Hans Vonk: The Final Sessions (2006)

Brahms

Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra

Hans Vonk

Memories of Hans Vonk
Towards the end of the 1970’s, I was asked to produce a number of recordings with the Residentie Orkest (Hague Philharmonic Orchestra).The orchestra wanted a new concert hall, and was trying to earn some extra money, among other things, through its own record label. Most of these recordings were to be conducted by Hans Vonk, with whom I had never previously worked, despite the fact that I had often seen him conduct. “A difficult guy, Hans Vonk, best of luck,” a colleague mumbled. And during the meeting just before the first recording took place, Hans himself added the following: “I don’t really like recordings; no way will I listen to the takes; and if things don’t work out, we will stop immediately.”

But within ten minutes, we were busy recording an absolutely electrifying performance of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5. I will never forget hearing the programme “Discotabel” on the radio, in which this recording was played during the “blind-test”. A couple of jury-members were convinced they were listening to a top orchestra from Russia with a world-class conductor, although the orchestra also sounded a bit like the Vienna Philharmonic. Hans himself was also on the panel and had naturally recognized his own recording: wisely, he said nothing, but found it hard not to burst out laughing. After that, we made many more recordings together, including Schubert’s Symphony No. 9, Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 and Bruckner’s Symphonies Nos. 6 & 7. Perhaps other people did find him difficult at times, but we never really had a problem; and if some minor difference of opinion arose, he was almost always in the right.

Job Maarse
producer

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Hans Vonk

Hans Vonk was born in Amsterdam on June 16, 1942. He studied piano at the Amsterdam Conservatoire, then went on to study conducting with Franco Ferrara and Hermann Scherchen. His first conducting appointment was with the Netherlands Ballet from 1966 to 1969. From 1969 to 1973, he was assistant-conductor at the Concertgebouw Orchestra, which was led at the time by Bernard Haitink. He was appointed chief-conductor of the Netherlands Opera from 1976 to 1985, while at the same time holding the position of conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra (1973-1979), as well as that of regular guest-conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (1976-1979) in London.
From 1980 to 1991, Hans Vonk was chief-conductor of the Residentie Orchestra in the Hague, with which he toured a great deal both in Europe and the United States. In 1985, he was appointed chief-conductor of the Dresden Staatskapelle and the Dresden State Opera. In 1990, he was named first regular guest-conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. The following year saw his appointment as chief-conductor of the Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra, in which position he remained until the 1996-1997 season. In the United States, Maestro Vonk conducted the Philadelphia, Cleveland and Boston Symphony Orchestras, as well as the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, to name a few. From 1996-2002, Maestro Vonk was chief-conductor of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra;and from 2002 until his death in 2004, he was chief-conductor of the Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra.

 

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Hans Vonk: The Final Sessions (2006)

Brahms

Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra

Cables: van den Hul
Digital Converters: Meitner
Mastering Equipment: B&W Nautilus
Producer: Job Maarse
Recording Engineer: Jean Marie Geijsen
Recording location: MCO Studio 1 Hilversum
Recording Software: Merging
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD64

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PTC5186045: Hans Vonk: The Final Sessions
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Tracks.
1.
Academic Festival Overture, Op. 80
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2.
Rhapsody for Alto, Male Chorus and Orchestra, Op. 53
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3.
Variations on a Theme by Haydn, Op. 56a - Variation 1
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4.
Variations on a Theme by Haydn, Op. 56a - Variation 2
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5.
Variations on a Theme by Haydn, Op. 56a - Variation 3
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6.
Variations on a Theme by Haydn, Op. 56a - Variation 4
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7.
Variations on a Theme by Haydn, Op. 56a - Variation 5
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8.
Variations on a Theme by Haydn, Op. 56a - Variation 6
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9.
Variations on a Theme by Haydn, Op. 56a - Variation 7
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10.
Variations on a Theme by Haydn, Op. 56a - Variation 8
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11.
Variations on a Theme by Haydn, Op. 56a - Variation 9
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12.
Variations on a Theme by Haydn, Op. 56a - Variation 10
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