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Newsletter January 2021Read the online newsletter in your webbrowser




silhouette with headphonesKeep listening to the Concertzender in January

These are strange times, so a little stability is very welcome. Good news: you can keep listening to the Concertzender. To for example Bach, whose oeuvre has already been the subject of more than 900 (!) episodes, listened and discussed by many experts. Or to episode number 22 of the Ox on the Roof, about violist and composer Ig Henneman.

From February it will be easier to keep listening because then on every evening of the week between 1900 and 2200 one period or genre will be central . Jazz and Crosslinks stick to their fixed evenings, but we have Live-recordings, Classical, Contemporary-, Old- and World music organised so that the programmes fit in nicely. That means you can keep listening in comfort.

Widor is our composer of the month and we’d love to bring your attention to Victor Herbert, whose commercial instincts went together with his appetite and cello virtuosity.

See you next month!





From Monday 1st February 2021



Broadcast scheme 2021

The Concertzender just gets better and better. Just think: 18 months ago we started horizontal programming. Objectives: more of our own recordings and mornings with accessible music. Our programme Morning edition has grown to be one of our flagships . We’re happy and apparently so are you. So onwards and upwards – how?

From 1st February – so you have to be patient – every working week evening will get its own signature. Love Baroque but find Free Jazz a bit too …. Free? Or the other way around? From 1st February you’ll know where you are. Here’s the list:

Monday: Live-recordings
Tuesday: Classical music
Wednesday: Contemporary music
Thursday: Early music
Friday: World music
Saturday: Jazz
Sunday: Crosslinks


So every evening of the week music you want to hear. And on every other evening you can browse through thousand of programmes of every conceivable genre on our site or the app. Is that all? No. From next month between 17:00 and 19:00 you can listen to jazz or world music on the Concertzender. In the attached schema we’ve set it all out for you.

Download the broadcast scheme 2021 (PDF file).

More next month, because there are some changes in the morning too.



Weekdays from Friday 1st January 2021

Theme: Classical Music



Composer of the month : Widor

WidorCharles-Marie Widor was made for the long haul. Do the math: he lived from 1844 to 1936, including 60 years as organist in the St. Sulpice, in the heart of Paris, where he died in harnass. Not surprising that he has been described as a real ‘organ composer’. But of course there’s much more, across many genres and influences. If you listen this month to our broadcasts about Widor you’ll hear chamber music, symphonies and the fleeting shadows of Brahms and Franck. Because just as with many of his contemporaries Widor combined French melodies with German formats, primarily out of commercial considerations.

Earning your bread is an important but often undervalued element in musical history. A divine sound is lovely, but life goes on. Bread on the table. In Widor’s times composing chamber music was a very sensible idea. Not too experimental or difficult, but certainly not too simple. Only skilled amateurs could afford sheet music, and they were the target group for his pianotrio which you can hear this month. And certainly for one of his most famous chamber music works, the Suite for flute and piano. But Widor was first and foremost an organist. Even in his time and country the Organsymphony was treated as a ‘sub-genre’. His Fifth symphony belongs – together with Saint-Saëns Third Symphony – to the basic repertoire for organ and orchestra .

Composer of the month, from Friday 1st January on work days from 16:00 to 17:00.



Biweekly from Tuesday 5th January 2021

Theme: Classical Music | Contemporary Music


noorderlichtA reminder: Northern Lights

A quick reminder: from 5 January you will be able to listen to the Northern Lights on the Concertzender. Our programme maker Luc Nijs then starts a new fortnighly series of programmes about Scandinavian and Baltic music with the title: Northern Lights. You can expect spiritual music and music that is inspired by the spirit of the Vikings as Luc explained last month. You can read that article here.

From 5 January on, biweekly from 17:00 to 18:00 CET.



4 to 8 and 11 to 15 January 2021

Theme: Classical Music

Genre: Baroque

Weihnachtsoratorium by Savall in Bach ad Infinitum

Weihnachtsoratorium door SavallSome pieces of music are too good to be only heard once a year. Bach ad Infinitum has recovered from the Christmas festivities but continues in January with their in-depth analysis of the recent recording by Jordi Savall of the Weihnachtsoratorium by Johann Sebastian Bach.

Monday 4 January to Friday 8 January is the first ‘Bachweek’ of 2021 and on Thursday 7 January and Friday 8 January you can listen to the recent recording by La Capella Reial de Catalunya and Le Concert des Nations led by the Catalan conductor and viol player Jordi Savall. Of course, the emphasis will be on the last couple of cantatas for the New Year.

Monday 4 January to Friday 8 January 13:00 - 14:00 CET
Monday 11 January to Friday 15 January 13:00 - 14:00 CET (repeats)

Here is a link to the broadcast of the Weihnachtsoratorium on 7 January.




On demand

Theme: Classical Music


Victor Herbert

by Thijs Bonger

Ever heard of the composer Victor Herbert? Probably not, because you won’t find his music in the Classical Top 400. Around 1940, the Canadian filmstar and singer Deanne Durbin caused long queues at the cinema’s box office. Not only did she look mesmerizing, but she could also sing beautifully and her records sold well.Victor Herbert One of her hit songs was Kiss me again, and that hit was composed by Victor Herbert. Later it was also recorded by the great American soprano Beverly Sills.

Medicine study too expensive
In 1859, Victor Herbert was born. His parents were Irish, but he grew up in Germany. Because studying medicine was too expensive, he went to the conservatoire in Stuttgart. He started his career playing the cello in Vienna and married an opera singer who was so good that the New York Metropolitan Opera invited here over. And Herbert joined her because he was accepted as principal cellist in the orchestra of the opera company.

New York, New York; a breakthrough
It did not take long before Herbert performed all over America as a cellist and as a conductor. He even founded his own orchestra and string quartet and meanwhile he was also composing. In 1888 he conducted the premiere of his own Serenade for String Orchestra Op. 12 in the New York Steinway Hall. Lately, I happened to hear that piece and I found it so pleasant and fresh, that I began looking into Victor Herbert. A broadcast in the series An Early Evening Stroll is the result. The link to the broadcast can be found at the end of this article.

Read more



Sunday 3rd January 2021

Theme: Contemporary Music



cover an ox on the roofAn ox on the roof

Last December, violin- and viola player Ig Henneman celebrated her 75th birthday. This would have been commemorated with a portrait concert in the Orgelpark in Amsterdam, but the coronavirus threw a spanner in the works. But there was the release of a new CD Solo Songs for Instruments with five new pieces, inspired by poetry.

The American soprano Katherine Dain released a CD as well, with modern music. It contains mostly French music, but the music of the Finnish/French Kaija Saariaho as well. Remarkable are the seldom-heard songs of Claire Delbos, Olivier Messiaen’s first wife.

The Britten Jeugd Strijkorkest also ends the year 2020 with a new CD, named after Nino Rota’s Concerto for Strings. The American Molly Pease, released the cantata Inner Astronomy including eight pieces for vocal quartet and string quintet, on her father’s poems. He wrote this when he was suffering from depression in an attempt to overwin an addiction.

An ox on the roof 22: The Ox in times of coronavirus #9, Sunday 3 January 2021 from 12:00 to 13:00.





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