Everything changes, nothing perishes

Ciconia Consort conducted by Dick van Gasteren
In collaboration with Escher in Het Paleis and Judith Kadee


Sunday, May 7, 2023 – 3:00 PM
New Church, The Hague
In collaboration with Escher in Het Paleis
extras: dinner Pavlov + €24
concert with educational childcare (4-10 years) register via

Thursday, May 11, 2023 – 8:15 PM
Great Church, Naarden

Sunday, May 14, 2023 – 3:00 PM
Theater Hanzehof, Zutphen

Wednesday, May 17, 2023 – 8:15 PM
The Vereeniging, Nijmegen


CHARLES KOECHLIN (1867-1950) – Sur les flots lointains
RUDOLF ESCHER (1912-1980) – Concerto for string orchestra and timpani
TRISTAN KEURIS (1946-1996) – Variations for Strings
RICHARD STRAUSS (1864-1949) – Metamorphoses

Metamorphoses is the name of the fifteen-part poem by the Roman poet Ovid, which two thousand years later still forms an inexhaustible source of inspiration for the visual arts, literature and music. Ovid sketches the creation story and the lives of classical gods and mortals, each of whom undergoes a dramatic metamorphosis. His perhaps most famous story Orpheus and Euridice was beautifully set to music by Claudio Monteverdi and Christoph Willibald von Gluck. Commissioned by King Philip II of Spain, the Italian Renaissance master Titian created six paintings depicting scenes from Ovid’s narrative poem, which he himself called his ‘Poesies’, because he wanted them to be poetry in painted form. In his novella Narziß und Goldmund, Hermann Hesse was inspired by the story Narcissus and Echo. These are just a few examples.

In the last book, Ovid gives a philosophical underpinning, through the Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras: omnia mutantur, nihil interit – everything changes, nothing perishes.

The latter has not been depicted so brilliantly by anyone in the visual arts as by Maurits Cornelis (MC) Escher in three different works of art entitled Metamorphosis. The 48-metre-long mural Metamorphosis III can rightfully be regarded as his opus magnum. For the characteristic style of tessellation, Escher was inspired by Islamic works of art as he saw them in the Alhambra in Spain.

Ciconia is pleased to be able to focus on MC Escher’s masterpiece in this musical program in collaboration with the Escher in Het Paleis museum in The Hague, which will also be celebrating the 125th anniversary of MC Escher’s birth in 2023. Judith Kadee, curator at Escher in Het Paleis, will reveal all the details of Escher and his Metamorphoses in a lecture concert during the concert in The Hague. Escher’s love for classical music will also be highlighted by Kadee.
At the other concerts, Dick van Gasteren will talk about the backgrounds and underlying transformations of the concert works, and their relationship with literature, the visual arts and philosophy.

Perhaps the greatest and most sublime piece for string orchestra is the impressive Metamorphoses by Richard Strauss, who arranged the score for 23 separate solo voices: polyphony alla Bach, but with late romantic and early modern harmonies. An absolute masterpiece, based on a gloomy metamorphosis. It was written as a tribute to the devastation of World War II.

Extensive correspondence has been preserved between the cousins ​​MC and the composer Rudolph Escher on the theme of Escher’s Metamorphoses . Ciconia will play his Concerto for string orchestra by the latter, which was dedicated to the strings of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.
In his Variations, Tristan Keuris masterfully brings the listener into an ever-changing world with the development of a few germ cells.

Experience this quest for the principles and backgrounds of the metamorphoses of Escher, Strauss, Koechlin and Keuris together with Ciconia.

Judith Kadee
Judith Kadee (born 1992) is curator at Escher in Het Paleis. Here she creates exhibitions and conducts research into the world-famous artist MC Escher. She also takes care of the Escher collection of Kunstmuseum Den Haag, one of the largest museum Escher collections in the world. As director of the Villa Mondriaan museum, she was the youngest museum director in the Netherlands between 2016 and 2019. Judith obtained her master’s degree in Museum Studies at University College London. Judith Kadee worked at Saatchi Gallery and EYE Film Museum, among others.