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La Belle Chocolatière (2003)
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Mayke Nas during a rehearsal with the Nieuw Ensemble
photo: Patriez van der Wens

La Belle Chocolatière is named after the famous Droste-cacao-tin from 1900 with the image of a handsome nurse on it that holds a tin of cacao in her hand, with the image of the same nurse that holds the exact same tin of cacao, with the image of the same nurse that... etc. The piece is an attempt to see a piano-piece of Debussy from that time (Mouvement from Images I - 1903) through a Droste-microscope. An attempt which is bound to fail of course, but there is always a good reason for chocolate and systems are meant not to fit.
Instrumentation: fl, ob, cl, git, mand, harp, perc, vl, vla, vlc, cb

Duration: ± 4 minutes

First performance: 5 september 2003 during the Gaudeamus Music Week in the recital hall of the Concertgebouw by the Nieuw Ensemble conducted by Ernst van Tiel

Written for: Nieuw Ensemble

Commissioned by: Fonds voor de Scheppende Toonkunst

Made during: 'The Refined Ear', Nieuw Ensemble's 2003 practicum on microtonality

Publisher: Donemus

Review of a performance during Bang on a Can Marathon at the World Financial Center in New York, USA:
"The Dutch composer Mayke Nas's "La Belle Chocolatière," played by the Manhattan School of Music's ensemble Tactus, was a piquant, scurrying, almost Impressionist daydream. "
(John Parales in the New York Times, 6 juni 2006)

Reviews of a performance during Huddersfield Festival 2007, UK: "La Belle Chocolatière by Mayke Nas – who describes herself as “composer, searcher, slow-food cook, Bach fugue player” – was a pizzicato driven four minute whimsical delight."
(Andrew Flynn in the Huddersfield Daily Examiner, 23 November 2007)

"(...) The works not afraid to admit some humour – Giel Vleggaar's Atomic UFO Saves the Day (Again) and Mayke Nas's jaunty La Belle Chocolatière – fared much better. Remember both names."
(Neil Fisher in the Times, 26 November 2007)