With 30 concerts, a Symposium, masterclasses, a music stroll, and a full castle weekend with a Schubertiade ‘en costume’ and a music & poetry afternoon in the inspiration of ‘Omar Khayyam’, Annelies Rhebergen wrote reviews of most of all these events, added with observations by Michael Tsalka and some of our musicians .
REVIEWS 9th INTERNATIONAL FORTEPIANO FESTIVAL 2019
AUG 8 TULLIA 13 hrs
I heard a concert this afternoon at 1 pm at the Geelvinck Muziek Museum Zutphen. Mamma mia how beautiful!
A combination of Bach and Schumann. Tullia Melandri built cathedrals from the works played. Really fantastic!
Photo and text: AR
AUG 8 MICHAEL, MAURO, ANDREW, VERENA 20 hrs
Photo after the concert last night, a quartet that made real music, Mozart in a beautiful arrangement by Hummel. Key words: Musically, very high level, beautiful instruments, a unity, music sounded as if there were no instruments ‘in between’. Very very beautiful. For more high-level concerts, consult the concert agenda and, as always, welcome! And be quick, the concerts up to now were sold out.
(9e Internationale Fortepiano Festival)
Photo and text: AR
AUG 9 MEGUMI 13hrs
FANTASTIC: This afternoon at 1 pm Megumi Tanno played “Fugue and Tempest” composed by Beethoven and the Birth of his “Heroic” Phase. I never heard this sonata played this way. It was as if it was re-composed on the spot. The control of the instrument, the Conrad Graf from 1836 was optimal, pianissimi as you rarely hear, and calm before the storm in the build-up. It was very quiet in the concert room. An unprecedented Tempest was played for us, so controlled that it makes you hold your breath. The Variations and Fugue for Piano in E ♭ major, Op. 35 are a set of variations for solo piano composed in 1802. They are commonly referred to as the Eroica Variations because a different set of variations on the same theme were used as the final of his Symphony No. 3 Eroica composed the following year. The variations where also extraordinary for the ear. WOW! 🤩
(9e Internationale Fortepiano Festival)
Photo and text: AR
AUG 9 PATRICIA 20hrs
Patricia García Gil gave a concert in the music museum Zutphen last night. Originality is a key word in our Festival and Patricia came up with something very original, she intertwined Chopin and Spanish composers, “Chopin and the Spanish Connection”. Very beautiful how she performed this program, creating a harmonic and romantic concert. She played alternately on the Conrad Graf fortepiano from 1836 and the Érard grand piano from 1901. Key words: Originality, genius, mastery, virtuosity, interaction with the listeners, etc. Patricia who was invited for the 3rd time in our Festival showed her great qualities to the public again. As far as I am concerned, a very good pianist and so the audience showed afterwards that emotion was visible on the faces of the visitors. Brava Patricia! (9e Internationale Fortepiano Festival)
Photo and text: AR
AUG 10 MARINA 20hrs:
Last night Marina Rodriguez-Bria played her recital program “Clementi & Friends” with brilliance and fiery Spanish passion.
She told us very well interesting facts about Clementi who was taken from Rome to London at the age of 14 by a patron who provided him with enough money. From the first moment you hear the enthusiasm in her piano playing. Without a doubt a very good pianist. Original to choose for an unknown Viennese female composer, Marianna Auenbrugger (1759-1782) and to perform her sonata in Es major (1782). Beautiful music and beautifully performed. Then Marina played the sonata in g minor, Op.8 No 1 by Clementi, which he dedicated to the afore mentioned female composer.
With the two encores, she attracted even more attention from the audience, these encores were highly appreciated. From contemporary Solaire and Clementi himself with Russian gems of melodies.Thank you Marina and brava!
( 9e International Forte Piano Festival)
Photo and text: AR
AUG 11 NARUHIKO 10:30hrs:
At half past ten this morning Naruhiko Kawaguchi performed Chopin on the Conrad Graf fortepiano from 1836. For me there are no words for this extremely beautiful concert. Oh yes, one word: DIVINE !
( 9e Internationale Fortepiano Festival)
Photo and text: AR
Aug 11 HACKFORT 14:30 hrs ‘Omar Khayyám’
A few words about the Contemporary Salon ‘Omar Khayyám’ at Hackfort Castle on Sunday afternoon, Aug. 11. You should have been there to experience this beauty, unity, originality, high quality, music or it came straight from heaven. Recited poems interwoven with older and whole new music. It is impossible to summarize in a few words how this afternoon went. In any case, breathtaking. Big compliments to all. It was also great that two composers were present. Well, an undeniably beautiful fusion of arts. Thank you all dear performers!💐💐💐💐💐💐
Gaia Gaibazzi, David Feldman, Areli Cortés Gutiérrez, Marina Rodríguez-Brià, Angelica Minero Escobar, Aspasia Nasopoulou – composer, Joan Josep Gutiérrez Yzquierdo – composer
Photo’s, MTanno + Text, AR
AUG 11 Aurelia and Dominik 20hrs
Last night at 8:00 pm we could listen to a very special combination of instruments, Aurelia Visovan, fortepiano and Domink Wagner double bass. A very surprising combination and to find a balance here as musicians between these two ‘extremes’ of instruments is very difficult. We know Aurelia’s qualities as excellent, so she won the MAF competition in Bruges last week! Dominik with his double bass produced a beautiful warm, sweet sound, an excellent double bass player. Bach, Beethoven, Schubert and Popper arranged for this exceptional combination resulted in an unprecedented concert. Bravi Aurelia and Dominik!
Foto and text: AR
AUG 12 SYMPOSIUM 10 hrs : AR not present.
Tea-Young Kim about her experiences:
Photos from the day of the 6th International Geelvinck Fortepiano Symposium(12.Aug.) – It was my first presentation ever after my graduation from schools. I presented my lecture concert with Zumpe squarepiano(1769) on thema ‘Lodovico Giustini’s Sonatas for Piano e Forte: A Novel Compositional Response to Cristofori’s Invention’. It was indeed wonderful time with great attendants and warm support.
It was 14 years ago when I started to have a look at Giustini’s pianoforte sonatas during studying time in Trossingen, Germany.
I was so curious why people wanted to invent piano and how composers wrote music for it. At that time It was indeed struggle for me to read all original scores from primary and secondary sources, and several English books about Cristofori piano action for 75 minutes presentation in German language. But I was happy to see how listeners could be interested in that topic.
And then 7 years ago, I met the oldest Cristofori piano survived in New York. Coincidently, I could see Ferrini (Cristofori’s pupil) piano copy in other place during my stay in USA at that time. That experience gave me new fresh insights about early pianofortes and music for them.
It was so nice to gain opportunity to restart studying that thema this year again. I realized that involved info was quite much updated by musicians and musicologists. Furthermore, well-developed Google Translate helped me a lot to read important writings in foreign languages which I cannot understand myself.
I appreciate for all Geelvinck teams, my friends and colleagues on that day. I want to keep going with this thema somehow, and now I gained brave heart to present more themas about historic pianos and compositions for them.
AUG 12 Prof. WOLFGANG BRUNNER, 20hrs concert after the symposium
Joseph Haydn, Sonata in D major. Wolfgang Brunner sits himself behind the Heilmann 1790 and takes off. No doubt you will follow. Pianissimo’s and fortissimo’s, no limits. Johan Michael Haydn (his brother), a wonderfull Klavierstuck in E flat Major W.A. Mozart, not only the famous Fantasia in C minor but Brunner, almost without effort combines this piece with the E flat Sonate – the only one that starts with a slow movement. Franz Schubert, now the maestro plays on the Conrad Graf (fortepiano – Vienna 1836). For when Clementi published the score he ‘most likely played it on this instrument’. A superb Impromptu D. 946. A musician of the highest level. After two encores, everyone agreed, there is (almost) no higher level.
Photo and text: JvhF and AR
AUG 13 Michael, David, Gaia, 20hrs:
Yesterday evening, AN AMAZING CONCERT by three excellent musicians.Last night there was a special concert in the Geelvinck Music Museum Zutphen. Particularly due to the composition of instruments, David Feldman, countertenor, Gaia Gaibazzi, clarinet, Michael Tsalka, fortepiano. Like previous concerts also very surprising and of a very high level.
It is really difficult to write a review in a few words about this concert. It has become clear that our Festival has a very high level. A warm interaction with the audience was maintained by the three musicians in front of a crowded venue. Michael explained that the Heilmann from 1790 and the Collard & Collard from around 1845 are his two favorite instruments from our playable collection. Compositions were performed by, among others, G. Bononcini, W.A. Mozart, Purcell, Schubert, Paul Ben-Haim, John Cabe, and so on, but also from a contemporary composer who attended the concert, Joan Josep Guitierrez Yzquierdo. His piece for fortepiano is dedicated to Michael Tsalka. A fascinating composition that was brought by Michael in an exceptionally beautiful sound. This composition makes me curious about more of his music. Gaia explained the difference between the two clarinets she used, an old one and a contemporary one. The clarinet has evolved over the centuries. She played wonderfully beautiful. David can do anything with his warm contentenor voice. With ease and purity he sings the highest note and the lowest that were sung in the concert. Very surprising. His expression, body language is also wonderful to watch. The diversity of the program made you sit on the edge of the chair and the playfulness and love that flowed in from the musicians was heartwarming. So far my report, the details really don’t matter that much. Keyword: an amazing concert by a TRIO, that should perform here more often.
Photo and text, AR
AUG 15 ARELI & RODRIGO 20hrs
“Violin and Fortepiano dialogues”, performed by Rodrigo Lluchand Areli Cortes in the Geelvinck Muziek Musea On the 15th August. Two young rising stars were playing beautiful program this afternoon!
The journey started with Bach BWV 1019 and I was really touched in Largo with beautiful long tone from young violinist !
In Schubert D 385 in Andante I heard delicately F major key was transcending to D flat major, two artists were carefully choosing the color of the instruments.
Very interesting pieces are for me Von Weber Sonata in G major, Op.10b.
Weber has enchanted us in unique set of the movements! And Rodrigo tried to match his gentle sound with fortepiano in Adagio was phenomenal.
Afterwards we heard dramatic Beethoven Op. 47 where we all were touched by Beethoven’s warmth!!!
In the end two small pieces of von Paradis, that was really astonishing in such a magical way!! I definitely hear the passion of two stars in musical dialogue.
Text and photos, Megumi Tanno
AUG 15 ALEXANDRA & RICHARD 20hrs
The piano duo Alexandra Nepomnyashchaya and her husband Richard Egarr yesterday evening played together. Nice to hear also music for four hands in this fantastic early piano festival. We heard no fewer than three fortepiano’s being played on this 15th August. The first was the Matthäuss Heilmann from 1790 with a sonata by J.C. Bach. We heard Variations by Mozart on the same instrument. For Clementi, the instrument was changed and the Conrad Graff from 1836 was played, a very different sounding beautiful instrument.
After the pause it was a third fortepiano – the Collard & Collard from around 1845, who was approached very professionally with the Grande Sonata in E-flat major by Hummel. The two spouses became increasingly motivated and finally played the well-known Petite Suite by Debussy, which was greatly appreciated by the numerous public present. Besides this concert Richard gave to Areli and Levi a few good tips, see the photo’s.
Perhaps nice to say that the Heilmann was restored by Gijs Wilderom from Amsterdam and tuned by ‘our Sara’, as she treats every instrument with great care. The Graf was also restored by Gijs and the C&C by Bas Otto from Zutphen.
Text, JvhF + AR
AUG 16 Tae-Young Kim 13hrs Italian and Iberian Delights
Yesterday I heard beautiful concert by Tae Young in Blue Hall where stands Zumpe 1769! A Very simple single action touched audience tremendously! As Tae Young said to us, Zumpe has intimate emotional color! But！
How Tae Young managed to make a great mature sound out of the instrument, the audience agreed she worked so hard and makes it possible with her intelligent insight and passion!!I love so much the program, especially Seixas was so astounding and delicate Giustini pieces
And were amazing! Thanks and big applause for TY Chan!!
Photos and text: Megumi Tanno
AUG 16 HRVOJE JUKOVICH 20hrs
A few words about the concert last night in the music museum Zutphen, where people listened breathlessly, what a musician, really one of the best! Hrvoje Jugovic, is not a soccerplayer nor toptennisprofessional but a pianovirtuoso of the highest level. Yesterday he performed in Zutphen. A modest man living in Vienna (born in Zagreb). In the first half a frivolous Scarlatti sonata and a big pianowork: Le Retour a Paris, sonata in A-flat Major by Dussek. This piece, seldom heard, from 1807 is difficult to play but not for Jugovic. He a true master. He showed us with a few examples that Dussek was far ahead of his time. Various styles and composers can be heard in this sonata, before they where born! / After the intermission Scarlatti sonata in A Major and Beethoven’s Waldstein sonata from 1803. Very impressive, in a nice way! Subtle, grumpy, dolce, angry etcetera. Words can not expres the huge impact listening to a great pianist like Jugovic had on us human beings. Tonight August 17 he can be heard in the Luther Museum in Amsterdam. (Go see the Prinsengrachtconcert next year, Jugovic truely is the big event) !
Text: JvhF and AR
Photo’s: AR + RS
AUG 17 20hrs Luther Museum,
Hrvoje’s recital was well attended (around 50 persons in the audience). He played magnificently: a marvellous program, played with imagination, freedom, drama, and a great variety of dynamic colours and pedals. The Scarlatti then Dussek, Scarlatti then Beethoven combination is an excellent idea..Very high level, exactly the sort of program I am searching for, for the GFF.
Text Michael Tsalka
AUG 17 20hrs REMBRANDT FRERICHS TRIO AR: not present
Roland Spek: Rembrandt Frerichs Trio aug. 17th 20:00 > Jazz in the Festival !!!!
It was great! But actually too short. People from the audience also thought it was great, but it could have been even longer. So worth repeating next time 🙂
Foto and text, RS
AUG 18 11.00 & 14:30 Muziek Museum Zutphen and Marspoort Galerie Zutphen
Early Piano Wandelconcert ‘Van Salon naar Salon’: fortepiano, tafelpiano, clavichord, cello & hobo.
Walking Concert or Music Stroll: nice idea to create a musical afternoon like this: concert/museum visit-a walk-a concert-a walk-another concert.
The city of Zutphen is old, the musical instruments are old, the audience is old, only the musicians are young. This all happened the 18th of August in Muziek Museum Geelvinck – which might be closed down soon, caused by a major money problem.
Dalyn Cook started of playing a tablepiano, a very soft instrument, a Meerbach clavichord from c. 1800 (rare).The audience quiet as a mouse. She played J.F.Reichardt, Heinrich Scheidemann and C.Ph.E.Bach.
Then the director of the museum, Roland Spek talked to us about the museum and also its difficulties.
Walking to the next concertlocation was extra nice because of the historic explanations of Jurn Buisman. Mister Buisman is also the General Manager of Geelvinckhouse, we all were very pleased. He organises this 9th Early Piano Festival, assisted by Artistic Director Michael Tsalka and a handfull of volunteers.
At our second concert we heard Tea-Young Kim on tablepiano and Allison Smith on ‘classical’ hobo (an old instrument but newly made). They played J.Chr.M. Widerkehr and Anton Reicha really beautiful.
We gathered on the bridge over the Berckel, and were spoken to again by Mr. Buisman, also a historian about Zutphen while walking back to the Museum along beautiful historic houses.
The third concert was for cello (Octavia Dostaler-Lalonde) and keyboard made by Matthaus Heilmann (Artem Belogurov). The two musicians did a very good job with an all Beethovenprogram. Good to remember their names for futures’ sake.
AND: Please sign the petition!! https://petities.nl/petitions/huis-de-wildeman-moet-muziek-museum-blijven?locale=en
Text: JvhF and AR
Photo’s : AR
AUG 18 Sephardic Dreams Luther Museum 20:00 / AR not present
Dear Michael, thank you so much. Words cannot express the delight experienced during the inspiring and masterly performances we just witnessed during your festival in the Luther Museum. As so many others in the audience, obviously. Your earlier contributions at the Geelvinck Salon at Cromhouthuis are still fresh in our minds, I should add here, for the record! Congratulations and thanks to all artists just as the entire team and the hosts: each devoted to making each Geelvinck presentation unique, enriching our music life in ever more surprising ways! A joy to witness, remember and spread time and again, in and beyond Amsterdam. Also all success in ensuring the Geelvinck collection doesn’t become homeless and instead, gets recognized as the unique heritage it is: in its own right, as a hub of creativity and source of inspiration to all who come in contact with its treasures, irrespective of age, cultural roots or status. That’s quite something (!) and therefore must be stated loud and for all to hear – through music, obviously, and by all other means available.Looking forward to more such events, cordially, Ludwig & Mieke
AUG 19 MASTERCLASS MICHAEL TSALKA 10hrs
+ concert Michael
In conclusion of the master classes today (taught on 7! instruments), I performed a mini-recital to a select audience.
During the last few weeks, I had the great pleasure of meeting, playing with, and listening to three of my former students from Mexico City and Stockholm: Leonard Lindweld, Areli Cortes, Nataša Vlajić.
Seeing how all three flourish and succeed beautifully, and how all of them are magnificent human beings (and became close friends of mine), is an absolutely wonderful experience.
AUG 20 JOSEFIEN AND STEVEN 20hrs: ‘Thou Cherub Bright’
We already noticed that our 9th International Fortepiano Festival has a very high level and is a great success. Yesterday evening we again were pleasantly surprised by two fantastic musicians, soprano Josefien Stoppelenburg and forte pianist Stephen Alltop, both living in Chicago. Stephen was very impressed by our collection of historical instruments and chose for the song program the fortepiano’s Haschka from 1825 and the Heilmann from 1785, always fitting with the composers and songs.
Well, what to say about this great musicians. Josefien with her beautiful warm soprano effortlessly conquered the most difficult techniques and set down arias by Mozart, Händel, Beethoven, Haydn, Schubert and Rossini in such a way that we listened breathlessly and could not restrain ourselves after the songs had sounded. The audience responded with an enthusiastic applause, bis’s and with bravo’s, wow’s, etc.
There are actually many details to describe, details that Josefien told in advance for each song so we knew what to expect. Unbelievably beautiful sung, for example Haydn, Scena di Berenice, technically very difficult to sing, but not for Josefien. As she announced herself, this 13-minute Scena di Berenice, a miserable scene, was brought with beautiful expression.
We talk about Josefien, but Stephen is also a fantastic musician. A very good forte pianist and accompanist of the songs. He played solo on the Heilmann the Partita in G major by Haydn with such ease and musicality that we listened to it silently and with much attention. A warm applause for him too. It was clear that he was in love with our instruments, he always gave them hand kisses which expressed his gratitude for the playability and sounds of the fortepianos.
I would really like to tell a lot more about this concert, which we still enjoy a day after, but lack the space to elaborate on this. Assume that every aria and accompaniment were delights and great fun to watch, Josefien’s expressive gestures and her beautiful red dress kept your eyes and ears focused. After the final applause and flowers, we received an encore and a very special one, a piece by Handel that was just discovered in London in 2000. Hope to see the two in our 10th Festival next year!
Text AR and photos AR + MTanno,
AUG 21 / 13hrs Sayuri Nagoya – fortepiano: Improvisation, Sonata & Fantasia: C.P.E. Bach, J. Haydn, W.A. Mozart & A. Eberl
AUG 21/ 20hrs Noam Vazana – sopraan, Alon Sariel – mandoline & Michael Tsalka – fortepiano: Sephardic Dreams: Ladino and Spanish Songs for a New Age
Last night we could listen to Sephardic Dreams, with Noam Vazana, Alon Sariel, and Michael Tsalka. A unique program, equally divided between Ladino (Judeo Spanish) songs and Spanish repertoire: Traditional Sephardic songs, works by Manuel de Falla, Enrique Granados, Francisco Tárrega, Isaac Albéniz and Noam Vazana.
They sang “Ladino & Spanish Songs” in a crowded venue. Before the break, Alon and Michael played romantic music from Andalucia around 1900. It was a pleasure to listen to the combination of mandolin and fortepiano by two great musicians. The intimate warm sound of Alon’s mandolin matched wonderfully with the C&C – fortepiano on which Michael likes to play. These two musicians are very well matched, great to listen to and the atmosphere was great!
After the break Noam turned the room upside down and we could hear her solo, or together with Alon, and/or Michael. A Trio that sounded like a unity to us, great!
Ladino or Judeo-Spanish (Djudeo-Espanyol) is the language used by the Sephardic Jews in the diaspora. The language is strongly related to Spanish (similar to German-related Yiddish). There is a lot to tell about this fantastic concert in which no one in the room could sit still. Whether you wanted to or not you simply moved with the rhythms of the music and the enthusiasm it was brought by the musicians.
Noam had already heard this music as a child, she thought it was beautiful but did not understand it. Only 20 years later she discovered the richness and content of these songs and culture through a flashback moment from her childhood when she was in Morocco. From that moment she was completely taken over by this music and specialized in it, and how! A musica that you will never forget after hearing. A voice that made her effortlessly use all the registers.
Again I must conclude that the space here is far too short to express what we all were told by Noam, Alon and Michael. I can advise you to go to a concert of theirs when the opportunity arises.
At the end we were invited to sing with Noam her own composition, which she wrote the music and lyrics forf, “Durme durme”, a lullaby. As beautiful as it sounded and the diversity of the song, we were honestly even more awake 🙂 Conclusion, again a fantastic concert.
Photos: AR and RS
AUG 22 13hrs Cristian Leal – fortepiano: In Search of Chopin’s Spirit: Sonata No. 3 in B minor, Op. 53, Mazurka’s & Nocturnes
BRAVO for Christian!
Photo of a Fringe concert by Cristian Leal, just recently.
Cristian Leal (Chile / Austria) chose for his interpretation of Chopin’s Sonata No. 3 in B small, Op. 53, Mazurkas & Nocturnes obviously an instrument from Chopin’s time: the Conrad Graf 1836. In his time in Vienna, Chopin could have played very well on a Conrad Graf. Thank Cristian for this great concert.
22 aug 2019 20hrs Olga Pashchenko – fortepiano & Jed Wentz – voice, narrator: The Dual Art: Poems, Music and Melodrama
Grand Finale concert
I will write briefly about the Grande Finale Concert of our 9th International Fortepiano Festival, otherwise you will only read superlatives about such a special final concert. “The Duel Art: Poems, Music & Melodrama” an 18th century art form. Performed by Olga Paschenko, fortepianist and Jed Wentz, narrator, an 18th century form of art.
Let’s talk about Olga first, she played the piano sonatas no 11, Opus 22 and no 4, Opus 7 by L. van Beethoven. Both sonatas were performed on the Conrad Graf fortepiano (1836) with its beautiful sound. Key words, extraordinarily musical, personal insights into how to play the sonatas, which made us sit breathlessly. Really short, because you should have been there. What a TOP pianist !!! Oh yes, at one point I closed my eyes and only heard music, as if there was no pianist, no instrument, but pure music as if it came from heaven. Or maybe Beethoven was sitting on her shoulders?
Together with Jed Wentz they brought Jabberwocky and Edgar Allan Poe whose geniuses brought the public in a very gothic mood. Watching and listening to Jed was so impressive, sometimes almost frightening. What an actor, melodrama, expression, shivers!
The advantage of a not too large room is that we were able to follow his facial expressions and body language well. Very impressive!
The dialogue between Jed’s words and acting and the accompanying music by Olga were so well coordinated, a very nice perfect timing.
“The Raven” is dedicated to this bird by Edgar Allen Poe. Jed performed this work as the last part of the program, after which a standing ovation was given to both performers.
After the concert, General Director Jurn Buisman gave everyone a big thank you. Without an artistic director, piano tuners, volunteers, PR people, restorers, director of the music museum, all musicians, the Festival could not be performed as well. His wife Dunya Verwey, who often introduced the concerts, gave flowers to all involved. All in all, we look back on a particularly high level and inventively woven Festival. Thanks again to all and see you next year at the 10th edition!
Text: AR (failed to keep it short ;-))
Photos: AR and RS
Wikipedia, “The Raven” depicts a mysterious raven’s midnight visit to a mourning narrator, as illustrated by John Tenniel (1858).
Message from Joan Josep on FB: Joan Josep Gutiérrez Yzquierdo Thanks to you, Michael. This Festival is amazing! I never had seen such a big number of marvelous ancient pianos working nor so many artists gathered in a short period of time. We have enjoyed each moment of our stay there. We have listen to excellent music and met wonderful people. I am proud of your performance of my Prelude and Fugue and proud of Marina’s playing , too. And Clementi also successed! We must even still think about this experience.