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Down the Rabbit-Hole (2012)
For orchestra
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Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
photo: Simon van Boxtel

Instrumentation: 2 fl, 2 ob, 2 cl, 2 fag, 4 cor, 2 trp, 3 trbn, 4 perc, harp, vl I, vl II, vla, vlc, cb

Duration: ± 12 minutes

First Performance: 14 december 2012 in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra conducted by Otto Tausk

Commissioned by: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra & Performing Arts Fund NL

Reviews: "Very successful as well was 'Down the Rabbit-Hole', the newly commisioned work by Mayke Nas (1972). Evocative Alice-music in a series of strong tableaus, with sustained violin harmonics, dopplering winds and small eruptions of percussive, brilliant sound."
(Joep Stapel in de NRC, 17 december 2012)

"With her 'Down the Rabbit-Hole, especially written for the RCO, Nas shows she has a lot to offer. In well over ten minutes she constructs a fascinating discours of multicoloured tinkling, curiously subsiding stacks of thirds. Towards the end the chords remind one of giggling, or perhaps little sobs."
(Frits van der Waa in de Volkskrant, 18 december 2012)

"Mayke Nas's 'Down the Rabbit-Hole' is a minute orchestral whirlwind of frolic flashes of wit, tumbling orchestra-eruptions and manic silences. You'd almost get vertigo. Conductor Bas Wiegers maintains an outstanding transparant orchestral sound without weakening the tension at any point. This has been worked hard at and the result sounds superb."
(Mark van de Voort in het Brabants Dagblad, 8 november 2013)



Audiofragment (2'55" / 7 Mb)
Philharmonie Zuid-Nederland / Bas Wiegers

"Picture yourself in a boat on a river…", that's how 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds' by the Beatles begins. The boat belongs to Lewis Carroll, who told a compelling story to three little girls while rowing on the river Thames near Oxford: 'Alice in Wonderland'. The Beatles wrote a hallucinatingly beatiful song about it (that the song was associated with LSD because of it's title wasn't so farfetched) and they put Lewis Carroll among their heroes on the cover of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Just like Karlheinz Stockhausen by the way, but that's another story. Through the Beatles back to Alice in Wonderland.

The accompanying melody of Lucy, crushed like aniseed crumble, has found it's way into the opening of 'Down the Rabbit-Hole' for the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. The undulating succession of notes rolls through the piece compressed and stretched with an increasing deflection, like Alice repeatedly shrinks and grows during her experiences in the rabbit-hole, stumbling upon one astonishing situation upon the other. A nice metaphor for a new orchestral work. 'Down the Rabbit-Hole' has after all become an expression for an adventure into the unknown...