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Ivo Mortelmans


° 19.05.1901 Antwerpen - † 20.08.1984 Oostende
- Composer, conductor and music teacher
- Second oldest son of Lodewijk Mortelmans


Ivo Mortelmans received his first music lessons from Karel Wymans, and then started his music studies at the Antwerp music conservatory, against the wishes of his father Lodewijk Mortelmans.
There he received his first prizes in music theory, by Arthur de Hovre in organ (1923), and by Edward Verheyden in harmony (1923). His father gave him his first counterpoint lessons, after which he continued his studies at the Royal Conservatory in Brussels with Paul Gilson and Paulin Marchand.
In 1925 he won a first prize in counterpoint for the Jury Supérieure de Musique.
At the same time he taught at several secondary institutes (1945-1953) and various music schools or academies in Antwerp: music theory in Berchem (1925-1966), harmony in Deurne (1939-1972), music theory, harmony and music history in Mortsel (1941-1966).
Between 1930 and 1932 he was even director of the music school in Eindhoven, and conductor of the local opera society (1930-1935).
Until 1944 he was very active as conductor of the choir of the St. John's Church, of the opera choir of the Royal Flemish Opera (1921-1922), of the fanfare 'De Broederband' in Antwerp (1926-1934), of the harmony 'De Kolpingszonen' in Bergen op Zoom (1936-1942) and during the war years of the Lieder evenings.
From 1934 to 1944 he was responsible for the music criticism in the 'Gazet van Antwerpen'.
After his retirement as a teacher, he withdrew completely from public music life.
In addition to several instrumental works, mainly vocal compositions, Ivo Mortelmans wrote with the accent on the song of art and the choral work, for which religion, nature and love for one's own country and people (in other words: the Flemish folk spirit) were his main sources of inspiration.
He has a pronounced preference for the smaller genre and a clenched formulation, stripped of empty constructions and extensions. Stylistically, he links up with romanticism, but, in so far as these are helpful and efficient, he mixes novelties in his style. Ivo Mortelmans has never concerned himself with any -ism. He wants to express honestly and uninhibitedly what affective, religious, poetic and Flemish lives in him. His work is characterized by an exalted expression and a harmonious solidity. Many of his compositions betray sincere and introverted religious inspiration and exude a subtle mysticism or a contemplative atmosphere. His literary talent also provides an emotional expressive, often delicate, text sound.

Ivo Mortelmans Geestelijk Concert


Music and work

Ivo Mortelmans :
CD : Met Stenen En Zand, Track Nr.4
Sub Tuum Praesidium (30 sec)

Ivo Mortelmans :
CD : O Sacrum Convivium
Tracks 1-2 : Due Cantici i.h. S. Mariae Virgins - 1. Te carioribus vocibus - 2. Beate es, Virgo Maria
Tracks 15-20 : Missa Jesu bone Pastor

All works and personal documents of Ivo Mortelmans were donated to the Study Centre for Flemish Musique by the inheritants.
Afterwards the file was registerd at the Library of the Departement of Dramatic Art, Music and Dance of the Highschool Antwerpen.
Main works :
- Missae :
     * Missa Dona nobis pacem (1927),
     * Missa Jesu bone Pastor (1930),
     * Missa Gregoriana (1934),
     * Missa in hon. Sanctae Coletae (1937),
     * Missa Benedicamus Domino (1945)
- Cantates :
     * Zon en zee (1931)
     * Heil U Maria (1943)
     * Priestercantate (1947)
     * Klokkencantate (1950)
     * De vier seizoenen(1954)
- Oratorium
     * Sint-Lutgart-Oratoiurm,
        voor solostemmen, vrouwen- of kinderstemmen en kamerorkest (1946)
- Open air works :
     * Antwerps glorie, voor koor en orkest (1948)
     * Het spel van Gods liefde, voor koor en orkest (1951)
- Chamber music :
     * Zomerwolken, voor viool en piano (1926)
     * In kerkschemering, voor viool en piano (1927)
     * Paaswake, voor piano (1930)
     * Boertige dans, voor viool en piano (1943)
     * Zes dansen, voor piano (162-1963)
     * Elegische Parafrasen, voor piano (1969-1974)
- Harmony :
     * Lodewijk Mortelmans herdacht (1968)
- Opera :
     * De krekel en de mier, korte sprookjesopera (z.j.)
- Choir works :
     * Klaar bloed en louter wonden (1932)
     * Hoe schoon de morgendauw (1932)
     * De Vlaamsche Tale (1939; 1950)
     * Aan O-L-Vrouw van het Scapulier (1944)
     * Een liedeken van blijdschap (1946)
     * Natuur (1946)
     * Triomftocht der zoekers (1948)
     * Aan Sinte-Cecilia (1949)
     * Het lied der bloemen (1951)
     * De hemelvaart van Maria (1952)
     * Het leven is een krijgsbanier (1954)
     * Drie Mariagezangen (1956)
     * Geestelijke Rondgang (1956-1957)
     * Laatste Groet (1960)
     * Gelijk de Anemoon (1965)
     * Adagio-koorcyclys (1959-1960)
     * Lied van de Zieleherder (1962)
     * Jezus ik ben gereed (1962)
- Orchestra :
     * Kerstballade (1958)
     * Koning Winters Dood (1930)
     * De Zwijger-bespiegeling (1933)
     * Het Dorp (1938)
.. and: prophane and religious lieder, piano compositions, organ works, two voices canons (1942), popular lieder works, choir works, motets.
Source : Algemene Muziek Encyclopedie : H.Heughebaert p.388