On my YT-channel: Valentina Lisitsa talks about Rachmaninoff in video with all new material

Yesterday I published a new video of pianist Valentina Lisitsa, containing footage of not formerly published segments of an interview with her about – primarily – Rachmaninoff. I revisited and reconsidered some of my unpublished footage and photos, resulting in this new video, I thought it would be worthwhile to share it with the YouTube audience.

Still from my video (at 12’54”) and from another era it seems… Valentina as a youngster playing chess.

Earlier on I already produced and published on YouTube a documentary on Valentina’s Rachmaninoff Project with the London Symphony Orchestra. The fabulous recordings done in the Abbey Road Studios in 2009 and 2010 will be released later on in 2012 by Decca.


The pleasurable sensuousness of ‘Eros Piano’

Eros Piano, a work by John Adams, is such a delightful piece. If I were a concert pianist it would be part of my repertory for sure! 🙂 YouTube offers only one performance of Eros Piano, the one here above, played by pianist Jay Gottlieb with L’Ensemble Orchestral de Paris conducted by John Nelson.

Composer John Adams wrote the work – almost a small piano concerto in one movement – in memory of two of his composer heroes, Morton Feldman and Toru Takemitsu. About the music Adams wrote that it’s “a quiet, dreamy soliloquy for piano, played against a soft, lush fabric of orchestral screens and clusters. It was a direct response on my part to a piece by Toru Takemitsu, riverrun, that I had heard in a performance by the English pianist Paul Crossley. (..) I wrote Eros Piano as a tribute to Takemitsu, to Bill Evans, and also to Paul Crossley, whose exquisitly balanced sense of color and attack in music by Debussy, Ravel, Messiaen and Takemitsu reminded me so strongly of that of Bill Evans.”

Pianist Jay Gottlieb with L’Ensemble Orchestral de Paris conducted by John Nelson deliver an enjoyable and admirable performance, but is that enough? Do they reveal the work’s sophisticated soul? I think I’ve heard better in another performance, a well known one, played by pianist Paul Crossley with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s/The London Sinfonietta, conducted by composer John Adams himself and available on the album American Elegies (1991). In my opinion Crossley, Adams and the London Sinfonietta are more convincing in revealing the work’s pleasurable sensuousness and this comes across in many wonderful tonal colours and in their highly sophisticated outline of the work’s dynamics.


Pianist Valentina Lisitsa LIVE-streams her Royal Albert Hall concert-rehearsals

From Sunday June 3rd until Friday June 8th, YouTube’s most popular classical pianist, Valentina Lisitsa, is once more streaming her rehearsals LIVE via her Ustream-channel. To watch click here.
Valentina's Ustream channel
Valentina Lisitsa’s rehearsing is a not-to-be missed event for anyone with a serious interest in classical piano playing. From her home in North Carolina Valentina is rehearsing the scheduled programme of her upcoming Royal Albert Hall concert. She’s done this before and up till now she’s the only classical musician that I know of who’s sharing this preparation process in a live event for a worldwide audience. This is really fascinating and a unique opportunity to witness Valentina Lisitsa getting prepared for this major event on June 19th in London.


Royal Albert Hall-concert op 19 juni 2012 van Decca-artieste Valentina Lisitsa live op YouTube

Valentina Lisitsa / photo by Gilbert François

Valentina‘s muzikale wordingsgeschiedenis is volstrekt uniek. Haar concert voor een 5200-koppig publiek in de Royal Albert Hall op 19 juni a.s. wordt live gestreamd via YouTube en een week later al uitgebracht.

promotiefilmpje voor het Royal Albert Hall-concert op 19 juni 2012

Vanaf het moment dat ik enkele jaren geleden met Valentina kennismaakte – zie mijn bijdragen op YouTube en op mijn weblog – heb ik geen moment getwijfeld dat haar ster naar de hoogste platforms zou reiken. Het wonderlijke is wel, voor ieder die haar muzikale verrichtingen goed heeft gevolgd, dat de gang naar het grote succes nog zo lang op zich liet wachten, maar ach, over een paar jaar heeft niemand het daar nog over. 🙂

een door mij gemaakte Valentina Lisitsa promo-video van voorjaar 2010


11 mei 2012: met trots en weemoed… het grootse afscheid van de Nederlandstalige Wereldomroep

Bovenstaande video toont de allerlaatste minuten van de Nederlandstalige uitzending van de Wereldomroep op vrijdagavond 11 mei 2012. Een buitengewone multimediale presentatie vormde de onontkoombare finale van een schitterende 24-uurs radiomarathon. In een sfeer van gepaste trots en weemoed kwamen nog één keer allerlei hoogtepunten voorbij uit de 65-jarige geschiedenis van Radio Nederland Wereldomroep. Aan de totstandkoming van deze laatste uitzendminuten leverde ik ook een flinke bijdrage middels het researchen, selecteren en aanleveren van alle audio-archieffragmenten die erin voorbijkomen.
Het was een afscheid zonder weerga, dat wereldwijd met veel medeleven werd gevolgd door trouwe, dankbare luisteraars. Het slottafereel voltrok zich in Hilversum in een dramatisch buitendecor, aan weerszijden van de vijver voor het Wereldomroepgebouw, letterlijk onder toeziende ogen van honderden medewerkers uit heden en verleden. Deze afsluiting van de Nederlandse uitzendingen vormt een mooie herinnering aan een wereldspeler in Hilversum die tientallen jaren van onschatbare betekenis is geweest voor talloze Nederlanders in het buitenland. Vaarwel Radio Nederland Wereldomroep.


Gamelan music in my May 2012-edition of Concertzender’s ‘Wereldmineralen’

On Saturday May 12th 2012 Concertzender’s broadcast ‘World Minerals’/’Wereldmineralen’, produced by me, was dedicated to recent releases featuring gamelan music. The programme features three albums: [1] ‘Bali – Terompong Beruk’ (2011), played by musicians from the Balinese village Bangle, [2] ‘Java’ by the Sundanese group Sambasunda (2011) and [3] ‘Gamelan of Java – Volume Four: Puspa Warna’ (2010), played by musicians of The Institute of the Arts in Surakarta, Java. On this page you can play the programme ‘on demand’ (by clicking on the speaker icon) and you’ll find more information (in dutch) with a detailed playlist of the programme.
The album ‘Bali – Terompong Beruk’ also includes an interesting documentary, some of which can be seen in the video below.

DOCUMENTAIRE: Terompong Beruk from 3PlansMuets on Vimeo.


Touched by Kobo – I love reading books on a bookreader!

It turns out I love reading books on a bookreader, more in particular, on the Kobo Touch e-reader. Beautiful simple design, very easy to use and it offers a great reading experience.

I bought the Kobo Touch a couple of days ago and I’m totally hooked. Book reading has never been so comfortable. It’s a revelation! 🙂


Mesmerising overtone singing by Okna Tsahan Zam

Just found the video above of (my favourite) overtone singer Okna Tsahan Zam. He’s from Kalmykia and here he sings a segment of the heroic epic Dzhangar. Years ago I highlighted him in a radiospecial on overtone singing.

And below a video I already knew, with him also singing the Dzhangar epic:


Impressive overtones of Natascha Nikeprelevic

An artist I’ve been admiring for many years is Natascha Nikeprelevic. With overtone singing as her basic means of musical expression she performs, improvises and interprets contemporary music. For a reference: on her MySpace page she mentions Pina Bausch, Kazuo Ohno, Robert Wilson, Michael Vetter and Karlheinz Stockhausen as her most important influences. Here’s a beautiful excerpt from ‘Alice in Wonderland’, her ‘journey of the human natural voice to the wonderland of synthetic sounds’.

Is there anything Natascha Nikeprelevic can’t do with her voice?

In Natascha Nikeprelevic’s work harmonic melodies and overtone arias emerge from what seem to be amorphous sound structures, noises and almost bizarre atonalities. Since 1997 she collaborates with Michael Vetter. Natascha Nikeprelevic has performed all over Europe and in the Far East and besides performing she also lectures for programmes of musicology, dance/theatre and jazz at several universities in and outside Europe.

An overtone singing workshop led by Natascha Nikeprelevic

If you want to hear from herself about her music and career check out this interview with Deutschland Radio Berlin.

RECITAL’REZITATIV for voice and tambura

And speaking of Natascha’s work, I can’t resist referring to a video and a soundscape I made for fun a few years ago, in which her voice is one of the predominant elements. This one…