Bram Van Camp, Belgian Composer of the Year 2020

Bram Van Camp has been elected Composer of the Year 2020. He receives this prize for his two compositions, Träume and Scherzo-Bagatelle. The Antwerp composer of contemporary classical music will receive not only the recognition, but also a financial prize awarded by Sabam for Culture…   

The independent jury praised Bram Van Camp for his very unique voice and for his accessible, yet far from easy, composing style. “Van Camp appeals to a wide audience without losing authenticity. Standing between the grandeur of the universally known violin concertos is no easy task. Van Camp succeeds miraculously by combining virtuosity with an original contemporary orchestration”, according to the jury. On the occasion of receiving this prestigious prize, presenter and lover of classical music Thomas Vanderveken spoke with the lucky winner (see down).
Träume was commissioned by Symfonieorkest Vlaanderen. The music is completely in function of the expression of romantic poetry, which makes the composition very lyrical. The harmony is also reminiscent of tonality, but within its own harmonic system, which also allows for dissonance.
Scherzo-Bagatelle was commissioned by the Queen Elisabeth Competition, intended for the semi-finals of the 2019 violin competition in Brussels. In this short, whimsical composition not only the violin virtuosity is addressed, but also musical skills are put to the test, including playing together with the pianist.

About the prize

Sabam for Culture is looking for the composer of contemporary classical music who has left his or her mark on the past year. The focus is on the creation of new compositions in 2019. The winner receives official recognition and a financial award of €5,000. Sabam is thus investing in the laureate’s career.

The winners are chosen by a five-member independent jury:

  • Michiel De Malsche (Composer and Vice-President COMAV)
  • Chloe Herteleer (Music programmer deSingel)
  • Filip Rathé (Artistic director and conductor SPECTRA)
  • Jeroen Vanacker (Artistic director concert hall Bruges)
  • Marie Paule Wouters (Musicologist, author and programme maker for radio and TV)

Website Sabam

Bram Van Camp at Donemus

Rick van Veldhuizen: recording of ‘unde imber et ignes’ released

Rick van Veldhuizen (1994) wrote unde imber et ignes at the behest of Manoj Kamps, the conductor of the 2020 tour of the Nederlands Studenten Orkest. The brief was to write a piece for soprano and orchestra to be featured among the behemoths that are Richard Wagner’s ‘Vorspiel und Liebestod’ and Igor Stravinsky’s ‘Le Sacre du Printemps’, with the theme of this intense evening – fittingly – being ‘ecstasy’…   

In close collaboration with conductor Manoj Kamps and soloist Katharine Dain, unde imber et ignes came into existence. The piece, on an original text by the composer, describes the mutual sexual yearning of the orchestra and the soloist, who engage in a courtship over the span of the piece. The soloist does not sing from a female perspective, but rather embodies a dark, universal undercurrent within human sexuality that is neither male nor female.

Some orchestra members start out in the hall, playing unusual percussion instruments such as rubber gloves, chains and duct tape or instrumental musique concrète, and the first song does not start until the orchestra is complete on stage. At that point, a titillating game starts between the vocal lines and the orchestra, who first assert themselves and in the end merge, ecstatically, into one mutant being.

During the ten days of rehearsal, a theatrical concept came together with input from the conductor, the soloist, the composer, and the orchestra itself. It involved a gradual change of appearance and costume for the orchestra and soloist to ‘merge’ not only musically but visually and viscerally.

As usual, Van Veldhuizen employs microtonal just intonation within an almost uncomfortably tonal framework, which renders the music both gutsy and elusive, and uses colourful and experimental instrumentation techniques.

‘I am beyond thankful to have worked so intensively with Manoj and Katharine – who apart from astounding musicians are wonderful human beings – as well as getting to know all the individual, talented members of the Nederlands Studenten Orkest. Together, and truly collaboratively, we put together more than a concert: it was an experience. It is an honour to have this visceral fantasy sung, acted and embodied so well.’

‘The evening’s stunner was Van Veldhuizen’s unde imber et ignes, who had indulged in the huge orchestra at his disposal. The ambitious and overflowing piece explored a myriad of effects: spatial placement in the hall, unorthodox percussion, massive tutti, beautifully elaborate soundscapes. In boisterous and somewhat bombastic lyrics the piece sang of sexuality beyond the norm, in a kind of theatrical courtship between orchestra and soprano Dain. Van Veldhuizen’s sonic imagination was fantastic, with a trio for metal tub, chain and water as a highlight.’

‘In the new, daring and successful piece by Rick van Veldhuizen [soprano Katharine Dain and conductor Manoj Kamps] were also in excellent form.’

Released by Donemus Records: Cor de Groot – Piano

In cooperation with DOCU Muziekproductie of Okke Dijkhuizen, Donemus released ‘Cor de Groot – Piano’. This album contains works by Dutch composers and is inspired by old Christmas songs… 

Cor de Groot (1914-1993) studied at the Amsterdam Conservatory with Ulfert Schults (piano) and Sem Dresden (composition). He graduated cum laude with a performance of his own piano concerto. The success of his first recitals soon led to invitations from the Concertgebouw Orchestra and other Dutch orchestras. In 1936, together with Emil Gilels and Yakov Flière, he was one of the winners of the International piano competition in Vienna, the first step towards a career that brought him to the most renowned concert halls in the world.

In the 1950s, Cor de Groot made several dozen LPs for HMV, Philips and RCA, including Beethoven’s five piano concertos. He was also a regular member of the jury of important European piano competitions. In 1959, a nervous disorder in his right hand prevented him from playing the piano. A year later he continued playing with his left hand, pursued a new interest and became a music director with the broadcasting company. He stopped playing the big concert stages, even after his right hand had healed. Instead, he made a wealth of radio recordings, rediscovered and recorded a large amount of unknown repertoire and tracked down historical recordings. Cor de Groot has always been strongly committed to the work of contemporary Dutch composers and was awarded the Johan Wagenaar Prize for his work.

In 1986 and 1987 Cor de Groot recorded for radio a selection of predominantly short pieces by Dutch composers, in some cases based on Christmas carols. In these miniatures we hear the inimitable piano playing of Cor de Groot, a combination of subtlety, lyricism, power and intensity. He used his own arrangement of Silent Night as the opening and completion of the programme. Cor de Groot reflected on the programme with the words: ‘Christmas carols have been used in some of the works, familiar and less familiar. Not complete everywhere, but recognisable’.

Maxim Shalygin: Angel

On December 15th, Merel Vercammen (Violin) and Maya Fridman (Cello) will perform the new work Angel by Maxim Shalygin. The outbreak of Covid-19 changes the way we think about a wide range of subjects, including the way we treat nature. This audiovisual work is an artistic view on relationship between man and nature, vulnerability, responsibility, past, present and future…   

Angel, including the audiovisual version, was created with the financial support of the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds & Cultuurmakersfonds. The online premiere is on 25th December.

Whereas in the twentieth-century wars were a great threat to mankind, in the twenty-first century that seems to be the way we deal with nature. Just over a hundred years ago, the First World War was a major source of the spread of Spanish flu. Against the expectations of many, this tragedy did not prevent a Second World War. Nowadays, the way we deal with nature and animals seems to be an important factor in the spread of Covid-19. In a globalised world in which animals are kept on a large scale by humans, and in which animals are transported all over the world, the next epidemic could start anywhere.

What if the way we deal with nature becomes a question of “to be or not to be” for mankind? What if we no longer have the chance to make the wrong choices in order to have a future?

Covid-19 has caused much trauma, hardship and unrest to billions of people around the world. At the same time, it also provides an opportunity to reflect on our own lives, think about what is important, and discover new ways in which we can reduce our impact on the planet. There is an opportunity to limit future pandemics and minimize the impact of the climate crisis.

With financial support of the Cultuurfonds, #Cultuurmakersfonds.

Produced by Shapeshift:
Maxim Shalygin – composer
Merel Vercammen – violinist
Maya Fridman – cello
Alice Lupin – designer clothing
Rob van den Broek – stand designer & psychologist
Alina Fedotova – visual art
Christian Van Der Kooy – camera
Lekdijk Recording – audio
Anya Reshetniak – project manager

More about the concert in TivoliVredenburg

More about Maxim Shalygin

The art of the sublime: Interview with Benjamin de Murashkin

Recently, the website of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra published an interview with Benjamin de Murashkin, on the occasion of the upcoming performance of his orchestral work LOGOS. Read below the excerpts from the interview…   

In September 2021, Jessica Cottis will conduct the Canberra Symphony Orchestra in Celestial Visions, a musical exploration of the cosmos. The program features LOGOS by Australian-Danish composer Benjamin de Murashkin, a musical take on quantum theory and the Big Bang.

Jessica first collaborated with Benjamin de Murashkin in 2016, when she conducted the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra’s performance of LOGOS. Ahead of the Australian premiere with the CSO, Jessica asks him about improvisation in classical music and the role of the arts in science.

How did LOGOS come about?

LOGOS was originally composed for a workshop that we as students at the Royal Danish Academy of Music had with the Copenhagen Philharmonic in 2010.

I had recently been studying Ligeti’s piano etudes and was struck by his use of processes to structure and develop the music. I rarely respond to music composed this way – yet, with Ligeti, while his technical ingenuity can be peeled away and examined layer by layer, the surface tells a crystal clear musical argument that even I can follow. I was inspired to try and see where this methodology could take my own music, which often relies on a more personal and intuitive approach. This manifested itself in LOGOS in what is essentially a series of three Fibonacci-sequence-based crescendos and accelerations.

Read the full article….

LOGOS in the Donemus Catalogue

Adam Łukawski: Hypnagogia

Donemus has released the recording of Adam Łukawski – Hypnagogia performed by the EXAUDI Vocal Ensemble, conducted by James Weeks…   

Adam Łukawski dedicated his work “Hypnagogia” performed by EXAUDI Vocal Ensemble to his friend and composer Alex Tay, who he met in London during studies at Guildhall School of Music & Drama. Since about a year Adam is developing a theory connected to Shepard tones (very specific kind of aural illusion) and Alex’s doctoral thesis is in general about illusion in music, so they could immediately find common language not only as friends but also as composers. Julia Szczygielska made a fantastic cover art for it referring to Escher-like tessellations.

Hypnagogia is a state of hallucination/illusion a human body experiences every night just before falling asleep; different visions, colours and shapes gradually leading us to the reality of dreams. This work, using the text asking questions about free will and chance, operates with different techniques like hocket and Shepard tones to achieve different aural illusions.

The poem with the same title is written in the sestina form: composed of six stanzas of six lines, followed by a stanza of three lines – “envoi”. There is no rhyme within the stanzas; instead, the sestina is structured throughout a recurrent pattern of the words that end each line, a technique known as “lexical repetition”. These words evolve together with the music of “Hypnagogia”, gradually changing their meaning and context, leading us to the dreamy moral of the work.


Everyone and no one, all at the same time;
immortal – expanding through different paths.
Hypnotised by chaos – images from dreams
about an old flock of birds in an endless
play: The wisest shepherds make their final choice
In the most monstrous moonshine of illusion

A child looks with passion at the illusion,
At the magic shop losing his sense of time.
When he’s called away, a future disappears
butterflies vanish from the flourishing paths.
Seasons may change, but his longing stays endless,
Premonitions always remain at his dreams.

A man exhausts time accomplishing his dreams
As he gets further, avoiding illusion
becomes trickier. – “Era of an endless rain…”
– stop: he pressed a button in a hollow time.
In the labyrinth of the numerous paths
this task is as easy as Erwin’s cat’s choice

Intelligence. It takes little for a choice
to matter – it comes first in a lucid dream.
I see the Burning Giraffe converting paths
with Chinese herbs. Artificial illusion
becoming a symbol of idyllic times –
collective minds programming their perfect end.

I hope for a dark blue rose in an endless
repeat: Consciousness of an atomic choice.
Steampunk retrospection, sexual music,
as in some European drama movie
on hackers starting a government of souls,
obeying an independent script of fate.

The final speech in superposed code of fate:
Poetry nearing silence denies an end
at the most expected illumination.
Digital anarchy gives another chance
teaching us the newest most exciting cult:
Making new words to extend reality.

When on the right paths and within quantum time,
Fortune is endless. Dive in the illusion
of a free choice, shed for the goldfinch of dreams.

Play-along Album for Bassoon by Chiel Meijering

Composer Chiel Meijering has written seven Albums for Bassoon and Electronics. Donemus has published the first score and released the recording…   

Chiel Meijering’s Happy Hours was performed by Vincent Martig during the event “Music for Empry Spaces”, a live stream concert from an empty Main Hall in Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ. This work marked the beginning of a series of compositions for bassoon and electronics. The first of seven Albums for Bassoon and Audio Tracks is now available at Donemus. Both the score and the soundtrack are available in Donemus webshop, so the bassoonists can play along with the audio. 

The full recording, with Kathleen McLean on the bassoon, is available on the label Donemus Crossovers at Spotify, Apple Music and many more digital platforms. The score includes a QR code to the digital release. This offers a great opportunity to bassoonists all over the world to listen to the version including the bassoon, as well as to play along themselves with the soundtrack offered with the score.

More Albums are in preparation, also in the version for (soprano and baritone) saxophone, as well as bass clarinet.


Link to the score in the Donemus Catalogue

Link to the Album on Apple Music

Oscar van Dillen – 12 Eludes, score and recording

Oscar van Dillen wrote 12 Eludes in all key signatures dedicated as a musical offering to Elise van Rosmalen-van Dillen. The score has been published and the audio is released on a number of digital platforms such as Apple Music and Spotify…

The title Elude is derived from the verb to elude = to avoid cunningly or adroitly (Penguin Reference 2001), which has as noun the word elusion. However, the composer chose to create for this music the new noun Elude, in assonance to Prelude and words like it, such as Postlude, Interlude etc. Therefore, as pre-lude means fore-play, inter-lude in-between-play, and post-lude means after-play, thus e-lude means outside-play. This music plays outside of and around tonal, modal and atonal systems, even outside a single style, and enters and leaves such musics at will, never completely bound to each set of formulas and conventions. It is precisely therefore that there are 12, each in its unique key signature, and not 24, as in keys (major and minor set apart), as is the case in similar keyboard collections by Bach, Chopin and Shostakovich. The 12 Eludes each have their own way of playing outside of mode and key, using a simple, technically mostly 2-voice based, setting.

The setting a technically 2-voice mostly, this leaves an open space in harmonic sound, because all redundant tones are left out. The overall sound created by the open intervallic structure of the work as a whole results in a transparent sound and a unique harmony. The contrapuntal score is written in a concise and precise way to achieve this openness and transparency. Moreover, the precise register placement of a wealth of pitches within the time-frame of each phrase, enables several parallel and simultaneous harmonic interpretations. The tonally trained ears may hear various tonal implications, whereas the more modally trained ears will be keener to pick up on some modal suggestions and meanings, all contained in this fully chromatic music. This polysemy is intentional and is what lies behind the original idea of the Eludes in the first place: a common reality for an audience, yet with a truly wide variety of experiences and interpretations, both emotionally and technically.

The score on purpose omits indications of tempo, dynamics, phrasing and pedalling; the performer instead is trusted with all these to decide. Contrary to his custom in his other scores, the composer left this open, feeling that in this particular work a capable individual interpreter’s choices, of course logically based on and connected to the note text itself, should be preferred. This modus operandi allows for a wider variety of possible performances and expressions.

The work was originally conceived for piano, but should with some registration adaptations certainly allow for performance by various keyboard instruments too, such as organ and harpsichord, and beyond that for accordion, and marimba or vibraphone. A piano version realized by the composer was released on streaming media at the time of publishing of this score.

In a certain way, this book consists of two parts: the 7 parts I-VII and then the 5 parts VIII-XII, both parts being of similar duration, even though the second part of this cycle is slightly longer than the first. Thus, for performance purposes also a half cycle can be chosen, as can of course an individual piece.

Listen on Spotify

Listen on Apple Music

Score in the Donemus Catalogue

The Art of Dutch Keyboard Music – Jacob Bogaart

Donemus is excited to bring the digital release of this wonderful anthology of Dutch keyboard works. This 8-CD box, produced in 2015, soon went out of stock and wasn’t available any longer. The box is now re-released at the label ‘Donemus Musicians’ Voice’. At certain platforms such as Primephonic, the listeners can read the booklet as well. Displayed on 138 pages in Dutch and English, the booklet gives a rich overview on Dutch keyboard music spanning over the last four centuries…   

An excerpt from the booklet: 

The typical, yet regrettable responses when high-quality Dutch compositions, whether from the near or distant past, are rescued from oblivion are ‘not bad’, or, the epitome of sarcasm: ‘untypically Dutch good’. Such qualifications are a clear indication of the popular belief that this country was musically of little consequence. The absurdity of it is that, in spite of the most wonderful record and CD productions, we still have insufficient knowledge of what we represent, and not just since the last century. 

The CD editions with works by Diepenbrock, Keuris, and Schat, the Residentie Orchestra’s record box with 400 years of Dutch music; or the rich catalogues of both Donemus and Attacca, have made unmistakably and ostensibly clear how frequently that so-called un-Dutch level is as Dutch as tulips and windmills. Nonetheless, there are still considerable gaps in the proffered repertoire of records, CDs and the like, as well as in the concert hall. The present edition of 400 years of Dutch keyboard music is, in a veritable relay race of recording premieres, a vast journey of discovery.

The structural neglect of Dutch music has imprinted on the populace a particularly one-dimensional image of its native music history. The holes in the cheese are nearly larger than the cheese that holds them! After Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, whose name is taught by the better schools as the ‘First Great Dutch Composer’ there was a lull of nearly three centuries. Then around 1890, the introverted classicist Alphons Diepenbrock emerged as the Second Grandmaster, praised to high heaven throughout his difficult life with accolades that could never sustain a great man. In the 20th century, the composer’s genealogy hopscotched from Willem Pijper and a bit of Henk Badings to Matthijs Vermeulen, past the Second World War to Rudolf Escher, Ton de Leeuw, Hans Kox, Peter Schat, Jan van Vlijmen, Tristan Keuris, Louis Andriessen, Theo Loevendie, and a handful more of Dutch Masters whose significance only vaguely sinks in. 

There is no national family tree, no linear evolution in the Austro-German tradition constructing a line from Bach to Beethoven via Schumann, to Brahms and Schönberg, or by way of a second developmental line from Bach to Beethoven and Wagner to that same Schönberg, channeling the two currents to that one riverbed in which the arts can flow orderly from A to B. Our awareness of historic and stylistic connections between composers and their oeuvres is rudimentary, and composers’ knowledge of their hinterland is so fragmentary, with their orientation to the foreign often so strong, that it has been impossible for a national tradition ever to emerge – one Willem Pijper clone or ‘Haagse school’ does not fill the bill. Dutch orchestras and ensembles seldom perform Pijper, Vermeulen, Schat, or Loevendie, let alone Verhulst, Zweers, or Diepenbrock. In general, a Dutch composer exists only until he breathes his last: of the masters and journeymen who reared their heads in the no-man’s land presumed between Sweelinck and Diepenbrock, we no longer have any inkling. The most auspicious examples have simply become street names near the Concertgebouw: Van Breestraat and Verhulststraat. 

It is not surprising that Dutch composers, even the best, are angry: angry at their country and often at each other. In 1911, Matthijs Vermeulen declared, “Dutch composers, thou art worth no more than simple organ-grinders – thou art the puppets in a Punch and Judy show, old trumpets, dilapidated timpanies.” In 1949, Henriëtte Bosmans writes to that same Vermeulen that ‘the best a Dutch artist has to offer perishes if he stays in Holland, where he is denied possibilities, where he is renounced, where others try to convince the audience to deny his existence.’ That is the disadvantage of being a ‘village’. Everyone is mad at everyone else, and it’s always the neighbor’s fault. After all, how could your next door neighbor possibly be so great? 

If this is the situation regarding concert music, how difficult must it be for the keyboard department? The organ repertoire can still rely on the church, but the fate of Dutch harpsichord and piano music is lamentable. Up and until the 18th century, it functioned as salon music but once concert hall music comes into existence in the 19th century, Dutch solo repertoire became second choice. In piano recitals both before and after the Liszt era, the master pianists played Beethoven, Schumann, Brahms, and their own compositions, but no obscure Dutch fare, unless they themselves happen to be composers. Rival concert pianists such as Leander Schlegel and the virtuoso Dirk Schäfer could prove their own composing talents in the concert hall, but after their deaths, their names sunk into oblivion even though they should be household words today. 

Illustrative for the situation is that for pianist Jacob Bogaart, the initiator of this edition of four centuries of Dutch keyboard music, collecting the repertoire was an archeological exercise that, notwithstanding a number of lengthy intervals, kept him out of mischief for three decades. The bulk of the material that he wrested from the claws of obscurity lay blanketed with dust, but what he excavated from libraries and archives is the concealed history of a music culture with no significant evolutionary gaps. There was indeed life after Sweelinck; there was Dutch baroque music for keyboard instruments, classicists who composed sonatas, and romanticism of a certain specific gravity. These outweigh the endless parade of followers whom Eduard Reeser in his book Een eeuw Nederlandse muziek (A century of Dutch music, ed.) spurns with a disparaging shake of the head, bestowing restrained clemency on the one rare bird that dared soar above the rest. 

But how important exactly is this insight? Well actually, as important as the music itself of course, which in many cases is of a decent caliber. But even a repertoire of a less exalted quality can have a specific charm. Van Bree’s competently created salon compositions reveal an upright citizen’s contentment which is as sociologically interesting as an audible complement to Hildebrand’s Camera Obscura. This was art from the Dutch middle class of 1830: contented, slightly fawning, not too complex. His Fantaisie is a Dutch image of the era, making it fascinating material by mere dint of its existence. 

The relatively low threshold character of a keyboard instrument as a means for expressing oneself makes the keyboard literature an interesting hunting ground for any anthologist searching for hidden treasures. The road from dream to reality is an obvious one. Those keys lie there waiting, unhampered by any instrumental technique required to make them resonate if one were so inclined, and without the length of a symphony which exceeds the arm’s-length of inspiration. It is practically an identical conversion from resonance to structure. In this domain, even the lesser master has a great chance of shaking off his shackles. Listen to the wondrously feathery fugue from Reincken, a brief miracle, a stone age Mendelssohn. Bogaart says, “I’ve seen other works of his….they don’t even come close.” But the greatest treasures in this edition are more than a single highlight; there is nothing diminutive about Leander Schlegel’s Der arme Peter or the glowing Sonate Inaugurale from Dirk Schäfer, who effortlessly maintains the same high level in his Acht klavierstukken and in his Interludes. These were men with literally, an enormous grasp. 

This unique keyboard project of Jacob Bogaart’s had its origin in 1980, when he was approached by Sieuwert Verster, for an exposition of art from circa 1900. Sieuwert Verster is a programmer and arts entrepreneur and the founder of Attacca Records and also managing and artistic director of the Orchestra of the 18th Century. “The question was whether I knew of any suitable music for that program.” Joint research in ‘Het Gemeentemuseum’ (the Municipal Museum, ed.) in The Hague revealed stacks of photocopies of unusual discoveries and led to a record with works by Dirk Schäfer, Leander Schlegel, Alphons Diepenbrock, and Jan Brandts Buys. Edu Verhulst, head of the classical music department of the Dutch Broadcasting Company at the time, subsequently asked whether Bogaart would like to record Henriëtte Bosmans’ Concertino, after which Schäfer’s Klavier Quintet was also recorded in the Dutch broadcasting capital, Hilversum. 

At the beginning of the 90’s, the NCRV radio network finally suggested a series of programs dedicated to Dutch music. Together with musicologist Leo Samama and a number of piano colleagues, Bogaart compiled and recorded a series of broadcasts of Dutch keyboard music from the early 19th century up through the present time. 

After that, he was more or less forced to continue his quest on his own. After more than thirty years, at the end of the odyssey, there are more than hundred twelve compositions from fifty composers, from Sweelinck to Hamburger, slightly more than had been foreseen, immortalized on eight CDs. Originally, Bogaart could only resort to his recordings and those of the NCRV radio. “The rest”, as he calls it with cardinal understatement, “I’ve been collecting over a period of about eight years”, and on his conditions. “I wanted to compile my own anthology of music from all the eras in which the keyboard – harpsichord, organ or piano – played a role.” He had no specific objective insight as the final goal, having not even considered a CD-edition at first. “But it kept taking on more serious form and finally someone said, ‘this is turning into something extremely interesting.’” At that point in time, there was enough material for five CDs. “But then there was too much missing from the 18th century, and I felt I should reserve an entire CD just for the harpsichord and organ music from the 16th and 17th centuries, even though I had no idea what was still to be discovered in that area. After a lengthy search with the help of Frits Zwart from the Dutch Music Institute, the Music Library of the Broadcasting Company, and two organist friends, we indeed found music that had never been recorded, among others, pieces by Georg Berff and Gisbert Steenwick.” 

At the outset, a complete edition was not the goal. Criteria of quality, taking into account all the whims of personal taste, weighed heavier than historiographic motives. Bogaart does not wish to be the champion of the untenable. For example, he recorded only the excellent first movement of Gerrit Jan van Eijken’s Sonata, as he felt the other movements were so inferior to the level attained in the first movement, that the memory of van Eijken would be tainted. “I certainly don’t prefer it, but I feel it’s justified.” Diepenbrock’s short, but an only piece for piano, his character piece Avondschemer (Twilight, ed.) is not on an even par with his songs, but it is still a Diepenbrock, “so it deserves to have relatively more attention paid to it.” 

Bogaart did not wish to lay a cordon sanitaire around the German immigrants who began to take the national stage starting in the 18th century. Excluding someone like Wilms would in fact be a historical blunder, considering that the composer from Witshelden wrote Wien Neêrlands Bloed, Holland’s national anthem from 1817 to 1932. 

Moreover, he performs all the pieces, including the earliest ones on piano, although in a number of instances in which no instrument is indicated, he could have had recourse to the organ or harpsichord, instruments on which he is equally accomplished. Though opinions may differ as to the legitimacy thereof, he allows himself the freedom of choice. 

Bogaart emphasizes that it is not a scientifically-supported anthology. He navigated through the centuries on intuition, ‘his own parameters’, judging his discoveries by their particular added value, his affinity to the piece, and a certain sense of justice. “Does it do anything to me, can this be of any use to me? Do I have anything to add to it? Has it been played before? Then I probably will not play it, although I have not always been completely consistent.” In addition, Bogaart has obtained diversity by alternating larger and smaller forms, with shorter pieces next to longer ones, Nocturnes and Mazurkas next to Sonatas. Thus we have as a result a grand cultural deed of personal merit, a battle-cry to combat the culture of forgetting.

Download the Booklet here


Highlighted concerts at November Music

The well known festival November Music showcases the prominent composers of our time. Not to mention top-notch ensembles, jazz & world pioneers, sound installations, and interdisciplinary concerts. November Music takes place from 6 through 15 November at various locations in the Dutch city of ’s-Hertogenbosch. Ticketsale for November Music 2020 has started, but because of the COVID situation, ticket availability is limited…   

Saturday, November 7th – Huis73

12.30h and 16.00h: René Samson / Mathilde Wantenaar / Max Knigge – We’ll Never Let You Down by Doris HochscheidFrans van Ruth and Mattijs van de Woerd

An opera dedicated to the unique life of the legendary cellist Jacqueline du Pré. The Surinamese-Dutch composer René Samson (1948-2019) expressed her dramatic life in an inspired mini opera. His We’ll never let you down is about beauty, friendship and oblivion. An intimate musical theatre work on which René Samson, a pupil of Leo Samama and Klaas de Vries, worked until just before his sudden death in 2019. Read more…

Sunday, November 8th – Huis73

12.30h and 14.00h: Jan-Peter de Graaff – Rimpelingen by Maya Fridman and Carlos Marin Rayo

During this concert, the cello will be in the spotlight, and works by one of the most talented young Dutch composers will be performed. Jan Peter de Graaff will have a reprise of his cello concerto Rimpelingen in a new version for cello and piano.


Sunday, November 8th – Huis73

15.30h and 17.00h: Saskia Venegas and more performed by Maya Fridman

As soon as cellist Maya Fridman enters the stage and crawls behind her cello, something magical takes place. The concerts of young Dutch-Russian cello diva are a total spectacle in which musical performance, instrumental control and pure charisma go hand in hand. ‘Maya has the unique talent to search for the deeper intention of music, and she translates this into a powerful emotional performance’, says Maxim Shalygin, a composer with whom Fridman works closely together. Now she will perform works by Saskia Venegas, Wilma PistoriusKaveh Vares and more…


Tuesday, November 10th – Verkadefabriek

21.00 – 21.3h: Sarah Neutkens & Dutch Saxophone Octet

Sarah Neutkens is a composer, pianist, model and artist. She makes minimalist, contemporary music that she publishes through her own label. She has her piece September performed by four members of the Nederlands Saxofoon Octet. The piece, inspired by the onset of early autumn and the melancholy of late summer, consists of four movements, each with a different character.


Thursday, November 12th – Verkadefabriek

18:45h & 21.30h: Celia Swart – Elevation of self-validation by Kluster5

The perceived reality is coloured differently for each composer. Celia Swart experiences an alternative reality in all the apps on her phone, while Alexandre Kordzaia discovered the different layers of his perception of reality as he grew up in the troubled Georgia of the nineties. Both composers wrote half an hour’s work for which Kluster5 is extended with drum pads and midi keyboards, among other things. Under the direction of director Peter Leung, music, visuals and a subtle personal direction are fused into one work of art.


More info about November Music