woensdag 30 mei 2007

Almost off to Dogtroep general rehearsal

Almost off to Dogtroep general rehearsal. Before that I have to fix our rental baritone sax. We have rented cheaper horns to be able to play in the rain.
The performances will be a lot of fun. If you can, check them out!

vrijdag 25 mei 2007

Amstel Quartet in Festival Crosslinx, read an article in Tubantia newspaper here (Dutch only)

zondag 20 mei 2007

Two interesting articles in NRC next today

Two interesting articles in NRC next today. One is the feature article about that the government Balkenende IV folloows the media path of Clinton and Bush by using tax money to set out a PR path that informs the public first and when the topic is more or less 'dead' the parliament starts its discussion about it.

The other one is about Risotto rice. Apparantly there's a scientific base to it that the rice tastes different (better) if you add the bouillon spoon by spoon while stirring in the mean time!

zaterdag 19 mei 2007


Good stuff! An interview with Anner Bijlsma from '98

Some highlights:
To illustrate this, I used to give my students an example: you never read in the newspaper that, when Father came home, he lit his pipe, put on his slippers, and opened the paper. But you will read, when Father came home, he put on his slippers, opened the paper, lit his pipe, and the house blew up, because, unknown to him, there was a gas leak in the house. See what I mean? The dissonance creates the interest, not the consonance.

AB: It depends, of course, but let’s say “true” playing is the way that Bach would have liked it. This will cover many approaches. I wouldn’t want us all to play exactly the same way.

AB: I’m not against all pianists and conductors, but I do feel that we string players have been abused by witless conductors and insensitive pianists, who force us to play louder and louder, whether the music calls for it or not. Often, all I hear is percussion and brass when I attend an orchestral concert.

AB: No. Joachim, the legendary violinist and beloved friend of Brahms, used vibrato very sparingly. There is a famous description by someone who attended a concert of the Joachim String Quartet. The person, describing a moment in the middle of a Beethoven Quartet, wrote something like, “Then something happened very strange, very moving, and very unexpected. They all suddenly vibrated.” I have a feeling I would have enjoyed Joachim’s playing very much.

AB: Yes, in Bach's time, equal temperament was not the last word, especially with string players. When we play with equal tempered intonation, like we have on the piano, we don't sound as beautiful. We should stop trying to emulate the piano, another weapon of uniformity, and take advantage of the inherent beauties of our string instruments.

AB: The concept of flowing lines is not appropriate for eighteenth century music, it belongs to the nineteenth century. Music became more chromatic and more overtly emotional in the nineteenth century, which resulted in long flowing lines. In Bach's time too, chromatic passages may have been played more sustained than diatonic ones -- just try it. But we shouldn't impose nineteenth century principles on Bach.

By the way, I love Bruckner too, but, for my taste, too many big lines are played in his music, as well as in Brahms and other nineteenth century composers. Maybe it's easier to conduct a long line when moving one's arms about with that painfully imperfect instrument, the "baton," an instrument which is unfit for showing more than one motive per minute. We shouldn't let the limitations of the baton get in our way to "true" music making. We need to take a fresh look at how we play all music, not just Baroque music.

vrijdag 18 mei 2007

Lesson with Anner Bijlsma today again

Lesson with Anner Bijlsma today again. I am about to go practice/warm up now. Mendelssohn and Reger. Reger has some trcky high notes. Anner might want to put them lower but for me it's the challenge to make it sound 'natural'.
Teh Dogtroep Porject is getting its final shape. A lot of stress together with it. The Dogtroep way of working is something we have to get used to and of course they have get used to our way of working as well. But it will be fun: "Komt dat Zien!!!"

Great day today

Great day today. First practice in the morning and some administration and then rehearsal with Wijnand and Maritn Fondse who is writing a piece for us for our new Cd Roots (presentation in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam on 30 December 2007).
Then a lesson with Anner Bijlsma which was great again! Very inspiring once again. We played the Mendelssohn Bb Sonata and Reger Romanza which worked excellent. At first we didn't really understand the piece but today it worked!
Check Anner Bijlsma out here

maandag 14 mei 2007

Two more Bolero's today

Two more Bolero's today. This morning for mentally handicapped children (in the Concertgebouw) and tonight a 'normal' concert. I need to find a new reed for today I think, the reed I have been using the past weekend is getting bad.

vrijdag 11 mei 2007

I had my first practice session after the Bylsma lesson

I had my first practice session after the Bylsma lesson. I have new inspiration to do things different. It was a very relaxed session with Anner nut I did pick up a lot. The man has very positive energy and I can take that with me to the practice room.

Yesterday I had my first playing session with Anner Bylsma (my mentor for the Netherlands Music Prize). That was a lot of fun. Wijnand like it as well. He has great metaphores and his approach is very positive. I think I can learn a lot from this man.
Now I am of to a Bolero rehearsal with NedPho. What a great piece, everytime I play it I realize this again!


woensdag 9 mei 2007

Busy times for me now

Busy times for me now. The Dogtroep rehearsals consume time and effort. But it's gonna be a good show. It's very exciting for us to work with them and work with our music and our instruments in a completely different way.
Now I am off the Alexander lesson and then I can pick up my baritone saxophone from a revision at Saxomania. Tomorrow is my lesson with Anner Bijlsma. Wijnand and I will play the Mendelssohn cello sonata. He recorded this piece so I think he will have some things to tell us!

maandag 7 mei 2007

Just ordered zwei akte by Kagel for harp sax and a stripper (which sta...

Just ordered zwei akte by Kagel for harp sax and a stripper (which starts out nude and dresses during the piece). Let's see if we can get this programmed anywhere!

zondag 6 mei 2007

I'll return the references to Bakker

I'll return the references to Bakker. They are not the thing I am looking for. I'll keep playing the SIII with Mark VI neck for now. I have all the time!

I am studying two Reger Romanzas now, the one for clarinet and one for cello. Anner Bijlsma suggested them. They are beautiful pieces. Wednesday I'll rehearse them with Wijnand for the first time.

Max Reger  src=

zaterdag 5 mei 2007

I have two reference altos in my house right now

I have two reference altos in my house right now. Let's see if I will keep one of them. I am eager to have a new horn. These two I selected from 9 at Harry Bakker's in Muiderberg. That should be enough choice. But all the saxes are so different!

donderdag 3 mei 2007

Today we had the first Dogtroep rehearsal with the quartet on locaiton...

Today we had the first Dogtroep rehearsal with the quartet on locaiton (Almere). People are writing music now and we got to know the locaction. It will be very exciting and a very impressive production with lots of machinery and wild fantasies. Go check it out in June in Almere (www.dogtroep.nl)