Première: Songs of War & Peace – 17-18 Octobre 2020

Holtslag&Ruysdael Kwartet

by the Ruysdael Quartet and Peter Holtslag (recorders)

It was hard work to make Songs of War & Peace. Selecting and musically understanding the songs from the Thirty Years’ War, especially the so completely different Bohemian songs. Imagining a 17th-century instrument (the recorder), with the styles that go with it, along with an ensemble that is largely rooted in Romanticism (the string quartet). And practically speaking, of course, there was the Covid crisis, which meant that the Czech Bennewitz Quartet had to be replaced at the very last minute by the Ruysdael Quartet. The quartet did a formidable job in the four concerts that were recorded by NPO Radio4. Master flutist Peter Holtslag will be taking this commissioned work to Germany next season, where he will play the German premiere at the ElbPhil. I am more than satisfied with the piece. Listen to it here the way it sounded at the premiere.

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Bennewitz Doelen

 The Bennewitz Kwartet & Harry-Imre Dijkstra played 15 januari 2019 my Super Suite in De Doelen chamber music series to great acclaim.

‘Super’ Suite World Première at Wonderfeel Festival

After the exciting private first performance at the wonderful historical estate of Els van Liebergen, recorded here, the Bennewitz Quartet finally took the work literally out into the open at the Wonderfeel Festival, one of the most innovative and most widely oriented (and best visited) classical music festivals in the Netherlands. Programmed at the Central Stage, the quartet drew a large crowd. When the rain suddenly started to pour down, the audience was invited onto the stage and in the second half of the concert all intimately huddled around the musicians, adding to the directness and intimacy that is such a hallmark of the Bennewitzes’ playing style.

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Moravian Souls

March 2015 – The Škampa Quartet played the première of my First String Quartet ‘Moravian Souls’ on March 17 in highly appropriate surroundings: the Church of the Moravian Brethren in Zeist.

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