- Helen Metzelaar
(b Semarang, Java, June 14, 1878; d Arnhem, Sept 20, 1969). Dutch composer. She studied harmony and composition privately with Frits Koeberg in The Hague. Her first compositions belong to the late Romantic tradition, showing the influence of Mahler, Bruckner and Franck. The Concert Overture is a robust, solidly constructed work, which opens with martial horn motifs and is rich in contrasting moods. The string quartet, with long, lyrical lines, is cyclic in that it closes with the opening motif of the first movement. Her love of Dutch and French poetry inspired a sizeable number of compositions. She gradually developed her own style, characterized by the alternation of bold, muscular gestures with more delicate effects, and later turned to a more contemporary Schoenbergian, atonal language. Her mature works are strongly Expressionist, often based on the development of a single motif with short violent drives towards a climax. In spite of the recognition it gained from influential Dutch musicians, her work was rarely played after the 1920s. Until her death she remained deeply interested in contemporary music by Stockhausen, Dallapiccola, Nono, Boulez, Messiaen and others....