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The name of the Natalon Quartet refers to the piano composition Natalon in E that Simeon ten Holt composed shortly after Canto Ostinato in 1980. Natalon in E is a lively piece in which beautiful melodies alternate with almost minimalistic sound fluctuations that seem to foreshadow the characters of later compositions.  

Natalon also refers to an older composition by Simeon that he wrote in an atonal style period: A/.ta-lon (1968) for mezzo-soprano and 36 playing and talking instrumentalists.


In his memoirs, Simeon writes about this piece: ''For this composition (...) two years of bureaucratic table work were done under the absolute dictate of a scheme, a scheme in which all the refinement of beauty was summarized, at the expense of music and muse. A/.ta-lon is the symbol of winter, barrenness and the death of tonality.”

It would take another fifteen years before Simeon returned to tonality. "I called this period an inevitable and necessary wintering and frost period and experienced it as such."


Canto Ostinato and Natalon in E defined a new style period in which - as Ten Holt describes - the relationship to the instrument, the magic of the grip, the sounding result and the power of sensuality and libido came to prevail.

Natalon in E became tonal, embarrassingly tonal for those days, alongside and in contrast to A/.ta-lon.

the relationship to
the instrument
the magic of the grip
the resounding result
and the power of the
sensuality and libido
came to prevail

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