Opening Lunalia 2023: muzikaal medicijn tegen alleen-zijn 

Sinds afgelopen zaterdag is Mechelen gedurende twaalf dagen het centrum van de muzikale strijd tegen beschavingsziekte nummer één: eenzaamheid. Het jaarlijkse internationale stemmenfestival Lunalia is dit weekend gestart met een breed en kleurrijk programma om de positieve kracht van integratie in de samenleving muzikaal te omlijsten. “You’ll never be alone anymore” is dan ook hetContinue reading “Opening Lunalia 2023: muzikaal medicijn tegen alleen-zijn “

ICONS: prikkelende samenvatting van Amerikaans minimalisme

ICONS, de nieuwe cd van het ensemble BL!NDMAN, verwijst naar de drie grootheden van het Amerikaanse minimalisme: Terry Riley, Steve Reich en Philip Glass. De 3-delige cd-box vormt een gebruiksvriendelijke samenvatting van dit genre. Minimalisme is een muziekstijl die zich toelegt op minimalisering van het muzikaal materiaal. Vaak gehanteerde technieken zijn: herhaling van ultrakorte motieven,Continue reading “ICONS: prikkelende samenvatting van Amerikaans minimalisme”

The secret lyrical life of the double bass

Viennese musician Dominik Wagner surprises with the CD Chapters, entirely dedicated to the giant among string instruments – the double bass. Together with pianist Lauma Skride, he presents a choice of 14 tantalising pieces, ranging from Schubert and Ravel, through Fauré and Boulanger to Richter, Glass and, yes, Charles Chaplin. In the symphony orchestra, theContinue reading “The secret lyrical life of the double bass”

Religious and poetic work by Stefaan Vanheertum

Ghent composer Stefaan Vanheertum has just released his new CD Suoni Celesti. The CD contains choral works he wrote between 2014 and 2021. The collection is the result of a concert that took place last September. Suoni Celesti (heavenly sounds) consists of religious and liturgical works and pieces based on poems by Rainer Maria Rilke,Continue reading “Religious and poetic work by Stefaan Vanheertum”

American minimalists: the audience’s revenge

Last Saturday, deSingel’s stage in Antwerp was in the hands of BL!NDMAN, a collective group of strings, saxophones, percussion, keyboard, tubax and electronics with a programme based around three iconic American minimalists – Philip Glass, Terry Riley and Steve Reich. These three composers, all well into their eighties, have known each other since the lateContinue reading “American minimalists: the audience’s revenge”

Transit: new combinations but also modesty

Transit, the annual festival of contemporary classical music, was all about movement this year. Three different venues in Leuven offered an overview of new classical work, with highlights including a concerto for harpsichord and violin alongside new pieces by Daan Janssens and Annelies van Parys. Of the 14 pieces heard by this reviewer, 13 beganContinue reading “Transit: new combinations but also modesty”

Pain and consolation in eleven centuries

Festival 20.21 in Leuven packed out last Thursday with Near the Cross, a largely vocal programme dedicated to the pain in Mary’s life. The Prague vocal ensemble Capella Mariana, specialising in polyphony and early Baroque, formed a duo with the Belgian Goeyvaerts String Trio dedicated to 20th- and 21st-century repertoire. A combination that was notContinue reading “Pain and consolation in eleven centuries”

Music as ritual through the ages

The annual Festival 20.21 kicked off last Monday in Leuven (Belgium) with a tribute to the way Johann Sebastian Bach developed the musical idiom. In the opening concert BACHC®AB, his Musikalisches Opfer was the thread along which the interweaving of past and present was spun. The name of the concert is a play on wordsContinue reading “Music as ritual through the ages”

Jan Michiels plays sparkling timbres in concerto Annelies Van Parys

By Wynold Verweij Those who think that balancing exercises mainly belong in a gym are wrong since last Saturday. In Annelies Van Parys’ piano concerto, Jan Michiels (piano) and Martyn Brabbins (conductor) with the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra showed that a sophisticated tuning of timbre, nuance and tempo can lead to an intense listening experience. TheContinue reading “Jan Michiels plays sparkling timbres in concerto Annelies Van Parys”

Four Flemish composers of international stature

SPECTRA, ensemble for new music, focuses with its new CD a tension on four Flemish composers who got their inspiration from abroad. Karel Goeyvaerts (1923-1993), born and raised in Antwerp, went to Paris to learn from Olivier Messiaen that rhythm and timbre, as well as pitch, are equally important musical parameters. He later developed thisContinue reading Four Flemish composers of international stature