On April 11 the Wassenaar Vocaliter will perform the impressive Arnhemsche Psalm of Herman Strategier, written on the occasion of the 10 year anniversary of the liberation of Arnhem. And on April 15 and 22 the Einklang-Philharmonie will perform the Accordeon-Konzert with Julius Schepansky as soloist…
During the 2nd world war wounded English soldiers asked to hear Psalm 91 (Vulgate 90). This was the starting point for Jan Engelman (1900-1972) for his story about the tragic events at the Battle of Arnhem in 1944. Engelman wrote the text of the Arnhemsche Psalm.
Herman Strategier (1912-1988) says: “The text of the Arnhemsche Psalm calls for music. Every composer would be privileged to write music on this lyrics “.
For Herman Strategier the commission by the city of Arnhem to compose a major work on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the liberation of the city as very honorable. Strategier was very involved in the events of September 1944; he was evacuated with his family, as were many others, and had to leave everything. Strategier has always regarded the work as one of his best and most precious works. The text of Jan Engelman inspired him deeply. He was personally involved in the war in another way as well, which had a great impact on his composition: his only brother was arrested during the war and died close to the liberation day, in the Neuengamme camp.
The work consists of three parts, each of which is finished by the choir with four psalm verses. Between the psalm verses, the soloists tell about the events surrounding the liberation of the city. According to Strategier, the “Arnhemsche Psalm”, in which only occasional local situations are mentioned, could serve as an epic about the downfall of every city, anywhere in the world. And thus the Arnhem Psalm gets one universal character for every kind of memorial and liberation.
Donemus and the Herman Strategier Foundation worked on a new edition of the score and parts.
Performers on April 11: Simone Riksman, Noa Frenkel, Gerben Houba, Robbert Muuse, Hans van Hecthen and Conductor Frank de Groot.