“De Staat,” which is Dutch for “The Republic,” is a 35-minute setting of several of Plato’s texts about music and politics for a quartet of amplified female voices and an industrial-strength ensemble of brass, electric guitars, winds and pianos. Composed between 1972-76, it is a fabulously high energy meeting of Stravinskian primitivism, funky American bebop and ritualistic Indonesian modalities. It is a masterpiece, emphatically one of the best works of the early era of Minimalism.
Plato’s writings about music go with Adorno’s about jazz. You read them and seriously wonder how a great analytic mind could make such bizarre evaluations and see such subversive evils lying hidden behind the tones.