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Newsletter December 2020Read the online newsletter in your webbrowser




Plaza de MiserereSetting the Tone and Pleasing your Ears

Mizéere. … Say what? You will probably expect us at the Concertzender to bring you a Miserere. But, if you listen to the Old Year’s speech of 1931 that Ferdinand Wittenberg used as a fragment in a very special episode of his Terra Incognita, in itself a special delight, you’ll notice: Misere has never sounded so beautiful. What a great way to leave 2020 behind.

Extra special: the Old Year’s Episode of de Concertzender is available without fireworks this time! On the last days of December, we will shoot up all sorts of nice things in the ether. Such as Luc Nijs, who is starting his series Aurora Borealis, about Scandinavian and Baltic music, including – as he calls it – Viking’s dimension; something to look forward to!

Our captivating composer of the month is Theo Loevendie – still going strong. And again, Luc Nijs will bring together people and music in his new docudrama The self-willed like Prokofiev.

An ox on the roof is about American composers. Join us and listen, it might be good for your misère as well. See you next year!



Workdays from Friday 4th December 2020

Theme: Contemporary Music

Composer: Theo Loevendie


Composer of the month: Theo Loevendie

This month, Theo Loevendie is our composer of the month. Loevendie (1930) – who is still active as a composer and improviser – started his career as a jazz musician. He started composing classical music later in his life, but jazz is never far away from Loevendie, just as the influences from Turkish and non-Western music. This month you can listen to a few examples.

Theo LoevendieEven though he grew up in an era where the battle between tonal and atonal music was intense, Loevendie was occupied with other questions: “How do I unite Western and non-Western elements in such a way that the non-Western does not sound like an exotic frame? And how do I combine jazz and classical music without one dominating the other?” Besides that, he also works with the tension between freedom and attachment.

You will also hear Loevendies opera Gassir from 1991. He was inspired by an African story about the warrior Gassir who thought his fame was everlasting. First, a partridge put him with both feet on the ground by telling him he will be forgotten. After that, Gassir loses his eight sons in battle. A lute, which Gassir had made for him, does not sing about his heroic deeds but proclaims that he will live on through his tears and his grief. Similar to his prior opera Naima, Loevendie wrote dialogs that were both powerful and serious, the instrumentation is often between chamber music and orchestral music. And all of this in a short period: the opera lasts as long as an act and does not take longer than half an hour.

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New Years’ Eve

Theme: Crosslinks



Terra Incognita: setting the tone and pleasing the ears

Terra incognitaFerdinand Wittenberg has been making Terra Incognita for almost three years now. Two Thursdays a month, he will guide you through unknown regions. Every episode is different, but setting the tone, pleasing your ears, and storytelling that you usually don’t hear on Dutch radio, are always included. Obscure? Anything except that. But you can listen for yourself, live, online, or on our app.

Episode 84 is even more special than usual because of the broadcasting time; on New Years’ Eve at 10 pm. Ferdinand wove through the music five historical sound fragments relating to the old year. For example, learn how ‘Misère’ was pronounced in 1931 – two years after the Stock Market Crash of 1929. The mixture of contemporary music and historical fragments create a warm and cozy radio festivity. A lot better than a New Year’s Comedy. What is there to laugh about in 2020, anyway? For sure this will be different in 2021, but more about that in the next newsletter.

Terra Incognita: New Years' Eve from 10 pm!



Biweekly from Tuesday 5th January 2021

Theme: Classical Music | Contemporary Music


noorderlichtAurora Borealis can be heard

At the beginning of January, Luc Nijs will start with his new, biweekly programme Aurora Borealis. In this series, he will focus completely on Scandinavian and Baltic music.

Why will he do so? Luc says, “Over there, they got involved rather late in classical music. This has the advantage that they developed their biotope, and because of this, their music can easily be recognized and classified in spite of the spectrum being very broad. On one side of this spectrum we find music with a spiritual touch, connecting it to eternity, always carried by the bond with nature and folk music. On the other side, there is stormy music, with a Viking dimension recurring regularly.”

It is not the first time that Concertzender will pay attention to Scandinavia. Before, attention was mostly focused on the late romantic repertoire, one single composer or one genre. In Aurora Borealis, everything comes together: modern and ancient, known and less-known, symphonic works, opera, and, naturally, also Scandinavian choral music. It will become clear whether there are (and if so, which) connecting elements in the music from the various countries and regions.

From 5 January on, biweekly from 5 to 6 pm.



Biweekly from Tuesday 12th January 2021

Theme: Contemporary Music

Composers: Sergei Prokovjev | Sergej Prokofiev

Self-willed like Prokofiev

Starting in January 2021, a new series kicks off, alternating with the programme Aurora Borealis. The self explanatory title: Self-willed like Prokofiev. Luc Nijs will present a long-term docudrama about one of the major and individualist composers of the 20th century.

Rostropovich en ProkofievProkofiev does not fit in with Russian tradition, nor with the somewhat tendentious modernism of Stravinsky in his Parisian period. Prokofiev went his own way and suffered commercial and professional consequences. Few people have been crossed in their careers to such an extent as he was, starting already during his student years in Saint Petersburg. Also, his publishers were giving him a hard time, concerned that there would be no market for his compositions. Often enough, they refused to publish Prokofiev’s self-willed works.

In the series, Luc Nijs will look for the sources of Prokofiev’s strong individuality. Which influences determined his music? How did he relate to his fellow students, his fellow composers, and his teachers? And what factors made his works to be appreciated in the end, and the audience eventually embrace him enthusiastically? In search of self-willed Prokofiev: as per January on your favourite music station…

From 12 January on, biweekly from 5 to 6 pm.



Sunday 6th December 2020

Theme: Contemporary Music



bookcover The American DreamAn ox on the roof

On Sunday 6 December we will broadcast part 21 of An Ox on the Roof in times of coronavirus. In this episode, programme maker Thea Derks will pay attention to North American composers. The famous Amstel Quartet has recently released the CD American Dream, with the music of five American composers. On this CD we can hear the cycle (in eight parts) Tapas, of Marc Mellitis, widely divergent ‘bits of music’, from driving minimalism to graceful lyricism, and muffled lamentation.

New as well, is the portrait CD All English Music is Greensleeves, with five pieces of the Flemish Maya Verlaak who was educated at the Royal Conservatoire The Hague and the University of Birmingham. The title All English Music is Greensleeves was derived from the remark of a teacher, who joked that English composers always produce new versions of Greensleeves.

Bass clarinettist Fie Schouten continues to work hard making music. At the beginning of November, she presented her CD Nature, containing six pieces around the nature theme. In An Ox, you can hear Oi Kuu for bass clarinet and cello of composer Kaija Saariaho, of whom we heard violin concerto Graal Théâtre in the last episode.

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The next Concertzender newsletter will appear late December / early January.

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