The Irish Times:
VOX21 & Judith Mok (Soprano)
Bank of Ireland Arts Centre
Louis Andriessen: Zilver
Louis Andriessen: Worker's Union
Theo Loevendie: Cycles
Theo Loevendie:Turkish Folkpoems
A GOOD PROGRAMME and engaging performances made last Thursday night's
concert in the Mostly Modem series at the Bank of Ireland Arts Centre
in Dublin a winner.
Judith Mok (soprano) joined VOX21 to present four works by two Dutch composers
born in the 1930, Theo Loevendie and Louis Andriessen.
Workers' Union, composed in 1975 and scored for any loud-sounding group
of instruments, is one of Andriessen's best-known pieces.
On this occasion, a line-up of flute, oboe, clarinet, cello, violin and
percussion (two players) was not as loud as some might have wished, or
as aggressive as the composer says the piece should be.
But David Brophy conducted with a firm sense of shaping and the performance
lived up to the composer's declaration that each musician must play "with
such an intention that his part is an essential one".
That could be said of the entire concert, which Included Andriessen's
Zilver (1994) and Loevendie's Cycles (1992).
Kenneth Edge conducted these two works, which show, in differing ways,
their composers' early interests in music outside the classical tradition,
especially in jazz. But there the similarities end.
Andriessen is a conceptualist of the most rugged kind, whose compositions
have the sort of single-mindedness which can attract or repel but cannot
Loevendie is a sensualist, but without self-Indulgence. His Six Turkish
Folkpoems (1977) are masterly in their use of Eastern vocal Idioms.
The music's links to the elaboration and complexity of the 1950 and '60.
avant-garde, a forbidding control of detail and structure, are part of
a discipline which enables the composer to borrow without any suggestion
of dependence or Imitation.
That, and the superb singing of soprano Judith Mok, made this work the
highlight of the evening.
'…among the highlights was the performance of the young soprano
Judith Mok of arias from the opera Idomeneo. A voice which does not get
thin or shrill even in the highest notes, which keeps its warmth at every
level, and to whose strikingly precise intonation the orchestra could
tune their instruments. A voice made for Mozart…'
- Berliner Zeitung
'…In voice and attitude the soprano Judith Mok has the power of a
- NRC Handelsblad
'…prodigious moments were provided by the soprano Judith Mok, who
in an 'a capella' programme offered her splendid voice on its own, and
she can certainly afford such a stripped-down approach. An austerity channeled
into a comic mode in Stripsodie (1967) by Cathy Berberian, whose volcanic
presence was resurrected…'
- Le Monde
'…we only had eyes for the sensual and teasing stage personality
of Judith Mok, a truly lyrical soprano…'
- Opera International
'…Judith Mok is the possessor of a faultless technique, perfect
affinity and a rare artistic sensibility…'
- La Nacion (Buenos Aires)