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Concertzender Newsletter December 2010


Dear reader,

First of all, we are pleased to announce that we have a new column called ‘Prijsvraag’ (Prize Question) in which you can enter to win a prize.
Read on about our new Gregorian programme and an 8 hour version of Solta a Franga on the night of Dec. 31st.
In 'Introducing' you will meet Geert Maessen, programme maker of the new ‘Bonum est’.
You can also watch our new film which vividly illustrates how unique and indispensible the Concertzender is. Scroll down and check it out!
We wish you much reading pleasure.
On behalf of all of us at the Concertzender we wish you and yours a very merry Christmas and a happy new year!

Greetings from
the Concertzender

See the Concertzender through the eyes of different people and perspectives in a unique documentary film

What exactly is the Concertzender? Who makes all those programmes? What makes the Concertzender so indispensible and unique?

These and other questions are answered in the film which documentary maker David de Jongh made about the Concertzender. Through the commentaries of Nelleke van der Krogt (ardent Concertzender fan), founder Jan Wolff, saxophonist Yuri Honing, violinist Rosanne Philippens and a score of others you are presented with a unique look behind the curtains of the Concertzender.

The film also has other aims:

  • making the Concertzender more familiar to a larger audience.
  • increasing donors and sponsors. The Concertzender relies entirely upon donations and contributions. Help us to continue to create and maintain a solid foundation!  Let us inspire you to support us in broadcasting commercial-free, top quality international music to an international audience!
  • there are 3 versions of the film of which the longest is the most interesting. In it you will find a historical perspective, more music fragments and more extensive commentaries.

Happy viewing!

Prize Question

Do you know the answer to the question below? Email us and you might win!

What can you win in this first edition of Prize Question?

  • a CD with: piano concerts 22 & 25 by W.A. Mozart
  • solist: David Fray
  • with the Philharmonia Orchestra led by Jaap van Zweden (Virgin Classics 6419640)

How can you enter?

Two CD’s will be up for raffle for the winners of the right answer. We will announce the winners:

  • 14 days after the publication of this newsletter
  • in an email to the 2 winners
  • via a news message on »our website
  • in the next newsletter in this column.

The monthly prizes are made possible thanks to the generosity of various record labels. The winning CD’s in our December edition are provided by Virgin Classics/EMI.

Solta a Franga-night

On Dec. 31, New Year’s Eve, the Concertzender will feature a special Solta a Franga night. Between 11:00 pm and 07:00 am CET you can party your way into 2011 together with us!
 ‘Solta a Franga’ is the Brazilian expression for ‘let it all hang out’, or ‘go crazy’. Literally it means ‘let the chicken loose’.
Solta a Franga is also our weekly Friday night programme (11:00 - 12:00) with exotic grooves:

  • gypsy
  • afro
  • asian
  • latin
  • and more

Various DJ’s take turns putting the programme together:

These DJ’s will spin their favourite music of 2010 on Dec. 31st and create a swinging melting pot of music to party to all night long.
On New Year’s Eve put your champagne on ice, set out your goodies, push the furniture aside and tune in to the » Concertzender!

Editors Tip [1]: Van de Kaart (From the Map)

The programme ‘De Vorige Eeuw’ (‘The Past Century’) features the series ‘Perestroika’, compiled by Arthur Olof. ‘Perestroika’ in turn contains a spin-off called ‘Van de Kaart’ (‘From the Map’) which is dedicated to work which came into being around the time of the perestroika (construction) and ‘destroyka’ (destruction) of communism in Eastern Europe. In the historic year of 1989 the Berlin Wall (‘die Wende’) fell (see photo) which led to a reunited Eastern and Western Germany.
» Monday Dec. 20 from 10:00 pm - 11:00 pm CET you will hear the 3rd part of the ‘From the Map’ spin-off. Listen to music by composers from countries which have vanished from the map of Europe, performed in a city which no longer exists.
This segment will highlight registrations of the Third International Music Festival ‘for humanism, peace and friendship between the people’ of May 1988 in Leningrad. Works by the following composers is included:

  • Rodion Shchedrin: music for strings, 2 hobo’s, 2 horns and celesta from the ballet music of ‘The Lady with the Dog’
  • Prince Andrei Mikhaylovich Volkonsky: ‘Was noch lebt...’ set to poetry by Johannes Bobrowski, a German poet and prisoner of war in the Russian city of Kaliningrad on the banks of the Mernel
  • Siegfried Matthus (1934): ‘The Woods’ - concert for timpani and orchestra from 1984

» listen to earlier episodes of Perestroika

Editors tip [2]: Early Music

The December episodes of Documento and Nuove Musiche have interesting musical offerings, says coordinator Irene Stolp.
The Documento episode of Sun. Dec. 5 (03:00-04:00 pm CET) will spotlight the smallest member of the viola da gamba family; the pardessus de viole (see photo). Baroque composer Pierre Hugard wrote unique music for this instrument.

» see the programme guide for more info about this episode of Documento featuring the pardessus de viole

» go to our website for further interesting early music programmes

Editors Tip [3]: Christmas concerts

Irene Stolp offers 2 tips for Christmas concerts in December.

Een Spaanse Kerst (A Spanish Christmas), renaissance music from the cancioneros by So el Enzina with soprano Luciana Cueto:

  • Sunday Dec. 12
  • 03:30 pm
  • Ambachts- en Baljuwhuis, Voorschoten, Holland

Zachow, the master from Halle. Christmas cantatas by Zachow (see picture), Händel’s teacher. By Accademia Amsterdam led by Ludger Remy with soprano Constanze Bakkes:

  • Thursday Dec. 16
  • 08:15 pm
  • Paleiskerk, the Hague

» reserve tickets for either or both concerts

Editors Tip [4]: new programme ‘Bonum est’

Since Nov. 14 we have a new weekly Gregorian programme called Bonum Est.
Sundays from 05:00 – 06:00 pm CET

This programme is made by Geert Maessen. Meet him in ‘Introducing…’.

» watch the promo film


Introducing... Geert Maessen, braille music transcriber

I am a braille music transcriber. Upon request, I transcribe scores into musical notation for blind musicians. This is done according to international agreements by using 6 keyboard keys and the space bar to convert the black printed score, detail by detail, into braille, which is very work intensive.
This can also be done by scanning sheet music and the using Finale to automatically convert to braille. This only works faultlessly with instrumental music by Bach.
 I also scan old braille pieces and digitalize them.
When I am between music jobs I make relief drawings: often graphs and diagrams from study books which have to be converted to braille.

I am particularly involved in the field of Gregorian music. I lead 2 small ensembles (men and women) and, together with other musicians, give monthly performances in the Obrecht Church in Amsterdam and at other locations.
Furthermore, I make reconstructions of Gregorian hymns based on the oldest (10th century) manuscripts. I write these out in a music notation of my own making which does the most justice to the 10th century sources, which would otherwise be indecipherable for modern musicians.
I publish works about Gregorian music and occasionally give lectures, also for academic audiences. What particularly fascinates me is the common ground between the 10th century practice and oral traditions; traditions which still exist in the Islam and Hinduism.  

Delving into repertoire and performance practices
I became excited by the idea of discovering more about the many different recordings which exist of the Gregorian repertoire. That is why I started working for the Concertzender. I am, of course, familiar with a great deal of Gregorian music but truly listening to a broad variety of recordings is something I don’t often have time for. Aside from that I would like to familiarize the listener with the many different faces and aspects of Gregorian music aside from the monks of Solesmes and Silos.

My own performances at the Concertzender
“In the past I had spoken with my predecessor at the Concertzender, Thomas Op de Coul, about airing performances of my ensemble on his programme. With this ensemble I often work with musicians from very different repertoires: a type of ‘fusion’ which you don’t often encounter in Holland but which I find very interesting.
Thomas stopped with his programme a year ago and suggested me as his successor. Another 6 months went by as I was too busy with lectures in the States and with preparing a concert with a rabbi and an imam for the Netherlands Gregorian Festival.

 Bonum est
 Finally the programme is on the air. On Sunday, Nov. 14 the 1st episode of my programme, ‘Bonum est’, was aired. A month previous to this date I had started putting together the 1st episodes which entailed:

  • a great deal of listening and divining suitability
  • searching for exceptional recordings
  • devising new episodes

Building Harpsichords
I worked as an assistant harpsichord builder for 10 years, the lengthiest job I had before I began working as a braille transcriber. This work was executed in the same manner as in the golden age of harpsichord building (Ruckers in Antwerp): without electric devices. My tasks were:

  • winding snares
  • gluing keys
  • making tapered nails
  • fashioning rosettes with a fretsaw
  • sorting and moving exotic wood in a wood storage depot

I found it particularly inspiring to be able to work in that traditional world.

Next Newsletter

The next newsletter of the Concertzender will come out in January.


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