Compositions

Rens Tienstra studied Composition (BMus and MMus) at the Conservatory of Amsterdam; his teachers included Daan Manneke, Willem Jeths and Wim Henderickx, with minors in Electronics with Jorrit Tamminga, Orchestration and Arranging with Theo Verbey, and guest lessons with Tristan Murail. During studies, Tienstra met Jonathan Harvey, whose music, ideas and personality proved highly inspirational to him.

Tienstra has composed for all types of instruments and ensembles, ranging from modern to Baroque orchestras, string quartet to choir, panpipes to carillon, classical to contemporary ensembles, and for amateur and professional players. Following performance practice, choral music holds an important place in his output.

The composition, performance and listening experience of Tienstra's compositions have strong parallels to the monastic practice of lectio divina, an approach of deep contemplative reading. A particular musical idea is ruminated upon, while shedding new light on each of its reiterations. The cyclical process is usually one of gradual filtering towards a musical point vierge (in the wording of Thomas Merton). This could be given shape in a contemplation of a particular harmony, harmonic series, or the exchange of contrasting gestures - a performer once coined the term 'Spectralist-infused contemplation'. Somewhat inevitably, the influence of Gregorian chant can also be pointed out. 


In most of his vocal works cyclicism and filtering are already present in the texts of choice, such as the Canticle of Simeon, evening prayers from John Henry Newman, Henry Francis Lyte or Nicholas of Fluë, the Song of Songs or Frisian texts.

A recurrent theme in Tienstra's works is that of commemoration. He has frequently composed commemorative works for voices, instruments or electronics, for occassions such as Dutch Memorial Day, or the 25th commemoration of the Fall of the Berlin Wall.

From 2021 onwards, Tienstra's works are published by Donemus Publishing.

Recite

As an introduction to his work, have a listen to Recite, composed for Ensemble 10/10 in Liverpool; the recording was made at its performance at Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival 2013. Other links to recordings can be found in the list below.

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Chamber

Created with Sketch.

Motetten (2009)

for ensemble

written for the Prometheus Ensemble (BE)

fp: 12-05-09, by Prometheus Ensemble, cond. Bart Bouckaerts; deSingel, Antwerp

 

Chorus (2010)

for piano

fp: 06-05-2010 by Tobias Borsboom; Sweelinckzaal, Conservatory of Amsterdam

  

Passaggio (2010); Ommaggio a Sweelinck  | recording 

for saxophone quartet

written at the request of and dedicated to the Berlage Saxophone Quartet; 

fp: 19-06-2011 by Boreas Saxophone Quartet, cond. RT; Haitinkzaal, Conservatory of Amsterdam

 

Rituale (2011)  | recording

for ensemble

witten for and dedicated to the Nieuw Ensemble, 

homage to the voices of Pino de Vittorio, Lucilla Galeazzi and Marco Beasley

fp: 01-06-2011 by the Nieuw Ensemble, cond. Lucas Vis; Concertgebouw, Amsterdam


Facing Night (2012) | recording

for ensemble

written for the ASKO|Schönberg ensemble

fp: 20-04-2012, by ASKO|Schönberg ensemble, cond. Bas Wiegers; Centre for World Music and Dance, Rotterdam

 

Three chants (2012) | recording | buy score

for cello solo

fp: 17-05-2013, by Wilma Pistorius; Bernard Haitink Hall, Conservatory of Amsterdam.

 

Recite (2012) | recording

for ensemble

written for Ensemble 10/10

fp: 14-11-2012, by Ensemble 10/10, cond. Clark Rundell; The Cornerstone, Liverpool

 

At First Silence (2013)

for double bass solo and ensemble

written at the request of Marcel Becker and dedicated to Marcel Becker, Ensemble 10/10 and its conductor Clark Rundell


Pleurants (2021) | (publication in preparation)
meditations on the Dijon Mourners
for viola solo

Petite louange (2021) | (publication in preparation) 

for soprano and organ
t: Song of Songs 2, 10b-13b, or Psalm 57: 8-11a

Petite louange (arr. 2021) | (publication in preparation)
for soprano and string quartet
t: Song of Songs 2, 10b-13b, or Psalm 57: 8-11a

Tenderness - Two sketches after Jan Mankes (2022)
for piano
I; II

Organ

Created with Sketch.

Gearslach (2010)

for pan pipes and organ

written at the request of and dedicated to Henske van der Weerd

fp: 23-03-11, by Henske van der Weerd, panpipes and Michal Bialko, organ; Verschueren-organ of the Orgelpark Amsterdam


Gearslach (arr. 2010)

for trumpet and organ

arranged at the request of Kirstin Gramlich

fp: Gaudeamus Music Week 2011, by Kirstin Gramlich, organ and Christoph Barth, trumpet; Orgelpark Amsterdam

 

Alba (2011 arr. 2011/2012) | recording

version for harp and organ

fp: 07-06-2012, by Andrea Voets, harp and Jaap Zwart, organ; Orgelpark Amsterdam

 

Clearing (Portrait, Still life and Landscape) (2012)

for 2 organs

fp: 18-05-2013, by Mira Cieślak and RT, organs; Orgelpark Amsterdam

 

Cortèges (2014-2015) | recording of X

I; II (‘Alleluia’); III (‘Agnus Dei’); IV (IIb); V (‘Quies’); VI; VII; VIIIa; VIIIb; IX (‘In manus tuas’); X (‘Terribilis est locus iste’); XI (‘Nocturne’); XII (‘Nunc dimittis’)

written for Theo Visser

Fast falls the eventide, two movements for organ (2021)
I; II

Choral/Vocal

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Weromkommer yn it ûnlân (2007/08)

for soprano solo 

t: Abe de Vries 

written at the request of and dedicated to Francine Vis 

fp: 08-05-08, by Martha Bosch; Sweelinckzaal  (Conservatory of Amsterdam) 

 

Canticle of Simeon (Nunc Dimittis) (2008) | recording

for 2 soprano's and alto or six-part women’s ensemble a cappella 

dedicated to Ella Rombouts 

fp: 02-11-08, by Ensemble Vocale Amsterdam, cond. Hannah Rijken; Oude Kerk, Amsterdam 

 

Canticle of Mary (Magnificat) (2008) 

for six-part women's ensemble a cappella 

written at the request of Ensemble Vocale Amsterdam 

dedicated to Daan Manneke 

fp: 02-11-08, by Ensemble Vocale Amsterdam, cond. Hannah Rijken; Oude Kerk, Amsterdam 

   

O Rex Gentium (2013) 

for chorus SATB (with divisi) a cappella 

dedicated to Cappella pro Cantibus 

fp: 08-12-2013, by Cappella pro Cantibus, cond. RT; Groene Kerkje, Oegstgeest 

 

All through the night (2013) 

a carol (for unspecified chorus) 

commissioned by Kleijnkoor Noordwijk for their annual Carol concert 

fp: by Kleijnkoor Noordwijk, cond. Herma van Piekeren; Old Jeroen's church, Noordwijk 

  

Missa Brevis a 3 (2017) (Kyrie, Sanctus, Agnus) | buy score

for SMA/TBarB a cappella 

in memoriam Jan Valkestijn 

fp: 24-09-2017, by Cappella Puellarum, cond. Sanne Nieuwenhuijsen; Cathedral Basilica of St Bavo, Haarlem (fp RT: 14-01-2018) 

 

Prayer of John Henry Newman (2017 rev. 2018) | buy score

for chorus SATB (with divisi) and organ 

fp: ?-10-2018, by Cathedral Choir St Bavo, cond. RT, organ Ton van Eck; Cathedral Basilica of St Bavo, Haarlem

  

The desert’s blossoming (2019) | buy score

for chorus SATB (with divisi) a cappella 

  

Abide with me (2020) | buy score

for chorus SATB a cappella 

  

Prayer of Nicholas of Flüe (2020) | buy score

for chorus SATB (with divisi) a cappella 

dedicated to the brothers of Einsiedeln Abbey, Switserland 

 

Set me as a seal upon thine heart (2020) | buy score

for quartet (SSAA, TTBB or eight-part doubling SSAATTBB) a cappella 

for vocal quartet ‘Sorelle’ 

 

Portico of Glory (Santiago Te Deum) (2020) | buy score
for chorus SMATBarB and organ
for Santiago Cathedral, 'in honorem Sancti Iacobi, Matthaei magistri recordatus'

Prayer of John Henry Newman (2018 arr. 2021) | buy score 

for chorus SATBarB (with divisi) a cappella

Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis (2021) | (publication in preparation)

for chorus SATB and organ
for the Cappella Nicolai - St. Nicholas' Basilica, Amsterdam; in memory of Michael Hedley

If ye love me (2021) | buy score

for chorus SATB a cappella
for the Cappella Nicolai - St. Nicholas' Basilica, Amsterdam (Giles Brightwell, cond.)
 
Two memorials (2021) | buy score
for chorus SMATBarB a cappella
dedicated to the memory of those interred in the Commonwealth plot of Noordwijk General Cemetary
I. At a Calvary near the Ancre (Wilfred Owen)

II. They shall grow not old (Laurence Binyon)

Petite louange (2021) | (publication in preparation) 

for soprano and organ
t: Song of Songs 2, 10b-13b, or Psalm 57: 8-11a

Petite louange (arr. 2021) | (publication in preparation)
for soprano and string quartet
t: Song of Songs 2, 10b-13b, or Psalm 57: 8-11a

Sing we merrily (2022)

for chorus SMATB a cappella
for Cappella pro Cantibus, Oegstgeest, in celebration of the choir’s 50th anniversary
t: Psalm 81: 1-4

When David heard (2022)
for five-part male or female chorus
dedicated to Graces & Voices (Adrija Čepaitė and Antanina Kalechyts, cond.)
t: 2 Samuel 18:33
fp: 11-06-2022, by Graces & Voices; Catharinakerk, Den Bosch

Lullay, lullow (2022)
for SMA, cello and optional (portative) organ
for Vox Iubilantis (Laine Tabora, cond.)
t: Ritson manuscript (1460-1510)


Electronics

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Seascapes (2011 rev. 2012) | recording

for viola and electronics

written in collaboration with Ji Youn Kang, Tape Interlude by Ji Youn Kang

written for Katya Woloshyn, dedicated to Liesbeth Seegers

fp: 23-06-2011 by Katya Woloshyn (viola), Ji Youn Kang,  Kassen Oud (electronics); Oude Kerk, Amsterdam

fp rev. version: 19-02-2012 by Katya Woloshyn (viola) , Ji Youn Kang (electronics); Oude Jeroenskerk, Noordwijk


Still (2014) | recording

commissioned by KunstKlank Foundation for their 4th of May Memorial concerts

fp: 03-05-2014, Oude Jeroenskerk, Noordwijk (installation by Ji Youn Kang)

Carillon

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Diptych for carillon (2007 rev. 2011) | recording

I. Lamento; II. Toccata.

Awarded with the Award for Composer under 30, International Composition Contest Rhenen (NL)

fp: 24-05-08, by Roy Kroezen; carillon of St Cunera's tower, Rhenen

 

Da pacem, Domine (2020)

I. Passacaglia; II. Fuga

written for the "Beiaard-Estafette 75 jaar Bevrijding" 2020

fp: 09-05-2020, by Gerda Peters; carillon of Oude Kerk, Voorburg

 

Airborne (Variations on a theme by Britten) (2020)

for Bob van der Linde

Other

Created with Sketch.

Openingsmuziek voor een toren (Opening Music for a Tower) (2009)

for SSAA choir and optional church bells

written for the opening festivities of the tower of the Old St. Jeroen Church, Noordwijk

t: RT; fp: 16-05-09, by Kleijnkoor Noordwijk, cond. Herma van Piekeren; Tower of St. Jeroen Church, Noordwijk

 

Marco Polo Project: location opera for 'The Little Thai Prince' restaurant (2008)

for 2 mezzo soprano's (and background music)

t: J.J. Slauerhoff, R. Tienstra, Ján Barta, Judith v.d. Dool, Floor v.d. Sluis; fp: 16- en 23-11-08, by Judith v.d. Dool and Floor v.d. Sluis; 'The Little Thai Prince' restaurant

 

In ripieno (2009)

for SATB soloists and tape

written for the 20 year Jubilee celebrations of the Fall of the Berlin Wall

t: Paul Wolters / RT; fp: 4- and 8-11-2009, Stadsschouwburg Utrecht, by Kirila Kraal, Ella Rombouts, Oliver Rault and Rick Zwart / pre-performances by Amsterdams Studenten Koor and Utrechtse Studenten Cantorij, cond. Fokko Oldenhuis

 

Debussy – La sérénade interrompue | recording

Orchestration for the Nieuw Ensemble

fp: 08-04-2011 by Nieuw Ensemble, cond. Bas Wiegers; Concertgebouw, Amsterdam

 

St Martin’s Mass (2012)

(Mass ordinarium according to the rite of the Old Catholic Church, for single voice and organ)

commissioned by the Old Catholic Church of the Netherlands

fp: 21-04-2013, by Choir and congregation of the Old Catholic St Gertrude Cathedral; Old Catholic St Gertrude Cathedral, Utrecht

 

St Martin’s Mass (arr. 2013)

(Mass ordinarium according to the rite of the Roman Catholic Church, for single voice and organ; arr. for SATB choir and organ: 2014)

arranged at the request of RC St Willibrd's church, Oegstgeest

 

Kinderen van de Zaan (2013) | recording

children's opera in 4 parts: songs by Aga de Wit and Herma van Piekeren; arrangements, orchestration, soundscapes by RT.  fp: 04-2013; Zaans Museum, Zaandam


Tombeau à 5 : Egidius, waer bestu bleven? (Daan Manneke) (arr. 2014) | buy score
arrangement for 5-part mixed choir

Oorlog (2016)

arrangement for chamber orchestra of the song by the same name by Harry Bannink, commissioned by KunstKlank Foundation for their 2016 4th of May memorial concert

fp: 01-05-2016, Lotte Pierik, NASKA, cond. Herma van Piekeren, Oude Jeroenskerk, Noordwijk


I Love Xmas (2017)
arrangements of 21 Christmas songs for full symphonic orchestra
21-12-2017, by Heemsteeds Philharmonisch Orkest, cond. Dick Verhoef, Theatergroep Eglentier, Philharmonie, Haarlem 

Help, mijn stem is weg! (2017) | recording

a mini-opera for young children, after an idea by Aga de Wit and Herma van Piekeren; arrangements and soudscapes by RT. fp: 08-02-2018, at the Cultuurcafé (Van der Meer Bookshop), Noordwijk


Ao Longe o Mar (Madredeus) (arr. 2017)

arranged for baritone soloist and string orchestra

fp: 14-07-2017, by Henk Neeven, KunstKlank project orchestra; KunstKlank Theatre, Noordwijk

 

Psalm 22 (chant, Dutch) (2018)

fp: 25-03-2018 (Palm Sunday), by Bavo-cantorij, cond. Sanne Nieuwenhuijsen, organ Ton van Eck; Cathedral Basilica of St Bavo, Haarlem

 

Psalm 42 (chant, Dutch) (2019)

fp: 20-04-2019 (Easter Vigil), by Cathedral Choir St Bavo, cond. RT, organ Ton van Eck; Cathedral Basilica of St Bavo, Haarlem

Ubi caritas / Ecce quam bonum (2019) 

for schola (chant group), tenor instrument and organ / arr. for schola and organ alone

commissioned by and dedicated to the Schola Cantorum Oegstgeest for their 80th jubilee 

fp: 20-09-2020, by Schola Cantorum Oegstgeest, cond. Franz Straatman, St Willibrord church, Oegstgeest


Miserere mei, Deus (chant, Latin) (2021)
fp:  02-04-2021 (Holy Friday), by St. Bavo Cathedral Choir quartet, cond. Sanne Nieuwenhuijsen; Cathedral Basilica of St Bavo, Haarlem

 

Doubt (M. Glinka) (arr. 2019)

arrangement for baritone and cello soloists and string orchestra

fp: 03-2019, by Henk Neeven, KunstKlank project orchestra; former chapel of the ‘Sancta Maria’ estate, Noordwijkerhout

 

Winterreise (F. Schubert) (arr. 2019)

arrangements of 12 songs from Schubert’s Winterreise for choir, soloists, violin, horn, cello and accordeon

fp: 06-03-2020, by KunstKlank Foundation project ensemble, Winterreis location theatre in Buijze Pers, Noordwijk | teaser

Banalités (F. Poulenc) (arr. 2022)
arrangement for voice and chamber orchestra (1.1.1.1-2.1.1.0-timp.perc.hrp.-strings)