Martijn Padding: Swift, Grey and Spacious; Cello Concerto Nº 2

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This month, Martijn Padding will be in the spotlight of two prominent Dutch festivals: contemporary music festival ‘Dag in de Branding’ on October 24-25 in The Hague, and Cello Biennale 2020 later in the month, in Amsterdam…   

Martijn Padding’s cello concerto ‘Swift, Grey and Spacious’ commissioned by the Cello Biënnale 2020 will be performed at the ‘Dag in de Branding’. The piece consists of two main parts – Swift and Spacious– hinged together by the shorter Grey, and is dedicated to Canadian cello virtuoso Matt Haimovitz. Padding prefers to work closely together with the musicians he’s writing for, which in this case was made more difficult by the corona crisis.

Still, Matt Haimovitz was able to demonstrate how, with a Styrofoam cup between the strings, he was able to screech and growl in the first movement like the late Jimi Hendrix – in contrast to the intimate and lyrical second movement. A distinctive feature of this cello concerto is the fact that the soloist can choose to either play the cadenza as written by the composer or play it as an improvisation on the basis of a set of construction kit musical formulas.

Martijn Padding is versatile, inventive, original and virtuoso in his instrumentations. ‘His work is transversal, headstrong and has an unmistakable Dutch sound, in which Padding always gives his own twist to tradition’, according to the jury that awarded composer Martijn Padding the oeuvre prize of the Johan Wagenaar Foundation during the 42nd edition of Dag in de Branding in 2016. A verdict that recently received acclaim: this summer he received the Andreas Medal from the municipality of Amsterdam for his merits for the city.

Concert Festival Dag in de Branding

Concert Cello Biennale

Swift, Grey and Spacious at the Donemus catalogue