Louis Andriessen

Zilver (1994)


2 percussionists

7 players total

Flute, Clarinet, Vibraphone, Marimba, Piano, Violin, Cello

Approx. 15’


The idea behind Zilver was to write a chorale variation as Bach did for organ: a long, slow-moving melody, combined with the same melody played faster. The ensemble is divided into two groups: the wind and strings play the sustained melody in chorale-like four-part harmony, and the rest of the instruments – vibraphone, marimba and piano – play increasingly fast staccato chords. The two groups play in canons.

Zilver is one of a planned series of chamber pieces named after a type of physical matter. Hout (‘wood’) is the first, and Zilver (‘silver’) is the second. The title also refers to the two silver instruments – flute and vibraphone – which start and end the piece.


Louis Andriessen


Annotated by Tyler Flynt