“To announce, glance back, receive your comments – a little diary, with notes and comments”
It was an event that impressed all at the Slot Zeist on March, 24: the intensely beautiful first performance that Rosanne Philippens and Yuri van Nieuwkerk gave of my sonata for violin and piano, in a concert, itself both intense and beautifully programmed, that also included young composer Thomas Beijer’s exciting new piece ‘Motion Games’.
I was very happy with their playing, our collaboration, and the atmosphere at the concert that was so professionally organized by the volunteers of the Zeister Slotconcerten. The concert Foundation as well as the Municipality of Zeist had financially contributed to the commission. I therefore handed over the first copies of my score to Joke Leenders, responsible for culture in Zeist, and of course to the two people who energetically put into action the train of events leading to this concert, Ine van’t Grunewold en Ton Wachter. They in turn spoke kind words to me and the photograph clearly shows that I can scarcely bear the praise they so lavishly bestowed on me.
With a crowdfunding campaign Yuri and Rosanne gained financial support for recording that other magnificent piece written for them, Thomas Beijer’s Motion Games, which was on their Dutch Classical Talent 2013 concert programme. The resulting cd now contains both pieces written especially for them in this hectic period, my ‘Deep River’ sonata and Thomas’ Motion Games.
The cd is remarkable in several respects.
First of all for the playing, with total abandon and a musical élan that is always rooted in technical mastery and an acute and personal understanding of the music.
Then, without being preconceived, there is a strang unity in spite of large differences between Thomas and me in style, conception and background.
We both write with total sympathy for and deep knowledge of the piano (I as an amateur, Thomas as an impressively virtuoso concert pianist). Yuri clearly relishes in parts so obviously well conceived for his instrument.
We both clearly love rhythm, each in his own way, and Rosanne and Yuri throw themselves at this visceral aspect of our musics with the full power of their sonic personalities. The result is a performance that breaths the heat of passion without ever sounding forced or merely aggressive.
An interesting aspect we have in common is a very natural way of using jazz and popular music idioms. In my own case, this sometimes suggests ‘Cold Play meets Beethoven’ (I thank Rosanne for the suggestion, because I never listened to Cold Play), in Thomas’ case, Oscar Peterson haunted by Stravinsky’s ghost or Keith Jarret meeting Morton Feldman.
But what struck me most upon hearing the two pieces one after another is how the cd traverses a path of increasing mood swings that cumulate and are brought to a seemingly quiet ending that nevertheless resonates with all that came before.
The age differences clearly show, but somehow the result can be experienced as a dramatic whole.
If you are interested in obtaining the cd please contact me.
The photos on the cd-cover have been made by Iris Koppe.