The Duosonatas (2004)


Bart Schneemann, Paolo Giacometti


It all really started on that (as usual) rainy Monday morning. Paolo and I were just having fun playing through some pieces we had never seen (what else do you do on a rainy Monday morning?). One of them was a Sonata in e minor by someone named Jacques Widerkehr. Publisher Musica Rara. Never heard of the guy. But what a piece! Melodious, surprising turns of phrase, virtuosity, flashes of humor, and exciting dialogue between piano and oboe. The slow movement is sweet and introverted and the last movement: full of daring, with even an occasional bit of real dramatic writing. All things that we would take for granted in the music of a real genius like Mozart. But with a totally B-list composer like Jacques Widerkehr, it came as a big surprise. The sonata felt very fresh, without any false pretensions.

But who exactly is this Jacques Christian Michael Widerkehr? Looked him up in the well known reference work ‘The New Grove’; "Jacques Christian Michael Widerkehr (l’ainé), French composer, born in Strasbourg, Alsace in 1759. Played cello, bassoon, and trombone." And yet…. ‘The New Grove’ isn’t entirely sure about that, because that’s what a certain Philippe Widerkehr (le jeune) played as well. Another French composer, born in Strasbourg, Alsace. Philippe --that must be Jacques’ younger brother.

One thing ‘The New Grove’ is sure of: in 1783 Jacques Widerkehr moved to Paris where he was to achieve great fame as a composer. He was among the best-loved composers of the day in France. He owed his reputation to his chamber music, but especially to his "Symphonies Concertantes". These were a novelty: solo concerti not for 1 soloist and orchestra, but for several soloists (from 2 to 7) with orchestra. According to another contemporary source, the "Biographie Universelle des Musiciens" by the critic and historian François Fétis, Widerkehr’s ‘symphonies concertantes’ were considered among the finest in that genre in France for many years......

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Bart Schneemann

Bart Schneemann was born in Melbourne, Australia in 1954. He completed his studies in The Netherlands with Han de Vries in 1977 and gained orchestra experience early in his career. This led to his appointment as principal oboist of the celebrated Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. a position he held until 1996 when he decided to focus on his soloistcareer. He is founder member of the Fodor Quintet in 1987 and worked intensly on restyling and increasing the artistic ranges of the celebrated Netherlands Wind Ensemble which is recognized as one of the best wind ensembles in the world. 

Mr. Schneemann is a master in various fields of music wich has made him the unanimous winner of the prestigious 3M Music Laureate Prize in 1991 (Theo Loevendie and Ton Koopman were previous recipients of this award). The prize was installed to recognize, reward and stimulate outstanding musical talent in the Netherlands. His virtuoso and musically sensitive playing has attracted the attention of many first rate contemporary composers. Several of them have written works especially for him including Tristan Keuris, P.J. Wagemans, Wolfgang Rihm, John Zorn, Gerald Brophy, Gija Kancheli and Kevin Volans. The next composers wo will be asked to write for him are George Crumb and György Kurtág . 

Mr. Schneemann has performed as a soloist with conductors like Valery Gergiev, Edo de Waart, Hartmut Haenchen, Ernest Bour, Lev Markiz, Frans Brüggen, Roy Goodman and Ton Koopman. There is a growing demand for Mr. Schneemann’s soloistical talents aswell as for his conducting skills, resulting in a growing amount of appearances throughout Europe, America, the Far East and Australia. Recently he conducted the Odense Symphony Orchestra and Pori Sinfonietta both orchestra’s  invited him for future collaborations.

Mr. Schneemann has made numerous recordings for different labels. For instance the Saint-Saëns songs transcribed for oboe and piano with Paolo Giacometti, the Telemann Concerti for Channel Classics as well as Oboe Concerti by the German composer Lebrun. 
A recording of Gija Kancheli’s Childhood Revisited (written especially for Mr. Schneemann) has been released by ECM. Future engagements include conducting orchestras such as Brabants Orchestra as well as several soloist performances with a.o. Sinfonia Rotterdam and Musica Amphion and recitals with pianist Paolo Giacometti. Apart from playing, Mr. Schneemann holds the position of oboe professor at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague.

Paolo Giacometti

Paolo Giacometti performs all over the world as a soloist and as a chamber musician, both on period and on modern instruments. He was born in Milan, Italy in 1970, but has been living in the Netherlands from his early childhood. He studied with Jan Wijn at the Sweelinck Conservatorium Amsterdam, where he graduated with the highest distinction. Also Gyorgy Sebök was an important source of inspiration and had a significant influence on his musical education. Paolo Giacometti has won many prizes at both national and international competitions. He has played with renowned orchestras under distinguished conductors such as Frans Brüggen, Kenneth Montgomery, Laurent Petitgirard, Michael Tilkin and Jaap van Zweden. Apart from his activities as a soloist, Paolo Giacometti’s love for chamber music has resulted in a successful co-operation with leading musicians such as Pieter Wispelwey, Gordon Nikolich, Alois Brandhofer, Janine Jansen, Bart Schneemann and Viktoria Mullova. Paolo Giacometti is a much sought-after musician at chamber music festivals in Europe, Canada and the United States. He has performed in concert halls all over the world including the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Teatro Colon (Buenos Aires), Wigmore Hall (London), Théâtre du Châtelet (Paris) and Seoul Arts Centre (South Korea). Paolo Giacometti records exclusively for Channel Classics. His impressive discography has been widely acclaimed by the international press. His recordings include Rossini’s complete piano works, a remarkable project that started in 1998 and was completed in 2007. In Rossini’s homeland critics say: "... Rossini has finally found his pianist ...". For the third recording of this series Giacometti was distinguished with the Edison Classical Music Award 2001. His recording of Schumann’s Humoreske, Fantasiestücke and Toccata has received the BBC Music Magazine’s Benchmark and Performance of Outstanding Quality distinctions. His recording of the Dvorák and Schumann piano concertos have been acclaimed by Gramophone as "... one of the best concerto disks I have heard in a long while ...".  Among Paolo Giacometti’s chamber music recordings, a recording with works by Schubert with cellist Pieter Wispelwey has received the Choc du Monde de la Musique and Luister 10 awards, while another recording with works by Chopin, Fauré and Poulenc, also with Pieter Wispelwey, has been awarded the Diapason d’or.  Paolo Giacometti is also a dedicated piano professor at the Robert Schumann Musikhochschule Düsseldorf.

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The Duosonatas (2004)


Bart Schneemann, Paolo Giacometti

    Audiophile Audition

Highly recommended.

    Flying Inkpot

(…) Schneemann deserves the highest praise for his ingratiating tone and interpretation (…)


Ausgezeichnet!! (…) (…) Die instrumenten sind wunderbar und die Musik sehr angenehm. Es wundert also gar nicht das diese CD so gut gelungen ist.

    Tijdschrift Oude Muziek

Bijzonder genietbare muziek, prachtig uitgevoerd op een kopie van een hobo uit 1810 en een pianoforte van Lagrasse uit 1815. Ik hoop dat u er net zo van kan genieten als ik, echt een vondst!! Hifi Video Magazine (...) verrassend melodieuze en elegante werkjes (...) (...) wat een zwoele toon – het lijkt waarachtig wel of Schneemann een beetje verliefd is op deze Widerkehr

    Klassieke Zaken

melodieën rijkdom, harmonische kleuring, speelse humor en uitdrukkingskracht in deze verrassend frisse, degelijke muziek. De Menuetten zijn juweeltjes (…)


charmante stukken van een componist die wist hoe hij het Parijse publiek kon behagen in een vroeg romantische stijl. Alle noten lijken in een sfeer van verliefdheid te zijn geschreven (...)


Widerkehr combineerde zijn muzikale gave met enkele prettige harmonische verrassingen (…) (…) Wat deze cd echter werkelijk de moeite waard maakt is het buitengewoon sprankelende spel van Bart Schneemann en zijn kompaan achter de piano Paolo Giacometti. De sonates die onder handen van mindere goden snel middle-of-the-road zouden kunnen klinken worden nu absolute kunstwerkjes. (…)

    American Record Guide

Another Schneemann milestone (…) (…) musically this is all you could ask for (…)

    BBC Music Magazine

Bart Schneemann plays them with exceptional fluency and neat phrasing, Paolo Giacometti is an accomplished if occasionally mannered partner. The recording is excellent.

    International Record Review

Schneemann and Giacometti are a fine duo, and the oboe has a particularly characterfull sound. Schneemann’s technical comment of the instrument is also marvellous, and his partner is equally adept. These are very stylish and accomplished performances, never dry, and they obviously relish their discovery of this music. (...) (...) I cannot imagine better performances than what we have here. (...) (...) the recorded sound is admirable, if this is the kind of disc which appeals, don’t hesitate.

The Duosonatas (2004)


Bart Schneemann, Paolo Giacometti

Cables: van den Hul
Digital Converters: DCS AD/DA
Mastering Engineer: Jared Sacks
Mastering Equipment: B+W 803 diamond series
Microphones: Bruel & Kjaer, Schoeps
Mixing Board: Rens Heijnis custom made
Producer: Jared Sacks
Recording Engineer: Jared Sacks
Recording location: Deventer Holland
Recording Software: Pyramix
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD64
Speakers: AudioLab Holland

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19204: The Duosonatas
00:56:24   Select quality & channels above
Sonate Nr. 1 In E Minor - Allegro
00:07:07   N/A
Sonate Nr. 1 In E Minor - Menuetto-tno 1-trio 2
00:04:00   N/A
Sonate Nr. 1 In E Minor - Adagio sans lenteur
00:03:01   N/A
Sonate Nr. 1 In E Minor - Allegro
00:04:22   N/A
Sonate Nr. 2 In C Major - allegro
00:06:01   N/A
Sonate Nr. 2 In C Major - Menuetto-trio
00:01:42   N/A
Sonate Nr. 2 In C Major - Adiago sans lenteur
00:02:32   N/A
Sonate Nr. 2 In C Major - Allegro
00:03:47   N/A
Sonate Nr. 3 In F Major - Allegro
00:09:49   N/A
Sonate Nr. 3 In F Major - Adiago
00:03:06   N/A
Sonate Nr. 3 In F Major - Menuetto-trio
00:02:43   N/A
Sonate Nr. 3 In F Major - Allegro
00:08:14   N/A

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