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Newsletter May 2021Read the online newsletter in your webbrowser




Concertzender in May: Miles ahead

editorialIn May, we are launching a retrospective on Miles Davis. All aspects of this legendary trumpet player, bandleader and composer will be covered in six legendary concerts. Jaap van der Klomp compiled the series especially for Concertzender and Ben Zwanink wrote the introduction. A summer full of Miles!

Our composer of the month, Aaron Copland, will bring you more Americana, Thou Singest Ye Carol will focus on Francis Poulenc’s repertoire, and in An Ox on the Roof by Thea Derks, you will hear songs to poems by Anna Akhmatova.

Finally, as the icing on the cake, you can win a 3 CD-box by jazz pianist Bart Flos. The Night: Jazz will feature his music no less than 7 hours on 4 May.



22 May, 29 May, 26 June, 24 July, 31 July, and 28 August 2021

Theme: Jazz


Miles in May (and after)

Miles Davis. In all his forms he made jazz history: as a trumpet player, style developer, composer, and bandleader. His trumpet playing is not one of speed or high register but rather more introverted. He gradually used less and less vibrato and had a preference cover Bitches Brewfor a specific trumpet mute: the Harmon mute. This produces a subdued trumpet sound that became one of Davis’ trademarks.

From Bebop to Cool
Davis appeared on the scene in the 1940s, while bebop was developing. He was on stage and in the studio with Charlie Parker in New York. But after three years of bebop, he struggled with the blazing-fast tempos and high registers. Composer, arranger, and bandleader Gil Evans made him think differently about music and its possibilities. The result was a change of style, and around 1950 the album Birth of the Cool was released.

Nine musicians (a nonet) who did not compete with their saxophones and trumpets, no fiery sounds, murderous tempos, or strong dynamics. Cool jazz is about soft-focus, merging colours, and an important role for unusual wind instruments such as the horn and the tuba. Moderate tempi, mezzo-forte dynamics, no virtuosity, in other words: chamber jazz. It was received in a positive but cautious way. In the late 1950s, the partnership with Gil Evans resulted in Miles Ahead, Porgy and Bess and Sketches of Spain. This time with larger orchestras.

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22 May, 29 May, 26 June, 24 July, 31 July, and 28 August 2021

Theme: Jazz


Miles Davis retrospective

Especially for Concertzender, programme maker Jaap van de Klomp has made a retrospective of Miles Davis. He began selecting live performances starting July 1955, when Miles impressed at the Newport Jazz Festival. It got him an important contract with Columbia Records. Not long after this, he formed his First Quintet, including the energetic, virtuoso tenorist John Coltrane as his complementary counterpart. A few days after the Paris recordings of the film music of L’Ascenseur Pour L’Échafaud, the Amsterdam Concert fromcover Live In Europe 1957 followed, with the same line-up.

In 1960, the First Quintet toured through Europe. On Miles Davis & John Coltrane – The Final Tour: The Bootleg Series Vol. 6, we can hear the last performances of Coltrane and Davis. Coltrane had no further interest in the tour anymore and couldn’t wait to start something for himself. He wasn’t bothered by anyone or anything and continued on his own adventurous path, to which the audience had varied responses.

After concerts in America with tenorists Hank Mobley and George Coleman, in Tokyo with Sam Rivers, and in Europe with Wayne Shorter, we will hear electric Miles on Bitches Brew Live (1970), “a document meant to show the evolution of Davis’s electric sound, and it does that well.” (Matthew Fiander).

Between 1975 and 1980, Davis was fighting demons, and excessive use of cocaine and alcohol worsened his condition. Davis: “Sex and drugs took the place music had occupied in my life.” The trumpet was gathering dust.

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Sundays 9 and 23 May 2021 and on demand

Theme: Classical Music



Poulenc’s Songs

We have broadcast the programme Thou Singest Ye Carol every 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month at 11 am since January 2017. The Dutch title of the programme Die Sanck een Liedt is a nod to an old Dutch verse Die Nachtegaal die sanck een Liedt or Bernac and PoulencThe nightingale that sings a song in English, and it’s a reference to Evert-Jan Nachtegaal, the presenter of the programme.

Every episode, he highlights music; he does that from a different point of view every time. Sometimes, an episode is dedicated to a famous singer, other times, the programme is about a composer, poet, city, season, or voice type. Many people have since discovered the programme and love to be surprised by this art form that doesn’t get enough airtime on Dutch radio programmes, at least not this regularly. Of course, you can find all of the previous episodes of Thou Singest Ye Carol on the Concertzender website.

On 11 April, a four-part series about the life and songs of Francis Poulenc (1899-1963) has started. Poulenc wrote more than a hundred songs, many of which were made especially for baritone Pierre Bernac. In this series, we will hear Poulenc and Bernac themselves: it can’t get more authentic.

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Sunday 2 May 2021

Theme: Contemporary Music



cover An ox on the roofAn Ox on the Roof, part 26

Some people compare the coronavirus to war situations and the counter-measures to contain the pandemic to a dictatorship, and very inappropriately so. Adriaan van Dis called it rash comments by people who are spoiled rotten. Real dictatorship is very different.

Russian poet Anna Akhmatova (1889-1966) knows true dictatorship: she lived through Stalin’s oppression. Her poems expressed her compatriots’ pain, but her clear, simple verses also touched the common folk. American-Austrian Nancy van de Vate made a moving rendition of Akhmatova’s poignant poetry with her Akhmatova’s Songs.

For Palate Cleanser, her compatriot Clare Shore took inspiration from a nightmare after a period of stress. “While falling asleep, I fight demons until a scream from inside of me wakes me up.” Once on the streets, her gloomy thoughts disappear as she hears the music by street musicians and a rehearsing choir.

In her cantata Voice of Women, American-Austrian Nancy van de Vate sings about the sadness of the older women who no longer have a place in society.

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Weekdays from Thursday 6 May 2021

Theme: Classical Music



Composer of the Month: Copland

It’s almost Mother’s Day in the Netherlands but the title ‘Father of…’ is trendy. Last month Mikhail Glinka was Coplandthe father of Russian Music. In May, we’ll go to the United States; Aaron Copland will be our Composer of the Month.

He lived through the first nine decades of the 20th century. What made him special – and gave him his honorary title – was that Copland took elements from pop music, hymns, and jazz and poured them into symphonic moulds. He also added his own style and interests for new developments to his music, like the twelve-tone technique, combined with jazz rhythms.

In 1943, he created his most famous piece, music that is forever added to the canon of American music: Appalachian Spring. The piece was written as a ballet for Martha Graham. Later, Copland turned it into a piece for symphony orchestra. The accessible, heroic style was to become an example for American composers like Barber and Bernstein and is now in every American orchestra’s repertoire.

Every workday, starting Thursday 6 May from 4 to 5 pm.



Broadcast: Tuesday 4 May / Contest: before 20 May 2021

Theme: Jazz



Contest - The Night: Jazz about the repertoire of Bart Flos

Since last February, Concertzender has a weekly jazz night again. Jordy de Muijnk digs through his collection every Tuesday from 12 to 7 am.

Bart FlosOn Tuesday 4 May, the entire programme will be about Dutch pianist Bart Flos. Flos has been regularly releasing his own works under the name Next Step Projects since the year 2000. In The Night: Jazz, we will broadcast some of these early releases in full. After that, we will play the last part of this series, which was released in 2019.

On behalf of Bart, we will give away some copies of this last part titled Roots & Reflections to some of you. This 3CD-set contains a suite for solo piano, trio, and a bonus CD with alternate takes on these works. To get your hands on one of the copies, we ask you to provide us with the correct answer to the question: how many volumes of Next Step Projects has Bart Flos released so far?

Send your response to Concertzender prize draw before 20 May, and you may be a lucky winner!




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Editorial Staff:
Koen Croese
Anouk de Wit
Barbara Leijdekkers
Thijs Brinksma
Ronald Visser

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