Klas Torstensson ‘Composer in Focus’ at De Doelen in 2018!

One of our most prominent composers, Dutch-Swedish Klas Torstensson, will be ‘composer in focus’ at De Doelen in Rotterdam in 2018. During this retrospective year many of his vibrant compositions will be performed at ‘portrait concerts’ in De Doelen.  

Concerts will include both recent and older – ‘classic’ – works, scored for (mostly) large ensemble.
The retrospective kicks off on 14 January: ‘The Birthday Party’.

Klas Torstensson‘sBirthday Party‘ contains two concerts and a dinner in the Stadsbrasserie. In the afternoon there is a semi-staged performance of ‘In grosser Sehnsucht‘, dedicated to and performed by soprano Charlotte Riedijk – her previous performance of the five characters was called by newspaper Trouw ‘astonishing‘. In the evening the Doelen Ensemble performs Sönerna and No Slash, and the combined version of these two: ‘Elliott loves bebop‘ (a Dutch premiere).

More info about ‘The Birthday Party

Article about Klas Torstensson

World premiere Jan-Peter de Graaff at the Zaterdagmatinee

At the concert of Saturday, January 13th the Residentie Orkest will perform the premiere of Jan-Peter de Graaff – ‘Le café de suit’ at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam

“Le café de nuit” is a 13-minute fantasia/nocturne for orchestra, based on the painting (with the same name) bij Vincent van Gogh, and the letters he wrote to this brother Theo during his stay in Arles, where he rented a studio above the café. In the letters, he describes this place as “a place where you can ruin yourself, go mad, commit crimes”. This subject really interested me as a composer as there is really a conflict within the concept of a café. Usually, one goes to a café to escape the ongoing world and everyday problems, to dance, to celebrate life and to drink and go drunk to immerse oneself in a different reality. However, there is a danger, as van Gogh states, as the café also influences the world outside. It is a place where the darkest side of human behaviour emerges. In the piece I tried to find this strange balance between joy and danger, between alertness (or even panic) and being drunk, between passion and truth.

More about the concert

Le Café de Nuit at Donemus

Featured composer Jan-Peter de Graaff 

Maxim Shalygin’s Lacrimosa or 13 Magic Songs

The Lacrimosa or 13 Magic Songs are a lamentation, man’s final prayer before Judgement. This prayer can at once be terse and show the various states of man: gleeful, repenting, fearful, lamenting, faithful… During the performance of the 13 Songs, the listener’s souls are supposed to pass through a series of excruciating, expressive stages and finally reach a catharsis….  

The Requiem has developed from the funeral mass and become widely popular as a secular type of sacred music. Arguably because of its subject matter, the genre hasn’t died during the 20th century; it has lived on, with works by Britten, Ligeti, Schnittke and Penderecki expressing how their authors longed for reconciliation with, and forgiveness from, the world and themselves.

The heart of the Requiem is the Dies Irae, well known for the words with which it opens but, thanks to Mozart, no less for its conclusive lines:
Ah! that day of tears and mourning,
From the dust of earth returning
Man for judgement must prepare him,
Spare, O God, in mercy spare him.
Lord, all-pitying, Jesus blest,
Grant them Thine eternal rest. Amen.

It is exactly this prayer for forgiveness and reconciliation that has won the Requiem its popularity. Although many Requiem varieties exist, to our knowledge no purely instrumental version has been composed yet. The Lacrimosa express an interesting and original view on the genre, in which violins replace human voices, sounding now as a prayerful chant, then as a malignant howl or a bird song.

Most importantly, the parts relay an alternating perusal of the text of Lacrimosa as it is — perhaps the most strikingly human, prayerful words that exist, asking God for redemption and mercy.

The Lacrimosa or 13 Magic Songs are a lamentation, man’s final prayer before Judgement. This prayer can at once be terse and show the various states of man: gleeful, repenting, fearful, lamenting, faithful… During the performance of the 13 Songs, the listener’s souls are supposed to pass through a series of excruciating, expressive stages and finally reach a catharsis. This direction determines the cycle’s dramaturgic structure. The aim is to transform an immediate, openly emotional response to powerful impressions — something most contemporary art refuses to deal with — into the musical form of the Lacrimosa. For all the varied techniques to be applied in the work, its emphasis is on feelings, its aspiration to capture the listeners’ minds, immersing them in the affect of each part. This idea can be realized only by a multi-voice, single-timbre ensemble of violins, which are at once a unity and a multitude, one soul and its many voices, a number of people struggling to come at peace with the world, one another, and silence…

Composer’s note

Writing music for the common 20th-century types of classical ensembles that comprise a variety of instruments has lost its appeal to me over the last couple of years. My musical forms tend to show a reduction to homogeneous instrumental compositions: the Marian Antiphons for 12 voices a cappella, the Insane Dances for saxophone quartet, Six Bagatelles for Two Violins, the Suite – Homage to Alfred Schnittke for three cellos, etc. Thus, I conceived of a cycle for a lifetime, entitled Similar. Its first chapter is to be the Lacrimosa or 13 Magic Songs  for seven violins.

Download the Flyer
Score at Donemus

19 January – Korzo, Den Haag
10 February – Kunsthuis Dat Bolwerck, Zutphen
13 February  – De Link, Tilburg

Helena Basilova presents: Alexander Basilov

Pianist Helena Basilova will present works written by her late father: pianist and componser Alexander Basilov (1946-2007). This concert will be an tribute to this composer who is still unknown in the Netherlands, who studied with Alfred Schnittke and lived in Moscow, Russia…  

Alexander Basilov (1946-2007) was a Russian composer and pianist who lived and worked in Moscow, Russia. Inspired by composers like Alfred Schnittke, Frederik Chopin, Sergei Rachmaninov and Rodion Shedrin, Alexander Basilov wrote over one hundred works, focusing on piano literature and vocal repertoire.

Additionally, he composed a large number of choir works, music-theatre plays and orchestral pieces. This very special concert features own daughter and pianist Helena Basilova who spent the last few years finding, researching and studying his compositions. She has also overseen publication of a selection of his chamber music works together with Donemus Publishing House.

Link to the concert

Alexander Basilov at Donemus

Read more….

Kulenty; Concerto Rosso – world premiere!

On December 3 Hanna Kulenty’s ‘Concerto Rosso’ will have its world premiere at the National Forum of Music, Main Hall, Wrocław (PL). Read the personal notes of Hanna on this impressive composition…  

Concerto Rosso’ (2017) is a sort of concerto grosso, because it was written for string quartet and string orchestra, especially for Atom String Quartet and Leopoldinum String Orchestra. I liked to name it ‘rosso’ for a good reason. It fits my new composition style that I came up with a few years ago, called ‘musique surrealistique’. In this style I not only try to ‘transform’ the nature and music conventions but above all the emotions connected with music… It is like drinking a good glass of red wine, after which you can also change a bit or transform… is it not? Of course this is a metaphor and I do not encourage you to get drunk while composing. I myself don’t do this, but what I try to do is to transform reality into my new composition technique. So far I manage to maintain a proper balance between content and form, and the musical language that I cultivate does not disturb (generally speaking) the harmony of the universe…
Concerto Rosso’ – although composed in strict measures – gives great possibilities for improvisation. Let me put it like this: I prefer to write exactly what I want to hear. From there you can move away, rather than doing it the opposite way: in a sense I am the architect of the idea where the musical material is more controlled by the performers. I myself improvise and play jazz too … It will be good!

(Hanna Kulenty, november 2017)

Info about the concert

FD Persoonlijk interviews Van Peursen

The FD Persoonlijk (Personal Magazine of the Dutch Financial Newspaper) placed an article on Davo van Peursen as one of the 3 portraits entrepreneurs in classical music….   

‘Every composer has a personal identity. If they extend that, there is room for everyone’, says Davo van Peursen, CEO of Donemus Publishing.

‘Mozart, Bach, Schubert: classical music of last centuries is known by many. Contemporary music is not that popular. Such a pity, because it deepens, widens, connects and above all: it holds us a mirror, because it is made in the time in which we live.

Read the article (Dutch)

Scholary edition of Mahler X

We recently released two interesting books on the subject made by Frans Bouwman: a scholarly transcription of all its manuscript pages as well as a new two piano arrangement. Read the review by Aart van der Wal…  

Seven fully-fledged performing versions of Gustav Mahler’s last unfinished Tenth symphony have now been published, of all which have been commercially recorded at least once. These efforts, together with recent books and articles on the subject, indicate an unabated interest in Mahler X.

A fundamental question remains: how much of the music in any performing version is authentically Mahler’s? Until now this question could not be answered, because a complete, scholarly, chronologically ordered, annotated and user-friendly transcription of the source material, which unequivocally records the extent to which Mahler completed his Tenth Symphony, was not available. Such a reference text is now finally presented here. It endeavours to provide an insight into the chronology of Mahler’s notation, to help to clarify the development of Mahler’s own ideas and thus provide a scholarly grounding upon which future editors may base their editorial decisions. The transcription, presented in the Donemus publication for the first time in its entirety, eschews any additions that did not originate from Mahler himself. It is intended as an easily accessible and comprehensible reference work for the music scholar, aspiring conductor or Mahler devotee.

To assess both the quantity and quality of the surviving material requires the examination of autograph materials dispersed among five different libraries as well as familiarity with five distinct facsimile editions. The availability of three electronic libraries facilitated easy access to the material. However thorough understanding of the sketches and drafts, particularly as regards their interrelationship, can be attained only after extensive study. The present transcription enables the reader to consult on one single page and with utmost clarity all of the existing material pertaining to any given bar of the Tenth Symphony……

Read more on Opus Klassiek

(© by Aart van der Wal)

Symphony Nº 10: Chronological Transcriptions of the Sketches, Short Scores and Orchestral Drafts / Gustav Mahler; Frans Bouwman, editor

Symphony Nº 10 / Gustav Mahler; arranged for two pianos by Frans Bouwman

Join our drink on January 12!

The Donemus Foundation invites you for our annual network drink at the Hague Tower. Meet composers, conductors, programmers etc…   

You’re welcome to join us from 16-19h at the suites on the 40th floor. Enjoy the view, meet your music friends and let us share some visions and plans for 2018. The Donemus Board has to share some news.

Please enter the form, so we can prepare your badge.


The Pessoa by Jan van de Putte on CD!

On March 5, 2016 Jan van de Putte was at the Zaterdagmatinee. A full program with his complete cycle of the Pessoa songs. All who were there remember the impressive performance. It was recorded successfully and there were plans for a CD release…  

It took 1,5 year to have the CDs completely finished. On november 30 the double CD will be presented at the Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ. After the première of a new work by Klaas de Vries by ASKO|Schönberg, the CD will be presented by Etcetera.

You’re welcome to buy your copy (for just € 23), meet the composer, the ensemble and conductor Reinbert de Leeuw. Soprano Keren Motseri and mezzo-soprano Barbara Koselj will sing the famous duet and Jan van de Putte will be available to sign the CD.

Donemus offers you a drink. Welcome.

Support new Etudes for Bass Clarinet

Please donate to the crowd-funding campaign by Fie Schouten for a new album of etudes for beginning bass clarinetist…   

Two years ago Fie Schouten’s edition of “Bass Clarinet Miniatures” was published. That book contains short solo works for professional bass clarinetists and advanced conservatory students. Following the success of that project, now Fie Schouten is inspired to publish a new book of etudes for the beginning bass clarinetist. With your support, this crowd-funding campaign will make that possible.

She collaborates with 8 composers who are excited about this project and happy to contribute new etudes to this book:

Oguz Büyükberber, Tobias Klein, Vanessa Lann, Georgia Nicolau, Joris Roelofs, Steffen Schorn, Petra StumpLinshalm, Lotta Wennäkoski

Donemus has already agreed to publish the book. The aim is to release it in September 2018 – at the start of the 3rd Basklarinet Festijn, an international bass clarinet festival in The Netherlands. The Amsterdam Fonds voor de Kunst is supporting this project too. Please consider a donation and see the rewards.

Crowd-funding at Voordekunst

More about Fie Schouten