The Dutch patriottentijd (literally ‘Time of the Patriots’) was a period of political instability in the 1780s. The country was led by regents who were occupied with their own personal interests rather than dedicating themselves to the needs of the people. In this revolutionary period, the devoted republican Patriots were in conflict with the Orangists. A civil war followed, in which the Patriots were beaten and driven away by a Prussian army. This composition is an abstract piece inspired by the Patriots. The thematic material is based on the Dutch war song ‘Merck toch hoe sterck’. Its powerful minor melody, which has its origins in the Eighty Years’ War, isrecognizable throughout the work, presented in variations of constantly shifting character.
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