poems, which are characterised by verbal excess, word play and allusion. Elements of the innovatory Dutch Vijftigers school are evident, such as the use of associative imagery, but his main influences stem from the 1960s — a time in which both poetry and society tested every boundary and then went beyond them — punctuating grandiloquent phrases with everyday language and events. Hawinkels himself said once that the core of his poetry was always changing, for it was dependent on the moment. We should not seek any systematic vision or all-encompassing idea of the world in his poetry. According to the editors of his Collected Poems in 1988, “Clearly Pé Hawinkels will never be numbered amongst the great thinkers of this century […] his verses are incredible soap bubbles that are blown into such a wealth of colours and of such a size; we have never seen anything like them before”. There is some truth in this, although ‘soap bubbles’ seems to me far too negative a term for the Bosch en Bruegel poems. Hawinkels stated his own intentions as follows: “With poetry I can actively make complex what someone else has already expressed in music or in painting”; the Bosch en Bruegel poems are a good example of this. Whoever reads the poems based on Bosch’s paintings will understand them better if he also looks at the paintings themselves. He will then see that the poems do not attempt to provide a complete description of the painting, but that they extract a number of striking elements and then base verbal embroidery and wordplay around them. The reader is taken by surprise by the sometimes puzzling flow of words, but as a result then looks at Hieronymus Bosch’s inexhaustible paintings with a different eye.
The Garden of Earthy Delights
This great triptych, most likely painted around 1481, hangs in the Prado in Madrid. The reverse sides of the two side panels are painted in grisaille; when the triptych is closed, they depict the third day of the Creation. When the triptych is opened, on the left we see Paradise, a fantastical landscape filled with all kinds of plants and animals and with Adam and Eve on God’s left and right hand. On the right-hand panel we see Hell with the damned, demons and all sorts of imaginary attributes. The meaning of the large central panel is much disputed: it shows a fantastical landscape in the same manner as the left-hand panel, but one that is now filled with countless people, most of whom are naked; imaginary plants; animals only heard of in fables; mythological figures, all in different poses and doing different things. The panel as a whole has an undeniably erotic charge and was most likely intended as a warning of where such behaviour would lead.
Right hand panel
The right panel illustrates Hell, the setting of a number of Bosch paintings. Bosch depicts a world in which humans have succumbed to temptations that lead to evil and reap eternal damnation. The tone of this final panel strikes a harsh contrast to those preceding it. The scene is set at night, and the natural beauty that adorned the earlier panels is noticeably absent. Compared to the warmth of the center panel, the right wing possesses a chilling quality—rendered through cold colourisation and frozen waterways—and presents a tableau that has shifted from the paradise of the center image to a spectacle of cruel torture and retribution. In a single, densely detailed scene, the viewer is made witness to cities on fire in the background; war, torture chambers, infernal taverns, and demons in the midground; and mutated animals feeding on human flesh in the foreground. The nakedness of the human figures has lost all its eroticism, and many now attempt to cover their genitalia and breasts with their hands.
Large explosions in the background throw light through the city gate and spill forth onto the water in the midground; according to writer Walter S. Gibson, "their fiery reflection turning the water below into blood". The light illuminates a road filled with fleeing figures, while hordes of tormentors prepare to burn a neighbouring village. A short distance away, a rabbit carries an impaled and bleeding corpse, while a group of victims above are thrown into a burning lantern. The foreground is populated by a variety of distressed or tortured figures. Some are shown vomiting or excreting, others are crucified by harp and lute, in an allegory of music, thus sharpening the contrast between pleasure and torture. A choir sings from a score inscribed on a pair of buttocks, part of a group that has been described as the "Musicians' Hell".
Text Compulsory Vocal Work:
Nee, roep deze nacht, met deze maan
Die min of meer pikant hier zo’n beetje de navel
Uithangt, de kraamkliniek verzorgt en geen
Maan is ook, nu maar niet op, ook niet
Als je de vlammen uit de buik slaan
Iam noctem hanc mitte, iam lunam
hic salsius umbilici quasi partes
Agentem, tococomium curantem, ne quidem
Lunam, mitte evocare, etiamsi
Ignes tibi ventre erumpunt
Now don’t conjure up this night, with the moon
Flashing its navel saucily at us —
This moon that cares for the nursery
And yet is no moon — no, don’t conjure it,
Not even when the flames of curiosity
Blaze from your belly.
The Dutch text
The Hieronymus Bosch cycle first appeared in 1967 in a special issue of the magazine Raam; it was then published together with the Brueghel poems in book form in 1968 and later appeared in Hawinkels’ Verzamelde Gedichten in 1988. The lines of the Bosch cycle are numbered individually in the first two of these publications but this was discontinued in the Verzamelde Gedichten. We give no line numbers in our chosen fragment. There are no textual variants between the three versions for the passage we have chosen; the text used, complete with layout and punctuation, is as it appears in the Verzamelde Gedichten.
The Latin translation
Translation is not a question of taking words from one language and replacing them with words from another, but rather an attempt at transposing the effect that a text is intended to convey into another language system. Classical Latin poetry is characterised by its metrical system, a regular succession of long and short syllables. Hawinkels’ modern irregular style does not, I feel, lend itself to such constrictions, so I have chosen to make a translation in free verse, as was common in neo-Latin literature, works written in Latin after the Middle Ages, both for original works and for translations. To create a poetic effect I have attempted to replicate the sound effects and verbal echoes of the original in the translation. As a result I have tried to avoid hiatus between two vowels as much as possible, although at times I was nevertheless constrained to attach more importance to good Latin word order. I have attempted to express Hawinkels’ double meanings, word play and use of language as much as possible in my translation. There are many comprehensive dictionaries, grammars and texts for Latin for every period from classical Antiquity to modern times: all the vocabulary and constructions that appear in my translation can be found in existing original Latin texts, even if at times it is as a variant or even one single time.
Hawinkel’s poetry on the right hand panel
The end of Hawinkel’s poem, 278 lines, is dedicated to the right hand panel. Its focus is on the upper part, the background; in spite of descriptive elements the text is mainly an abstract argument on the end of the world. Key terms are ‘night’, ‘darkness’, ‘black’ and its counterparts ‘light’, ‘moon’, ‘fire’ (‘flames’ in the song). ‘Night’ is by far the most frequent word; it occurs over 25 times, whereas ‘hell’, for instance, is absent, in accordance with the limited importance of the monsters and the torments in the poem. Dark night is everywhere, endless and meaningless. Fires and the moon seem to light her, but nothing is what it seems: the pale disk in the upper part is not a moon at all, plays a navel, and reminds of a sign. Several times Hawinkels combines ‘moon’ with the Dutch word ‘schijnen’ in its double meaning of ‘shine’ and ‘appear’. In fact, night is omnipotent; if you would call her, the text continues after ne quidem Lunam, all the stories will get mixed up, and in this world all distinctions will dissolve and nothing will ever change until the night has perished into nothing.
Your demons, they haunt you.
At night, when the moon wants to appear, they crawl out of every corner.
Demons of loneliness, regret, frustration, a lost lover, they scald and boil inside of you
and the blues won’t stop until dawn.
How tempting it is to lose yourself in drinking, gambling or sleeping around.