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date: 18 August 2019

Colaço Osorio-Swaab, Reinelocked

  • Helen Metzelaar


(b Amsterdam, Jan 16, 1881; d Amsterdam, April 14, 1971). Dutch composer. She began composing after the death of her husband in 1923. She studied with Henk Badings and later often consulted him. In the 1920s and 30s she wrote many songs, setting poems by Jacques Perk, Paul Verlaine, R.M. Rilke and Stefan George. She was much attracted to the religious philosopher Martin Buber, translating into Dutch his De legende van de Baalsjèm (1927). In 1947 she wrote her first work for narrator and instrumental accompaniment, De tocht door de hemelen, based on a text by Buber. The 1950s saw nine more works including a narrator, mainly settings of biblical texts. In 1939 she began writing chamber music for various instruments. Monument (1944), six coplas for soprano and piano, was written to commemorate the death of her son at Dachau in 1944. Although she retained classical forms, such as the sonata and suite form, her style is predominantly atonal, often sharply dissonant and angular. At the same time she was adept at placing short, Impressionistic, pentatonic passages in these atonal works. An example is the ...

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