program notes by composition > P > Puszta


Jan Van der Roost

Puszta is a suite of gypsy-style dances in 1987. The title refers to a vast prairie in Hungary where gypsies used to move around with their (wild) horses. The newly-composed melodies are comparable in character to the Hungarian and Slavic dances by Brahms and Dvorak and the Hungarian rhapsodies by Liszt. Typical of gypsy music the dances feature alternation of temperamental and melancholic moods, and contrasting tempos.

The four movements are: I. Andante Moderato, II. Tranquillo, III. Allegro molto (begun by solo clarinet), and IV. Marcato.

Jan Van der Roost (b.1956) is a Belgian composer. He is a professor at the Lemmensinstituut and also a guest professor at the Shobi Institute of Music, Tokyo, and the Nagoya University of Arts. He has composed over 90 works, most for winds and some for orchestra or choir. All of his works are commissioned.