Monday, 2 May 2016

Frans Waltmans Advice Support Juror Musician



UPDATE April 2016


Frans Waltmans is a musician (piano), musicologist and an international juror. He studied at the Maastricht Conservatorium (NL), at the Catholic University Leuven (BE), and the Ghent University (BE), particularly focused on contemporary music and music psychology.
Master of Arts Musicology (Catholic University Leuven - BE)
Musician (Conservatory Maastricht - NL)

+ advice / support in artistic management
+ author of articles about music, CD and Work reviews etc. ( Articles in this blog may serve as an example)
+ juror a.o. (2011-2016)


+ president jury in the 1st and 2nd Choir-CD Award 2011 - 2013 (NL)
+ artistic director of Kuno Concerts 2012 Voerendaal (NL)
+ music advisor 2013 - 2016 of VNK - Limburg (NL), a federation of 1.100 choirs
+ invitation to be president jury in Filadelfia Int. Choir Competition (IT) 2013 and 2014
+ juror of Foothills Chorale Composition Competition 2011 South Carolina (USA)
+ juror in the 1st Florence International Choir Festival 2012 (Italy).
+ invitation to be a juror in International Music Competition San Remo 2012 (Italy)
+ juror in 2nd Int. Competition for Composers (Piano) 2013, Premio "Maria Grazia Vivaldi", Città di Montalto Ligure (Italy)
+ juror in 1st Int. Composition Competition for Piano 2014 "Città di Albenga" Savona (IT)
+ president jury in the 3rd Choir-CD Award 2016 (NL)


E: info@waltmans-artists.com


www.facebook.com/frans.waltmans

Friday, 29 April 2016

Music and Concert Managements in Germany



Koelnkonzert Bergisch Gladbach www.koelnkonzert.de.
Konzertdirektion Schmid Hannover London Berlin www.kdschmid.de.
Artists Management Kocyan Berlin www.kocyan.de.
Bröhl Artists and Concerts  Berlin www.artistsandconcerts.de.
Konzert Direktion Adler Berlin www.musikadler.de.
Konzertagentur Marianne Böttger Berlin www.boettger-berlin.de.
Berliner Konzertagentur 3-Klang www.agentur3-klang.de.
Konzertdirektion Andrea Hampl Berlin www.konzertdirektion.de.
Salinas Musik Berlin http://www.profsonstage.com/managements/1296/salinas_musik_management.
Impresariarat Sonia Simmenauer Berlin www.impresariat-simmenauer.de.
Berliner Konzertagentur Monika Ott www.berlinkonzert-ott.de.
Konzertdirektion Beatrice Hörtnagel www.hoertnagel.de.
Reimann Berlin www.cm-reimann.de.
Musik Management Uhde & Harckensee Berlin www.uhmm.de.
Karsten Witt Musik Management Berlin www.karstenwitt.com.
IMG Artists www.konzertdirektion-lee.de.
Künstler Agentur BJM Düsseldorf www.agentur-bjm.de.
Artists International Köln www.artists-international.de.
Martin Müller Konzertdirektion Ennigerloh-Ostenfelde www.kdmueller.de.
Pro Arte Frankfurter Konzertdirektion www.proarte-frankfurt.de.
Rudolf Goette Konzertdirektion Hamburg www.goette.de.
Künstlersekretariat Rolf Sudbrack Hamburg  www.sudbrackmusik.de.
MusiContact Egbert Zinner Hamburg www.musicontact.de.
Schmidt Konzert Hamburg www.schmidtkonzert.de.
Alexandra Heinz Artists Hamburg www.ah-artists.de.
Daniela Wiehen Hamburg www.wiehen.de.
Künstlersekretariat Astrid Schoerke Hamburg www.ks-schoerke.de.
Dagmar Körner Hepberg www.konzertagentur-koerner.de.
Konzert Künsterler Agentur Jens Becker Herdecke www.beckerkonzert.de.
Meister Konzerte Kiel www.meisterkonzerte-kiel.de.
Konzert Büro Andreas Braun Köln www.konzertbuero-braun.de.
PR2 Classic Köln www.pr2classic.de.
Rosenthal Musik Management Leipzig www.rmm-leipzig.de.
Müller & Pavlik Artistic Management Basel (CH) http://www.artisticmanagement.eu/.



Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Artists Managements in the Netherlands and Belgium

UPDATE April 2016

Interartists Amsterdam (NL) www.interartists.nl.
Brinks Artists Amsterdam (NL) www.brinksartists.nl.
Riaskoff Amsterdam (NL) www.riaskoff.nl.
Weinstadt Antwerp (BE) www.concerts-weinstadt.com.
Arien Artists Ghent (BE) www.arien-artists.com.
Brussels Int. Artists Management (BE) www.biam.com.
Clara Musica Jambes (BE) www.claramusica.com.
Tina de Swart  Nieuw Vennep (NL) www.tinadeswart.com.
Effacta Haarlem (NL) http://www.effacta.nl.
Impulse Art Management Amsterdam (NL) www.impulseartmanagement.nl.
Ivy Artists Den Haag (NL) www.ivyartists.com.
Sorek Artists Den Haag (NL) Berlin (DE) www.sorekartists.com.
Kamerconcerten Amsterdeam (NL) www.kamconcerten.nl.
Tact 4 Art Amsterdam (NL) Berlin (DE) www.tact4art.com.
Herzberger Artists Nijkerk (NL) http://www.herzberger-artists.com.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Meeting VNK-Limburg (NL) and Chorverband NRW (DE)




Picture Meeting VNK-Limburg (NL) and Chorverband Nordrhein-Westfalen (DE)
Duisburg November 2015

Monday, 12 January 2015

Music Organizations in Europe

UPDATE April 2016

THE NETHERLANDS


DONEMUS AMSTERDAM Dutch Documentation Centre for Contemporary Music www.donemus.nl.
DUTCH SONG DATABASE from Middle Ages to 20. Century + audio mp3 www.liederenbank.nl.
GAUDEAMUS AMSTERDAM Excellent portal site to the music world www.gaudeamus.nl.
HUYGENS-FOKKER FOUNDATION AMSTERDAM Centre for Microtonal Music www.huygens-fokker.org.
GENOOTSCHAP NEDERLANDSE COMPONISTEN www.geneco.nl.
JAPANS CULTUREEL CENTRUM SHOFUKAN ROTTERDAM www.shofukan.nl.
JOODSE COMPONISTEN UIT HET INTERBELLUM www.joodsecomponisten.nl.
CONSERVATORIUM AMSTERDAM Information foreign students www.cva.ahk.nl.
KONINKLIJK CONSERVATORIUM DEN HAAG www.koncon.nl.
THE ROYAL CONSERVATOIRE THE HAGUE Information foreign students www.koncon.nl.
MUSIC CENTER FRITS PHILIPS EINDHOVEN concert hall www.muziekcentrum.nl.
MUSIC CENTER THE NETHERLANDS -Donemus/Gaudeamus/Kamervraag- www.muziekcentrumnederland.nl.
MUZIEK CENTRUM NEDERLAND www.muziekcentrumnederland.nl.
RAAD VOOR CULTUUR vh. Raad voor de Kunst adviesorgaan Nederlandse regering www.cultuur.nl.
SAINT BENEDICT ABBEY MAMELIS selling all plain-chant books www.benedictusberg.nl.
STICHTING EUREGIO ZANGPROJECTEN - KOORCD.NL http://koorcd-sez.blogspot.com.
TALENT-AID INTERNATIONAL for young musicians www.talent-aid.org.
UNIVERSITY OF AMSTERDAM department Musicology www.uva.nl.
UNIVERSITY OF UTRECHT department Musicology www.uu.nl.
WMDC - WORLD MUSIC AND DANCE CENTRE ROTTERDAM www.wmdc.nl www.codarts.nl.



BELGIUM



ADRIAEN WILLAERT FOUNDATION 16. century composer www.adriaenwillaert.be.
ALAMIRE FOUNDATION International Centre for the Study of Music in the Low Countries www.alamire.com.
CEBEDEM BRUSSELS Belgian Documentation Centre for Contemporary Music www.cebedem.be.
CRFMW Centre de Recherche et de Formation Musicales de Wallonie www.crfmw.be.
DAVIDSFONDS Institute Cultural Education www.davidsfonds.be.
FLANDERS MUSIC CENTRE BRUSSELS www.muziekcentrum.be.
FORUM DES COMPOSITEURS Wallonie-Bruxelles www.compositeurs.be.
INSTITUTE FOR LIVING VOICE www.instituteforliving voice.be.
IPEM GHENT Institute for Psychoacoustics and Electronic Music www.ipem.ugent.be.
ISCM-FLANDERS BRUSSELS Contemporary Music in Flanders www.iscm.vlaanderen.be.
LES ATELIERS DE MUSIQUE ANCIENNE NAMUR www.musiqueancienne.be.
LOGOS FOUNDATION GHENT Experimental Music in Flanders www.logosfoundation.org.
MATRIX LEUVEN New Music Documentation Centre www.arts.kuleuven.be/matrix.
KONINKLIJK CONSERVATORIUM BRUSSELS www.kcb.be.
MUSIC INSTRUMENT MUSEUM BRUSSELS World famous collection www.mim.fgov.be.
OORGETUIGE All info about contemporary music concerts in Belgium www.oorgetuige.skynetblogs.be.
ORPHEUS INSTITUUT GHENT www.orpheusinstituut.be.
UNIVERSITY OF LEUVEN www.arts.kuleuven.be/musicology/musicology.



GERMANY



BEETHOVENHAUS BONN digital archive, museum, library etc. www.beethoven-haus-bonn.de.
EARLY MUSIC DEPARTMENT at Staatliche Hochschule für Musik Trossingen www.mh-trossingen.de.
FBZNM Fortbildungszentrum für Neue Musik Lueneburg www.neue-musik-lueneburg.de.
FORUM ARTIUM Norddeutsches Studienzentrum für musische Bildung www.forum-artium.de.
European Live-Electronic Centre Lüneburg www.neue-musik-lueneburg.de.
IFNM BERLIN Institute contemporary music www.ifnm-berlin.de.
MIZ German Music Information Centre www.miz.org.
MUSIKMESSE FRANKFURT www.musik.messefrankfurt.com.
NEUE SCHUBERT-AUSGABE www.schubert-ausgabe.de.
ROBERT SCHUMANN NETZWERK www.schumann-portal.de.
SCHUMANN ZWICKAU www.schumannzwickau.de.
ZENTRUM MUSIK 21 Niedersaechsische Gesellschaft für Neue Musik Lueneburg (DE)
www.zentrum-musik21.de.



FRANCE



CDMC PARIS Centre de Documentation de la Musique Contemporarine www.cdmc.asso.fr.
CERIMM Centre Européen de Recherche pour l'interprétation des Musiques Médiévale www.royaumont.com.
CIRMA Centre Itinérant de Recherche sur les Musiques Anciennes - Moissac (F)
www.organum-cirma.fr.
FEVIS PARIS Fédération des Ensembles Vocaux et Instrumentaux Spécialisés www.fevis.com.
FRANCE FESTIVALS PARIS Fédération Française Festivals Internationaux
www.francefestivals.com.
FUTURS COMPOSÉS Collectif pour création musicale contemporaine en ile-de-france www.futurscomposes.fr.
IRCAM PARIS Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique www.ircam.fr.
JEUNES TALENTS PARIS Site for promising young musicians www.jeunes-talents.org.
LIEU Le Lieu dit...European Instrumental Laboratory by Ensemble Aleph www.ensemblealeph.com:80/lelieudit.html.
RÉFÉRENCES MUSICOLOGIE.ORG La Gazetta musicale www.musicologie.org.
REMA Réseau Europeén de Musique Ancienne, European Network Early Music www.rema-eemn.net.
TEMPÓRA www.tempora-site.org.



UNITED KINGDOM



 BTP A London Sinfonietta initiative with young British composers
www.londonsinfonietta.com.uk.
CEMPR Centre for Early Music Performance and Research www.music.bham.ac.uk/cempr.
EARLY MUSIC SHOW Broadcast radio BBC www.bbc.co.uk.
JEWISH CULTURE AND EDUCATION www.spiroark.org.
SOUND AND MUSIC Organisation for new music and sound www.soundandmusic.org.
SOUTH WEST EARLY MUSIC FORUM www.swemf.org.uk.
ZARZUELA www.zarzuela.net.



IRELAND



SPATIAL MUSIC COLLECTIVE DUBLIN www.spatialmc.net.
LCMS. Louth Contemporary Music Society since 2006 www.louthcms.org.



ITALY



A.Gi.Mus Associazione Giovanile Musicale Roma www.agimus.it.
Associazione ASCANIO MAYONE Napolitano Organista (1565-1627) www.ascaniomayone.org.
NOVURGIA Arte e Musica Contemporanea www.novurgia.it.
CEMAT Ente de Promozione Music Art Technology www.cematitalia.it.
SIMC Società Italiana di Musica Contemporanea www.simc-italia.it.



POLAND



ACTE PREALABLE Promoting Polish Music and Artists www.acteprealable.com.



CZECH REPUBLIC



KONVERGENCE Young Composers' Association Prague www.konvergence.org.



PORTUGAL



CALOUSTE GULBENKIAN FOUNDATION Music Department www.musica.gulbenkian.pt.



AUSTRIA



ARGE KOMPONISTENFORUM MITTERSILL Promoting 21st Century Music www.kofomi.com.
DIGITAL ARCHIVE ARNOLD SCHÖNBERG Arnold Schönberg Center www.schoenberg.at.
DIGITAL MOZART EDITION International Foundation Mozarteum Salzburg http://dme.mozarteum.at.
EINKLANG Documentation Komponistenforum Mittersill www.einklangrecords.com.
FRANZ SCHUBERT INSTITUT www.schubert-institut. at.



RUSSIA



INTER ASPECT St. Petersburg www.interfestplus.spb.ru.



SWEDEN



VICC Visby International Centre for Composers www.centreforcomposers.org.



SWITZERLAND



Paul Hindemith Foundation Blonay www.hindemith.org.



ESTONIA



Music Festivals in Estonia, an overview www.festivals.ee.



Friday, 9 January 2015

Quotes Young Contemporary Composers

Quotes Young Composers (from  my Interviews)


- Felipe Lara (Brazil) … The 20
th century is a great example of the triumph of individual systems over collective ones…


- Svitlana Azarova (Ukrain) …I do not see any musical crisis at all...


- Juan Manuel Abras (Argentina) …I believe that composing is, in part, writing what you ´remember´. The musical work already exists, like a Platonic Idea…


- Linda Buckley (Ireland) …From a very young age I was fascinated by sound, it always seemed so magical to me, full of mystery and possibility…


- Christophe Bertrand (France) …Pour moi, un véritable compositeur est un compositeur qui a su réinterpréter les evolutions et créer un style propre: le sien…


- Christian Onyeji (Nigeria) …I would like the rich and well-known composers in Europe and America to make some contributions to the development of composition in Africa….


- Sarah Nemtsov (Germany) ...Feelings and emotions are most important for my music…


- Aleksander Nowak (Poland) ... I don´t think I can pinpoint any specific aesthetic or philosophical presuppositions in my work, at least not yet…


- Stephen Mark Barchan (GB) ...I cannot predict the future, although I do think technology will play a larger role in performance…


- Ulrich Kreppein (Germany) …Nowadays we can´t easily reduce the complex appearance of the world to one idea…



- James Wade (Australia) ...The intention behind my music is always self expression...


- Daniel Léo Simpson (USA) ...I consider my compositions to be the highest form of expression my spirit can bring forth..


- Martin Larson (Norway)... . All my music is spiritual and sacred. It is simple, quiet, meditative, clear, beautiful and complete in itself...

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Results 1st Piano Composition Competition "Città di Albenga" (Italy)

Results First Piano Composition Competition
The International jury included: Roberto Tagliamacco (Italy, chairman), Art-Oliver Simon (Berlin), Steel Stylianou (Berlin), Frans Waltmans (The Netherlands), Alessandra Montali, Giovanni Scapecchi and Marco Reghezza (Italy) 

http://concorsopianisticoalbenga.it/risultati-concorso-di-composizione-results-compositions-competition/

Monday, 15 December 2014

Interview Christoph Bertrand French Composer


My Interview (2007) in French Language
with Christoph Bertrand (1982-2010)
One of the Best Young French Composers

http://www.christophebertrand.fr/waltmans.html

published in 2015 by


http://www.editions-hermann.fr/4661-christophe-bertrand-ecrits-entretiens-analyses-et-temoignages.html

paraître dans le volume collectif dirigé par Olivier CLASS et intitulé : Christophe Bertrand - Ecrits, entretiens, analyses et témoignages)

Monday, 16 June 2014

Herkansing voor CantaRode Festival in 2015 (Review in Dutch Language)

Het openingsconcert van het eerste CantaRode Festival Kerkrade vond afgelopen weekend plaats in een matig bezette kloosterkerk van Rolduc. Bij gebrek aan kamerkoren had de organisatie haar oorspronkelijke plannen duidelijk moeten bijstellen. Het publiek werd nu getrakteerd op een werkelijk schitterend programma van religieuze muziek met als titel “Nacht der Religionen”, en dit met een link naar het Musica Sacra Festival in Marktoberdorf (Duitsland).
 
Het was een genot voor het oor te luisteren naar het Ensemble Rouh uit Marokko en hun solist Yassine Habibi, een rijzende ster in de Arabische muziekwereld. Het ensemble liet de luisteraar kennismaken met het rijke palet aan Arabische en Noord-Afrikaanse  klankkleuren. Een pakkend gebeuren met een soort van hypnotische werking indien het optreden van dit ensemble langer had kunnen duren.
In dezelfde lijn lag het optreden van tabla speler Subrata Manna en zijn ensemble uit India. Subrata´s briljant spel op de tabla was het dragende element in de uitvoering. Tabla, sitar, zang en dans, het was van een wonderlijke en ingetogen muzikale schoonheid.
Fayha Choir, een gemengd koor uit Tripoli, zong een aantal religieuze liederen met een glansrol voor de solisten in het gezelschap.
Ensemble Chants Sacrées en Provence sloot dit vierluik af met een programma van religieuze zigeunermuziek. Het programma van dit ensemble kenmerkte zich door krachtige, uitbundige, meeslepende muziek met een onmiskenbaar Spaanse inslag. De uitvoering viel bij het aanwezige publiek zeer in de smaak, en vormde een succesvol en groots slotakkoord van een helaas te korte nacht der religies. 

De eerste CantaRode koorcompetitie ging niet door wegens gebrek aan deelnemers. Een strop voor de organisatie die dit element van het festival in een vroeg stadium op de website had aangekondigd als zijnde een competitie die in de toekomst moet gaan concurreren met de vele reeds bestaande traditierijke topkoorcompetities in Europa. Waarschijnlijk dat een van de factoren voor dit falen te zoeken is in een te korte voorbereidingstijd. Komend jaar, weekend van Hemelvaart 2015, volgt de herkansing voor dit onderdeel van het festival.

Meer info en inschrijven via de website: CantaRode.nl


© juni 2014 Frans Waltmans, MA Musicologie

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Review Cesare Valentini´s Agnus Dei

From article: Frans Waltmans, Florence International Choir Festival, pp. 42 - 45, published in International Choral Bulletin (ICB) of Int. Federation for Choral Music (IFCM), 1st Quarter 2014
 



 

Friday, 23 May 2014

Pieter Schuermans (1970) Composers Work Review

Published in Matrix © 2005 Frans Waltmans
New Music Centre - Leuven (BE)
http://www.matrix-new-music.be



Pieter Schuermans was born in Wilrijk on 3 March 1970, receiving his musical education at the Lemmens Institute in Leuven, where his studies included composition lessons from Luc Van Hove. In 1995 he earned a first prize in composition. He also received first prizes for flute, double bass and chamber music.
In 1998 he was selected to take part in a course organised by the Creative Dance Artists Trust in Wakefield (UK). The course included an intensive, interactive collaboration between eight choreographers and eight composers. In 2000 he received the Prize of the Province of Flemish Brabant for his composition Per flauto e chitarra (1999). His Composition for recorder quartet, percussion and juggler (2000) won the Tech-Art Prize. He wrote an essay on artistic interaction at the Orpheus Institute in Ghent, and founded the ensemble eaRis company for Looking through eardrums, the performance linked to his essay. As a double bass player, he played for several years with the Collegium Instrumentale Brugense. He also performs as a flute player in chamber music groups. At present, Schuermans teaches composition, ensemble playing and double bass at the Lemmens Institute. He also teaches flute, double bass and instrumental ensemble at the Music Academy in Tessenderlo.
Work review
Many of Schuermans’ works are based on the concept of interaction between music and movement. This concept of interaction first emerged at a young age in his parents’ living room, where together with his brother, a juggler, hesitant first attempts were made to blend music and movement into one unified whole. This was the beginning of a long collaboration, which continues today. Lively rhythmic organisation and an informal compositional style, in which artistic movement plays a role, are the parameters that characterise the compositions. Each composition develops its own logic, giving the work an organic structure. This spontaneous musical development is, however, preceded by a meticulous preparation of the music’s structure. In compositional terms, the musical component of each interactive work is different.
Sometimes the composer interacts with the activity of the movement artist, while sometimes he is content with creating a traditional ragtime for piano, as an accompaniment completely subordinate to the movements of a juggler. Schuermans has also tried experiments with electronic music. By using sensors and the Doppler Effect, movement is transferred into sound. The sound is interpreted in various ways by the computer, thus creating various different musics. The compositional input consists partly of writing the necessary software and partly of deliberately using certain movement patterns which the movement artists can then perform.

Schuermans’ many years of experimentation with music and movement has developed into a complete synthesis of dance, circus and music. Schuermans is now involving the audience in this synthesis. The idea is to achieve a good level of communication between the performer and the audience. A certain degree of freedom is accorded to the performer in order to realise this idea. In Composition for recorder quartet, percussion and juggler (2000), Schuermans combines pure interaction between the disciplines of music, dance and juggling. In musical terms, he builds his composition on a basic motif, which is further developed through a number of techniques such as motif repetition, canonic entries with small melodic alterations, rhythmic shifts, alternating metres, homorhythms and polyrhythms. Fragments of complex rhythmic layering are in this work alternated with three static passages, in which the recorders play very rudimentary chords canonically and in a simple and generally homorhythmic scoring. In the static passages the percussionist and the juggler are given space to improvise completely freely with one another. In this way, the alternation between static passages and complex, rhythmically layered passages help to determine the form of the work.

In his instrumental works, Schuermans takes the same musical points of departure as in his works for music and movement. This is seen in works as early as his Per contrabasso e pianoforte (1996), a work involving interaction among the performers.
The interaction results in the simultaneous layering of rhythms between the double bass and the piano, while at the same time a succession of short rhythmic blocks becomes perceptible.

Schuermans’s informal way of composing is in sharp contrast to a number of rational tendencies that have made themselves evident in music since 1950. He does not want to be pigeon-holed into a particular doctrinaire school of composers. Although as a young composer Schuermans was not yet able to avoid certain dogmatic musical tendencies, over time he has nonetheless been able to find his own way to free himself from such tendencies. In Rhapsody for violin and wind quintet (1993), a quasi-punctual writing style is in evidence, as every note is provided with separate parameters. Despite such minute attention, each note is to be seen functionally within the whole: the punctual style does not harm the larger form. In some parts of this work, complex rhythmic stratification of the parts, combined with tremolos performed at top speed, suggests the structure of a sound field, as found in the work of Ligeti. This work is another early example of an attempt to create the kind of lively rhythmic blocks that have since become characteristic of Schuermans’ works.

Besides the importance of rhythmic organisation, pitch organisation plays a central role in this composer’s work. Schuermans composes atonal music, but in so doing he applies the principle that not all twelve tones are of equal value. The idea of according the same value to each of the twelve tones seems to Schuermans a less than inspired notion. Instead, he creates a hierarchy in the pitch organisation. In compositional terms, this takes shape in the creation of a sound-field around a central note. In Per flauto e chitarra (1999), for example, such a process can be seen in the way the flute and the guitar continually reorient themselves around the note e.

The other central principle in Per flauto e chitarra (after the organisation of rhythm and pitch) is the interaction between the two instruments. The work begins in a spirit of improvisation, as if the two instrumentalists were attuning their playing styles to one another. Schuermans does not shy away from using a wide variety of playing techniques on both instruments in order to arrive at his sound; these include the production of microtones in the flute part and a scordatura tuning for the guitar. The work is built from a number of overlapping movements. The movements differ from one another through their improvisatory character, the use of repetitive and forceful sound patterns in the guitar, a rhythmic complexity that in continually changing ways leads to a climax, and the use of asymmetrical metres. The final movement of the composition is characterised by the flute’s bamboo-like sound with quarter-tone gradations. The playing technique required of the guitar also produces sounds unfamiliar for this instrument. In purely auditory terms this invites comparisons with John Cage’s work, Prepared Piano (1940). The use of an unconventional graphic notation in the flute part is yet another reference to a work by John Cage. In Cage’s Aria (1958), as in Schuerman’s Per flauto e chitarra (1999), the pitch is indicated with a drawn curve, a rough indication rather than a precise instruction.

Interaction is also the keyword in Concerto grosso for strings (2003). In this work, Schuermans’ use of the concerto grosso form recalls the Baroque period. In the third movement (Adagio antico) the composer creates interaction between the groups by giving the solo and tutti groups competing roles. A close-knit polyphonic texture is presented by the tutti group in the form of a model with written-out and varied repetitions. The model moves through the space in ascending minor-second steps. Schuermans thus combines an older form with a contemporary technique of sound-field shifts, an approach also found in Ligeti’s work. The solo sections are marked by rhythmic diminution, giving them a more virtuoso character. With its interaction between solo sections and tuttis, this work, too, breaks down into Schuermans’ characteristic complex rhythmic blocks towards the end, building the tension to a climax.

Another harking back to an older formal type is Con Variazioni (2004), a work commissioned by the contemporary music festival Transit in 2004. The title of this work refers to the form of the theme and variations. The twelve-tone theme is presented in a complex manner in the Introduction. The variations, in contrast, are more transparently conceived, and are presented in a number of different stylistic contexts. The associatively added new musical elements indicate an organically planned development. The separate movements are strongly contrasted with one another in terms of rhythm. The title of the work emphasises the fact that the rethinking of the opening theme is of secondary importance. The work is characterised by musical elements from different stylistic periods, ranging from Baroque counterpoint and a Romantic upsurge in the adagio movement, to a subtle instrumental elaboration of the sound in the form of a rising and falling glissando in the coda, a nod towards electronic music.
List of works

- Interactive: L’Union fait la farce (1996); The Raincoat doctors (1999); Composition for recorder quartet, percussion and juggler (2000); Looking through eardrums (2001)
- Chamber music: Rapsodie for violin and wind quintet (1993); Per contrabasso e pianoforte (1996); Tango for string quartet (1996); Per flauto e chitarra (1999); Dance piece for piano (1999); Opus nul for flute, clarinet, percussion, piano, violin, viola and violoncello (2002); Boisterous bass for double bass and percussion (2003)
- Orchestra: Dispertio for 12 strings (1992); Ballade for symfonic orchestra (1994); Cascade for flute, oboe and string orchestra (1995); Concerto grosso for strings (2003); Con Variazioni for large string orchestra (2004)
Bibliography

Not available



Discography

- Per flauto e chitarra (Profundo with Steven De Baecke and Geert Claessens), PER FLAUTO E CHITARRA, STG2, 2001


Publisher

Lantro (Grimbergen, Belgium)
CeBeDeM (Brussels, Belgium)


Links
Coördinaten
Gobbelsrode 15, 3220 Holsbeek (Belgium)
tel (0032) 16 62 11 13
GSM (0032) 476 305 631

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Stefan Meylaers (1970) Composers Work Review

Published in Matrix © 2005 Frans Waltmans
New Music Centre - Leuven (BE)
http://www.matrix-new-music.be
Stefan Meylaers was born in Neerpelt on 1 December 1970. He studied piano at the Lemmens Institute in Leuven, graduating with a Specialist Diploma in piano (magna cum laude) and the “Meestergraad” diploma in piano and chamber music (also magna cum laude). He then went on to advanced studies in a number of different musical disciplines. He studied chamber music with Guido De Neve and composition with György Ligeti. In 1996 he worked as a pianist at the opera studio of the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels. Meylaers has received a number of awards, including first prize in the bi-annual Digital Music Print composition for Belgian composers (1999) and the Egel Prize, awarded in 2002 in Neerpelt for overall cultural contributions to the region. In 2000 he founded the New Art Trio, a leading Belgium ensemble for contemporary music. Besides composing, Meylaers is active as a teacher, concert pianist and accompanist. He has been a guest teacher at the International Summer Festival of Brasilia in Brazil, and a member of the jury at the International Music Festival for Youth in Neerpelt.
Work review
After his studies with Ligeti, Meylaers composed An Hungarian Summer for piano (1996). In terms of structure, the work consists of six short, contrasting sections, mutually linked by a central chorale theme. The work is an idiosyncratic version of a theme and variations. In purely auditory terms, this sounds like a work from the Romantic period, characterised by compositional techniques also found in works by Ligeti, Bartók and Liszt. The prelude to the work refers to Ligeti’s Continuüm for harpsichord (1968). Continuüm is a work characterised by, among other things, phase shifts, resulting patterns and extension of the motif through the addition of notes. There is also no use of bar lines in the work. Meylaers incorporates these stylistic elements into An Hungarian Summer. In contrast to Ligeti’s Continuüm, however, no overarching parameters are set out in the prelude. This is a result of the slow tempo. By the same token, the slow tempo makes every note in the composition important, allowing all the accents and rhythmic shifts to be notated in detail. This results in a permutatively-based emphasis on the main notes in the chorale melody. In the toccata movement, all the diatonic material is distributed over both hands, a reference to Ligeti’s Désordre, etude for piano (1985). Once again, the slow tempo is significant, preventing any sense of disorder when the motif is extended by adding a note in the right hand. This addition does lead to the formation of an anhemitonic pentatonic element, suggestive of Bartók and Hungarian folk music. Bartók’s influence is also evident in the 13-bar third movement. Characteristic in this movement is the asymmetrical metre that changes bar by bar. The work ends in the style of Liszst’s Hungarian Rhapsodies, in which the theme is supported by chords with a great density, accompanied by virtuoso glissandos. Ligeti’s influence can also be heard in the first movement in the Suite for clarinet and piano (1999). The work, which has a virtuoso and ephemeral character, refers in terms of texture to the final movement from Ligeti’s Selbstportrait mit Reich und Riley (und Chopin ist auch dabei) from Drei Stücke für Zwei Klaviere (1976). Both Ligeti and Meylaers drew their inspiration from Chopin’s piano sonata in B-flat, op. 35.

Meylaers’ composing style can be described as free-atonal. An essential point of departure is the creation of an accessible musical language, in which the lyrical aspect is linked to the essence of the emotion, the two held cleverly in balance through rationality. Meylaers, who despite his studies with Ligeti describes himself as an autodidact, does not seek to form part of any particular musical school. He is completely uninterested in the kind of complex developments that have taken place since the 1950s. These have led only to inaudible musical processes. In this sense, Meylaers has positioned himself closer to the ideas of Steve Reich and Ligeti. Nonetheless, Meylaers does have his favourites among contemporary composers, including Mikhail Bronner, John Corigliano, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Peter Sculpthorpe, Arvo Pärt and Henry Gorécki. Each of these composers works from a specific cultural context, within which they try to create a musical language in an original way, making the link between emotionality and reason.

Meylaers demonstrates his mastery in creating a lyrical melody in Elegy for cello and piano (1998). In this slow work, the cello develops a melody out of the depths of the music, subsequently advancing it elegantly and ingeniously. In this work, melancholy is expressed by a melody which at once seems to hover and to have a French sense of lightness. It is characteristic that the melody-line so constructed is always based on the possibilities of the instrument. This approach results in a sound that always strikes the listener as agreeable.
Two other works in which Meylaers exhibits his talent for lyrical constructions are the Trio for clarinet, cello and piano (2000) and Meditation for horn and piano (1999). In Meditation, the melody is supported by chords in the piano, which ticks along like a clock, a reference to Ligeti’s concept of clocks and clouds.

Although Meylaers’ scores have a simple look, they hold within them a complex and multi-layered structure, often entailing polyrhythms and polyphony. Polyrhythms play an important role in Aracoara for string quartet and piano (2003). The work is a musical reminiscence of the composer’s time in Brazil. Aracoara (Sunset) consists of two contrasting movements. The first movement says farewell to the day, while the beauty of the landscape is described in melancholy terms. The second movement tells of real life, which only gets going in Brazil after sunset, when love, football and music reign supreme. Samba and bossa nova play an important role in the nightlife. South-American rhythms give the work a polyrhythmic feel. In contrast, Waves for cello and piano (2000) is characterised by a virtuoso style. The interaction between the cello and piano give the work a polyphonic character. The lively interplay between the two instruments is strengthened by the frequent succession of asymmetrical metres. The musical point of departure in this work is the play of waves washing up and receding, a phenomenon with an inherent polyphonic quality.

The starting point for Meylaers’ compositions is always a seminal idea, out of which a cellular structure develops, further worked out in what might be termed a through-composed style.
New musical elements are continually added over the course of the composition. The final result is an organic whole, which comes across as one overarching musical concept. In Waves for cello and piano (2000), the rhythmic motif of the opening bar forms the nucleus of the composition. Although the work consists of two long outer movements, divided by a very short, cantabile middle movement, the motif is always reworked and spun out in a playful and expressive manner. The constantly changing rhythms in the separate parts provide the element of variation and keep the tension building.
In Meylaers’ work, the process of composition takes place within the natural parameters of tension and release, basic elements of all music. Within this field of tension, comparable to the tonic-dominant principle, Meylaers undertakes a very personal quest for an accessible, emotion-based musical language. Meylaers’ compositions are characterised by a certain spontaneity, not to be confused with any notion of impulsiveness: each note is to be read in function of the whole composition.
Meylaers’ oeuvre forms a rational reflection of his own life story, a running theme throughout all his compositions. Daily events, emotional experiences and even the taking of a political stand all play roles here. Political engagement is the source of inspiration for Hymn for violin, clarinet, cello and piano (2002). An actual experience with a child who lost his parents in the war in Kosovo forms the basis for the composition. The work is an ode to humanity and a call for more peace and humanity. Lost city for soprano saxophone and piano (2003) is inspired by a South-African legend, which tells the story of an ancient civilisation destroyed by an earthquake. Meylaers’ spontaneity and rationality are expressed in this work through the creation of an opening motif characterised by a hocket-like construction. By conjuring up an earthquake in this way, Meylaers links an old musical technique to an event from a distant past. Impressions gained in everyday life form the basis for the composer’s creation of a composition’s opening motif and its further development, suggesting the form that the composition will assume.

List of works
- Vocal: Three Love Songs for medium voice and piano (1998); Vocalise for high voice and piano (1998); Never We Met for medium voice and piano (2003)
- Piano: An Hungarian Summer (1996); Fantasy (1997); Poem (1997); Rapsody (1997); Two Children’s Pictures (1998); Two Short Pieces (1998); Moods of Passion; Three Miniatures (2001); Face of Roads (2002); Cantilena (2003); Habanera (2003); Beyond Rivers (2004); Black and White (Rock & Roll and Ballet) (2004); Blue Mountains (2004); Caravan (Piano method) (2004); Chi (2004); Empty Lake (2004)
- Chamber: Elegy for violoncello and piano (1998); Nocturne for oboe and piano (1998); Nocturne for clarinet and piano (1998); Prelude for violoncello and piano (1998); In the Vale of Dreams for violoncello quartet and piano (1999); Meditation for horn and piano (1999); Suite for clarinet and piano (1999); Deserts for violoncello quartet and piano (2000); Evening Waltz for violoncello quartet and piano (2000); Evening Waltz for clarinet, violoncello and piano (2000); Lament for oboe and piano (2000); Trio for clarinet, violoncello and piano (2000); Waves for violoncello and piano (2000); Hymn for violin, clarinet, violoncello and piano (2001); Signs of Return for trompet and piano (2001); The Spell for oboe, clarinet, violoncello, bassoon and piano (2001); The Spell for violin, clarinet, violoncello and piano (2001); Lonely Child for clarinet and piano; Aracoara for string quartet and piano (2003); Love Song for violin and piano (2003); South Trip for soprano saxophone and piano (2003); Summer Dance for flute and piano (2003); Angels for string quartet (2004); Lost City for soprano saxophone and piano (2004); Mango for euphonium and piano (2004); Mango for tenor saxophone and piano (2004); Prayer for oboe and piano (2004)

Bibliography
Not available




Discography
- STEFAN MEYLAERS, PORTRAIT OF A COMPOSER (Stefan Meylaers), Phaedra 92024, 2001
- Face of Roads voor piano (Stefan Meylaers), NEW BELGIAN ETUDES, Gents Muzikaal Archief RP/GMA 044, 2004

Publisher
Lantro Music (Grimbergen)
Music Print (Antwerpen)

Coördinaten
Lepelstraat 29, 3910 Neerpelt (Belgium)
tel +32 11 66.17.16
mobile +32 479 53 29 84
stefan.meylaers@telenet.be


© 2005 Frans Waltmans, voor MATRIX

 
 
 
 

 

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Review CD The Garden of Desires (Dutch language)


The Garden of Desires.
New Compositions for Chamber Orchestra

The Garden of Desires is de eerste CD in een nieuw uit te brengen reeks met werken van hedendaagse Oostenrijkse componisten met de focus op componisten die een bijzondere band hebben met Tirol. Voor dit project tekent onder andere het Tiroler Kammerorchester InnStrumenti. Dit orkest onder de leiding van hun dirigent Gerhard Sammer timmert al jaren aan de weg met hedendaagse composities. Op deze eerste CD worden de volgende componisten aan de luisteraar voorgesteld: Manu Delago (*1984), Richard Dünser (*1959) en Ralph Schütti (*1974).

Het werk Concertino Grosso voor hang en strijkorkest van de uit Tirol afkomstige componist Manu Delago, is een voltreffer van formaat. De componist, die bekend staat als “master hang drummer”, bespeelt de hang, een nieuw soort percussie-instrument, dat begin 21ste eeuw in Bern geïntroduceerd werd. De swingende compositie doet eclectisch aan. De componist is steeds “on the move”, op zoek naar originele klanken, bijvoorbeeld een krant die door een orkestlid wordt opgevouwen of een drumstok die op de grond valt. De “elements of noise” worden in de compositie verweven met de meer traditionele orkestklanken. Rustige solo´s en luide passages wisselen elkaar met regelmaat af, waarna de compositie op improvisatorische wijze wordt afgesloten met een soort van levendige volksdans naar Oost-Europees model.

Jeroen Bosch´ schilderij The Garden of Desires staat model voor Richard Dünsers compositie The Garden of Desires (2010), een concert voor cello en orkest. Het schilderij staat bol van verwijzingen en symboliek, en dit gegeven biedt de componist genoeg inspiratie het schilderij muzikaal te interpreteren. Het werk heeft een hoge technische moeilijkheidsgraad en is geschreven in een soort van laatromantisch klankidioom, waarin poëtische en vrij in de maat gespeelde fragmenten elkaar voortdurend afwisselen.

Ralph Schütti liet zich in zijn driedelig Werk für Orchester inspireren door een zinsnede uit het filosofisch geschrift Tractatus van de filosoof Ludwig Wittgenstein: Gaat de zon morgen weer op? Het werk begint met een subtiel polifonisch weefsel in veel kleurtinten, sfeerscheppend en enigszins mysterieus, waarna het geheel uitgroeit tot een krachtige unisono passage. Het gebruik van de parameter klanksterkte valt op. Langdurige crescendo´s, veel spanningsopbouw en weinig rustpunten, kenmerken dit beschrijven van een muzikaal natuurontwaken. Uiteindelijk is de compositie te omschrijven als een soort van hemels gedicht.  

Een aanrader!

© 2014 Frans Waltmans

Monday, 21 April 2014

CD Review Adam Gorb´s Sonata for Clarinet and Piano

ADAM GORB'S SONATA FOR CLARINET AND PIANO
 
Strange things sometimes happen to radio recordings. They can disappear completely from sight and reappear years later as rather brilliant cd's. At least this is the case with the present recording, a sonata for clarinet and piano by the British composer Adam Gorb.
 
Gorb is one of those composers who do not shy away from experimentalism, but who are also concerned about the accessibility of their music. In fact it is a priority for him to be accessible to his audience. If music can't touch the heart of the listener it misses the point of music altogether, according to Gorb. This is perhaps one of the reasons why his music is so much in demand by amateur music organisations and military show bands, although he also often receives commissions from professional orchestras.
 
Gorb's sonata for clarinet and piano is written in four-movement form: allegro energico, scherzo, largo -- finale. The formal construction of the work may be called classical, containing characteristics which one finds in many pieces. The sonata demands virtuosity from the performers, in terms both of individual technique and also of ensemble playing. It's a real players' work with constant interplay of rhythmic and lyrical elements in the dialogue between the two instruments. An important aspect of the ensemble playing is the concentration of the two instrumentalists, who interrupt each other imitatively, or give each other room to come to the fore soloistically or else come together in unison passages.
 
What makes this composition particularly interesting is however the fact that it is typical of the personal style of the composer Adam Gorb. The second movement scherzo starts off as a continuation of stylistic characteristics of the first movement allegro energico until South American rhythms suddenly appear in the piano part. These are then developed imitatively in both instruments while the clarinet plays music reminiscent of a classical cadenza mixed with elements of jazz. The largo can be seen as a transition to the exuberant finale. The clarinet part is a sort of meditative jazz supported by sostenuto chords in the piano. The finale is the work's apotheosis, a summing up of everything that has been heard in the sonata so far. Here again one is struck by the imitative passages which here develop into Bach-like fugal constructions, worthy of a finale. The sudden changes of scene, surprising personal touches and jazz-like elements give brilliance to this glorious sonata. The work is dedicated to the performers André Kerver and Andrew Wise, who have acquitted themselves outstandingly of their task to make this a noteworthy performance.
 
CD Adam Gorb -- sonata for clarinet and piano (1991), performed by André Kerver, clarinet & Andrew Wise, piano, not available in the shops, for info Andrew Wise and Adam Gorb.
 
© Frans Waltmans

Sunday, 20 April 2014

CD Text Booklet Ewelina Nowicka Composer/Violinist



TEXT BOOKLET

EWELINA NOWICKA - COMPOSER/VIOLINIST

Musik for Violin and Piano  (Kreuzberg Records) http://www.ewelinanowicka.com

Assessing a young composer or classifying them within a specific musical genre is no easy task. Eras such as the Baroque, Classical, or Romantic periods, although well-defined, belong to the past and not the present. Young composers nowadays are developing their own unique styles. They may express themselves in various ways within a single work and their pieces are often described as eclectic.

Listening to this recording, one thing becomes clear regarding Ewelina Nowicka and her pieces: We are dealing with not only a virtuoso violinist, but also a virtuosic composer. Nowicka and the pianists bring these passionateworks to life with equally passionate performances. Nowicka engages the listener by inviting them into her personal life and arousing their emotions. Her music is frequently inspired by her own family history, which has a rich heritage closely tied to Jewish culture, and also the characteristics of experimental contemporary music, which can be found in just about all her works. Let us take a closer look at her compositions.
Obsession – a violin concerto in three movements. Written in 1999, this was Nowicka’s first composition for orchestra. The piece was first written for violin, xylophone and chamber orchestra. Later, in 2010, it was transcribed for violin and piano. The composer’s interests and rhythmic aspects are conveyed particularly well in this piece and became a seed for later compositional developments.

Atonali – for solo violin was inspired by Schumann’s Kinderszenen (Scenes from Childhood). This work evolves and contains both old and new violin playing techniques, requiring great virtuosity from the soloist.

Kaddish 1944 – A letter from Nowicka’s aunt served as the inspiration for this piece. The letter describes her aunt’s life in the Lodz ghetto and goes on to describe her journey on a cattle train to Auschwitz. It was during this journey where she became separated from her mother on the ramp. The melody appears at the very beginning of the piece and can be likened to a fragile and delicate small plant. The melody then goes through many developments rather than flourish, but gets its chance to do so at the end. This is how the impressions, influences, and musical structure are linked together.

Concerto Ebraico – Nowicka’s second violin concerto, for which she received an award for in 2008, from the Bremen Composers Competition in Germany. Many musical elements come together in this piece and it consists of three parts entitled Sabbat, Katharsis, and Purim. It contains an energetic, lively dialogue between the piano and violin, and reminds the listener of late Romantic and folk elements from the early 20th century. Furthermore, it combines technical savvy with emotional depth, thereby engaging the audience right from the beginning to the very end.

Conventus – for solo piano, is similar to creating a sculpture. The listener should imagine scraps flying through the air, as a musical space is created by carving out a low, middle, and high register on a piano. This imagery is achieved through modern playing techniques such as clusters and faint minimalistic characteristics. Natural and spatial elements are further emphasized by sustaining high tones through the pedals. This emotional, expressive, powerful work is full of imagination.

Saltatio Mortis – was originally for violin, harpsichord, and chamber orchestra. This recording features the violin and piano transcription. This danse macabre is distinctive because of its atonal elements and especially for its ostinato pattern.

Strawinskana – is a solo violin work. The composer quotes 20th century music and reveals her influences, such as pieces by Igor Stravinsky in particular, a master of rhythm. There is a clear reference to Stravinsky’s violin concerto within the first two measures. Nowicka uses this as a point of departure in order to create her own ideas, leading to an expressive, rhythmically structured composition.

“You have to play from the heart” is a well known quote from C.P.E. Bach. A parallel can be drawn from these words: Ewelina Nowicka is a musician who plays and composes from her heart.

© Frans Waltmans
English translation: Norom Bou

Monday, 10 March 2014

Gilad Hochman Composer and his Composition Szymborska for Women´s Ensemble



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQg0mAD-kaA

Berlin Based Israeli composer Gilad Hochman (*1982) was defined as “one of Israel’s most prominent composers” by the Deutschland Magazine and as “an already well known classical composer" by the BBC.

M
r. Hochman studied under composer Dr. Ilya Heifets and pianist Dr. Mark Shaviner and in 2007 graduated with honors from Tel Aviv University’s Buchman-Mehta School of Music. At age 22 he became the youngest ever Composer-in-Residence in Israel’s history and at age 24 the youngest composer ever to be awarded the prestigious Prime Minister Award for his artistic work.

Hochman's music reflects a clear aesthetic approach and a rare combination between tradition and innovation, while creating a well structured contemporary musical language – personal, lyrical and expressive. In his work, Hochman uniquely merge European classical music traditions and those relating to the Jewish culture and to his Israeli origin.


Notable performances to his works include two retrospective concerts in Germany, in 2009 and in 2011. In 2013 Hochman had his orchestral debut concert at the Berlin Philharmonie and he was invited to lecture at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory. That year he was also featured on 2 CDs by German label ClassicClips and was premiered at the Aachen International Chorbiennale with his work “Szymborska” by Israeli Sirenot Ensemble.



www.giladhochman.com

Monday, 25 November 2013

Limburgs Korenfestival 2013. Recensie

(Dutch language)

LIMBURGS KORENFESTIVAL 2013 TEGELEN. RECENSIE

De 44ste editie van het Limburgs Korenfestival (LKF), het pronkstuk van de Stichting Verenigde Nederlandse Korenorganisaties Limburg (VNK-Limburg), vond dit jaar plaats op zondag 24 november in Tegelen. Dit tweejaarlijkse festival was van de ene kant een festijn waarop 19 koren hebben gestreden om de begeerde titel “Beste Limburgs Ko
or”, van de andere kant is het LKF nog steeds een concours zonder eigen wedstrijdreglement (vrijblijvendheid is troef), en met een jury die om meerdere redenen hun houdbaarheidsdatum heeft overschreden. Nochtans, de zang was er niet minder om.

Op het festival ontbraken de grote mannenkoren. De KNZV had een paar weken geleden hun eigen mannenkoortoernooi georganiseerd (zie vorige recensie). Ingeschreven hadden zich nu voornamelijk jeugdkoren, vocaal ensembles en vrouwenkoren, waaronder een grote groep popkoren. Dat hield in dat er overmatig veel hedendaagse popmuziek en aanverwante muziekstijlen te beluisteren waren. De koren met andersoortige composities op het repertoire, bijvoorbeeld uit vroeger tijden of zang van meer polyfonische aard, waren op het festival flink in de minderheid.

Jeugdkoor De Pareltjes uit Brunssum mocht in de vroege ochtenduren het spits afbijten, en dat deden ze op verdienstelijke wijze. Hiermee was de toon voor het verdere verloop van de dag gezet. De verkwikkende start van De Pareltjes moet een positieve uitwerking hebben gehad op de overige deelnemers. Het was alsof ieder deelnemend koor zich extra gemotiveerd voelde om hun eigen muzikale lat een stukje hoger te leggen.

Net als op het mannenkoorconcours waren ook nu twee koren die zichzelf naar de absolute Limburgse amateurtop katapulteerden, te weten de nieuwkomer Vocal Sollys uit Geleen o.l.v. Steven van Kempen, en Vocal Ensemble Quint uit Venlo met hun vakkundige dirigente Esther Zaad. Dit laatstgenoemde koor heeft zoveel zangkwaliteiten in huis, dat het toevoegen van een weinig functionele koorregie afbreuk doet aan het uiteindelijke resultaat.

Het niveau van Vocaal Ensemble Kerkrade o.l.v. Louise Deal was van de soort buiten categorie. Een voorbeeld: in Eriks Esenvalds´ compositie O Salutaris Hostias (2009), een werk voor koor en solisten, etaleerde dit vrouwenkoor op de meest verfijnde manier waartoe het muzikaal in staat is. Namelijk het creëren van transparantie en subtiliteit tot in het kleinste detail, en dat uitgevoerd in het door de componist voorgeschreven con sentimento = 52 en mezzo piano. Solisten en koor balanceerden steeds op de spreekwoordelijke muzikale evenwichtsbalk en dat neigde wederom naar hemelse perfectie. Naast het Venray´s Mannenkoor is Vocaal Ensemble Kerkrade het tweede Limburgse koor dat op internationaal vlak de concurrentie met glans kan weerstaan.

Tot slot kwam er aan het einde van deze succesvol verlopen dag ook nog een verheugende mededeling van de heer Wil Giesbertz, voorzitter van VNK-Limburg. De naam van LKF wordt gewijzigd in OPEN LKF. Dat betekent dat koren van buiten de provincie, en ook internationaal, in de toekomst kunnen deelnemen aan het festival. Een grote verrijking voor het Limburgs muziekgebeuren dient zich hiermee aan.

Frans Waltmans
musicoloog
medewerker/auteur Int. Choral Bulletin (ICB) - Int. Federation for Choral Music (IFCM)


Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Mannenkoorzang Concours KNZV-Limburg. Recensie

(Dutch language)

MANNENKOORZANG CONCOURS KNZV-LIMBURG TEGELEN. RECENSIE

Het mannenkoorzang concours van KNZV-Limburg vond afgelopen weekend plaats in Tegelen en werd georganiseerd door het Maasbrees Mannenkoor. Dit concours was een voorronde voor de landelijke finale die in april 2014 in Zwolle zal worden gehouden.
Elf Limburgse koren traden er op, en om maar meteen met de deur in huis te vall
en, de optredens van de meeste koren waren helaas vaak van middelmatige kwaliteit, een uitzondering daargelaten. Interessanter en ook van een grotere diversiteit, was de aanpak van de koren hoe vorm te geven aan hun optredens. Zo zong het ene koor hun repertoire in zachte dynamische tinten, en een ander koor probeerde een goede prestatie neer te zetten met veel fortissimo, lees: met veel kracht in de stem. Er waren grote verschillen te beluisteren in de beleving van de koorklank, vlak of dynamisch, en vooral in de artistieke benadering. Verrassend was het gebruikmaken van een klein strijkensemble als begeleidingsinstrument. Er viel ook te constateren dat een aantal koren aandacht hadden besteed aan repertoirevernieuwing. Eric Whitacre´s compositie Lux Aurumque stond zelfs drie keer geprogrammeerd en werd uitgevoerd door twee A-koren en een B-koor.
Twee koren spanden op positieve wijze de kroon op dit mannenkoorzang concours. Op de eerste dag excelleerde het Genneps Vocaal Ensemble met een optreden, dat vooral opviel door de artistieke inbreng. De eenheid van de dirigent met het koor én de pianistische begeleiding, vormde de basis voor een schitterende uitvoering. Op de tweede dag verbaasde het Venrays Mannenkoor met een verbluffend mooi optreden. Het koor combineerde een transparante koorklank met sonore zang, Whitacre´s Lux Aurumque was uit de kunst, en de doeltreffende koorregie in Joshua was verrassend, kortom een uitvoering van internationaal niveau. Met dit optreden heeft Venrays Mannenkoor zich gepositioneerd als lichtend voorbeeld voor de Limburgse mannenzang, en in breder perspectief ook voor de Limburgse koorzang in het algemeen. Een ovationeel applaus van het aanwezige publiek was dan ook terecht op zijn plaats.
Frans Waltmans
musicoloog, muzikaal adviseur VNK-Limburg

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Choir Festivals / Competitions 2016-2018 (update 7)

Choir Festivals / Competitions
UPDATE April 2016

Update nr. 7 of high quality choral festivals/competitions 2016- 2018 in Europe

-  Tolosa Choral Contest - Tolosa (Spain)
www.cittolosa.com

-  International Festival of Children and Youth Choirs "Rainbow" - St. Petersbrug (Russia)www.petersburgfestival.com

- International Wroclaw Choir Festival - Wroclaw (Poland)
"Vratislavia Sacra"

www.vratislaviasacra.pl

- Cork International Choral Festival - Cork (Ireland)www.corkchoral.ie

- International Choir Festival - Filadelfia (Italy)www.associazione-melody.com

-. Concours International de Chant Choral Florilège - Tours (France)www.florilegevocal.com

- International Krakow Choir Festival - Krakow (Poland)
"Cracovia Cantans"
J
www.krakowchoirfestival.pl

- CantaRode International Choir Festival - Kerkrade (Netherlands) 2018www.cantarode.nl

-  Festival Internacional de Musica de Cantonigros - Catalonia (Spain)www.fimc.es/en-inici.htm

- Florence International Choir Festival - Florence (Italy)www.florencechoirfestival.com

- Bela Bartok International Choir Competition - Debrecen (Hungary)www.bbcc.hu

- International Festival of Choral Art - St. Petersburg (Russia)
"Singing World"
www.singingworld.spb.ru

- Coralua International Choral Festival - Trondheim (Norway)
 non-competitive

www.coralua.com

- Liviu Borlan International Choral Competition - Maramures (Romania)www.festivalborlan.ro

- Rimini International Choral Competition - Rimini (Italy)

www.riminichoral.it

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Graduale Triplex Gregorian Chant



Introïtus Adorate Deum
Tempus per annum, hebdomada tertia
from
Graduale Triplex, Solesmes 1979, p. 264
Einsiedeln (Switzerland), Stiftsbibliothek 121

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQQXHUu1FPI

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Oxford Journals Early Music 2009



I found out an excerpt of my online interview with Francesco Cera (harpsichord)

in Dan McCoy´s article "Bach on the Harpsichord"

Early Music pp. 511-513 (2009)



To be fair to Cera, in an online interview about this recording, Frans Waltmans asks him: ‘ you use rubato-rhythm and sometimes I can listen to a kind of hurry up. What is your motivation? ’ I assume that Waltmans is referring to the same qualities in Cera’s playing that I have just outlined above. Cera replies: ‘ It’s just the way any harpsichordist uses to make the music speak and express its mood; anyone with his personal taste ’ .



http://em.oxfordjournals.org/content/37/3/511.full


Interview
FRANCESCO CERA PLAYS BACH

Bach composed his suites for harpsichord bwv 812/817, later called French Suites, in Köthen. On Francesco Cera’s new cd we can listen to an excellent performance with a clear melody line. The harpsichord, made by Roberto Livi in 2006, is excellent too and the instrument has lovely clear deep notes. Time to have a short interview with the Italian musician and harpsichordist Francesco Cera.

Francesco, can you present yourself as a musician/harpsichordist in a few words?

My first love was the organ, which I studied and I still play in concert. My personal preference for baroque repertoire and historical organs has led me to approach quite soon the harpsichord, which I later perfected at the Amsterdam Conservatory under Gustav Leonhardt in 1990. Beside this I’ve always loved to play ensemble music: I was lucky to become member of Il Giardino Armonico for some years, then later, working on my own with several singers and with my Ensemble Arte Musica founded in 1996.

Can you inform us about Livi’s harpsichord, technical details, compass, registration, pitch, and where to find the original one etc?

Roberto Livi is a young and talented harpsichord maker from Pesaro, who attracted my attention and to whom I commissioned the copy of Tibaut I played in my Bach recording. The original is in Paris, Musée de la Musique, and is dating to 1691. Vincent Tibaut is regarded as one of the greatest harpsichord makers from 17th century France, and several copies (but still quite rare) have been made of his instruments. The compass is GG to c’’ on two keyboards, with split keys for AA/C# and BB/Eb and the GG looking as a BB. It has two 8’ and one 4’. Measurements are quite short in the bass (the case is only 2.12 meters long) and relatively longer in the center-top. Pitch is A-415. The sound is more “concentrated” and polyphonic than the later French instruments that we are more used to listen, such as Blanchet or Taskin. Actually nobody uses Tibaut copies for play Bach! But I think the result is quite convincing, and we must consider that Bach, at the time he composed the French Suites, around 1720, had to play mostly late 17th century harpsichords, probably also from French makers.

It is not the first time the French Suites were recorded on cd. What were your intentions to do so again? What was your aesthetical point?

French Suites has always had a special place in my Bach repertoire, a personal preference, for their simple and intimate style, if compared to the English Suites or the Partitas. Some of these pages are about the most touching in Bach repertoire. For instance the opening of E-flat Major Allemande, with their low, deep arpeggiato figurations, which rise and rise till the top of the keyboard, or the weeping c-minor Sarabande, or the majestic E-major Sarabande. So I think an expressive approach to these works could be tented.

Listening to your performance. From the beginning I noticed some characteristics in the way you play the music. For instance you use a rubato-rhythm and sometimes I can listen to a kind of hurry up. What is your motivation?



It’s just the way any harpsichordist uses to make the music speak and express its mood; anyone with his personal taste. My work with singers and vocal music perhaps helps me to make the harpsichord sing, so I put particular care to use the resonant side of the instrument. Rubato also, in a moderate quantity, helps the figurations to come out.

All six French Suites include Allemande, Courante, Sarabande and Gigue, with additional other dance tunes between the sarabande and gigue. Does this make a difference in approach and performance?

Every dance of course has its peculiar character and approximate tempo, but Bach never composes the same way! That struks me always! I think different tonalities and figurations has led me to adapt touch, tempi and rubato. A general overview of the six suites made me think of a possible symbolic conception by Bach. Three minor keys followed by three major arranged in a kind of progressive transformation let me think of some considerations concerning the religious view of human life, and the effective influence of God into human felicity. I think the d-minor first three dances express a deep human sorrow, which is the depart of the transformation I feel in these suites. In the second section of the B-minor Allemande a clear “cross” figuration appears, as in many organ chorals. The E-major Courante, written of scales and arpeggios in the top compass of the keyboard makes me think of an angelic chorus who praises God. And so on… maybe is my dream ... but religious inspiration was always viewed in Bach’s solo instrumental music.

Gustav Leonhardt once wrote to me about ornamentations “be cautious, ornamentations are just ornamentations.” What is your point of view?

Mr. Leonhardt has a great respect for the written page as a perfect composition in his details. I feel to agree with him regarding ornamentations, especially on Bach. I added few things here and there in repetitions. Some contemporary Italian music, especially violin sonatas, appears to need wider use of ornamentations, mostly in the repeats, ornamentations which coincide with a true art of variations invented by the performer. But this is part of the typical Italian taste of 18th century; not in Frescobaldi! And Bach never needs that much too.

Is there according to you a connection between “affects”, the use of the keys and a just intonation of the instrument during the performance?

Yes, I try to understand the mood of the composition and adapt my performance, including registration. I didn’t use the 4 foot stop in every Gigue, or just one 8 foot in every Allemande. On the Tibaut you can play the two 8 foot stops with the two hands on different keyboards, and exchange them, without to hear a too large discrepancy but just a different colour. I used a Werkmeister III tuning, slidly modified when I played on B-minor key.

Are you planning to record more music on cd in the near future?

It always depends on the recording company to choose the performer propositions. After my former productions with Tactus on Italian 17th century composers such as Storace, Rossi, Merula, I will be better propose French music, of course Bach and perhaps Scarlatti again.

I wish good luck.

Thank you!

© 2008 Interview Heerlen - Roma by Frans Waltmans