Pieter van Loenen and Tobias Borsboom, winners of the prestigious Dutch Classical Talent Award 2019 and 2015 bring us their debut release on TRPTK titled The Silence Between. A performance by Pieter was described as “with an intense attention to structure and style, he creates a vision of unprecedented beauty”.
A solo performance by Tobias on January 29 reviewed in the PZC was described as “convincing, dynamic, with an admirable technique and enchanting fingers” and from “an intelligent musician with a jewel of a toucher who searches for meaning, poetic truths and sound beauty”.
‘The music is not in the notes, but in the silence between them.’ This quote, attributed to Claude Debussy, got them thinking. What could that phrase mean, violinist Pieter van Loenen and pianist Tobias Borsboom wondered.
Through music of Stravinsky, Poulenc, Takemitsu, Schwertsik and of course Debussy the duo explores in this album the different possible interpretations of ‘the silence between’: The place where the music resides.
Pieter van Loenen – Violin
Tobias Borsboom – Piano
Total time: 00:58:58
Merging Technologies Hapi, Merging Technologies Anubis
Find more more technical information in the booklet.
|Original Recording Format|
Westvest90 Church Schiedam, The Netherlands
|Recording Type & Bit Rate||
|Release Date||December 11, 2020|
“The corona virus has wiped out our concert agenda for the near future and many of our plans have fallen apart. But diving into the studio is still possible!” said violinist Pieter van Loenen and pianist Tobias Borsboom, winners of the Dutch Classical Talent Award 2019 and 2015 respectively.
Together they considered that enigmatic statement attributed to Debussy: “The music is not in the notes, but in the silences between them”. They explore meanings on their album The Silence Between.
Stravinsky’s “Le Baiser de la Fée” is a 1932 arrangement for violin and piano (by the composer himself and Samuel Dushkin) of the original ballet music for orchestra. The four-part Divertimento contains so many fast, nervous notes that you hardly hear anything that could resemble silence. What you do hear is the perfect synchronous interplay and the always inspired melody lines of Pieter van Loenen. You will experience more silence in the impressionistic dream sounds of “Distance du Fée” by the Japanese Toru Takemitsu.
Intimate, modest but still color-familiar, musically intelligent. Full of wonderfully enjoying every note that rolls out of their instruments. The interplay is great. The piano and violin sound close. Where one takes a step forward, the other obviously takes one back and the other way around.
The Silence Between is a marvelously transparent recording of superb performances of five engagingly melodic, tonal 20th century works. (Well, almost. The Debussy piece comes from 1890 but clearly looks forward to the next century.)
In this brilliant recording, Pieter van Loenen, violin, and Tobias Borsboom, piano, demonstrate the magic that happens when two artists perform in complete sympathy with each other, meshing seamlessly in both ensemble and interpretive temperament.
And the recording quality provided by Brendon Heinst makes this yet another very satisfying release from TRPTK. Invariably there is something special about Brendon’s recordings—a purity of sound, an accuracy of timbre, an acoustic envelope that is captivatingly realistic, and an immediacy that enhances the musical experience while rarely sounding close-mic’d. All these positive attributes are on display here. One can simply luxuriate in the sound quality.
Van Loenen’s and Borsboom’s approach to this music, to paying attention to the silences, adds immensely to their interpretations. The intentionality is palpable; it adds meaningfully to one’s enjoyment of the works. All in all, these are intellectually challenging performances, full of exploration and the teasing out of subtleties that make these works fresh and engaging.
Such a pleasure to see such talented performers emerging on the classical music scene! Highly recommended.
The pandemic put an extra layer on the title of the debut album by 27 year old violinist Pieter van Loenen accompanied by pianist Tobias Borsboom.
The Silence Between could thus refer to the silence and stagnation of the lockdowns. He actually refers to a statement by Debussy that the music is not in the notes, but in the silences in between.
The album has become an interesting quest for the meaning of Debussy’s pronunciation and for the data behind music. Van Loenen and Borsboom have an unprecedented strong synergy, as in their version of Poulenc’s Violin Sonata; a tone of sad frenesis.
The two-part Unterwegs nach Heiligenstadt by the Austrian composer Kurt Schwertsik expresses Beethoven’s desperation about his increasing deafness. Van Loenen plays empathically: with little vibrato and sharp strokes, it seems as if he senses the growing silence around Beethoven and his despair itself.
For his TRPTK debut album, Pieter van Loenen, who graduated from the Conservatory of The Hague and immediately afterwards won several prizes, chose five twentieth century compositions (well: Debussy’s song Beau soir is from 1891, but Heifetz’s arrangement is much later).
There is plenty of variety and variety between the French and Japanese Impressionism of Debussy and Takemitsu, the neoclassical style of Stravinsky, the Viennese of discovery Kurt Schwertsik (1935) of the ‘Third Viennese School’ who, on the way to Beethoven in Heiligenstadt, first ‘Energico’ and then ‘ Tranquillo ‘shows and the bittersweet of Poulencs Violin Sonata written for Ginette Neveu in 1943.
Van Loenen has no trouble finding the right atmosphere and the right character every time, and with his expressive presentation he is very stimulatingly supported by Tobias Borsboom.
What a successful debut. The album shows how good a younger generation of Dutch musicians is performing at this high level.
As usual with TRPTK, a lot of care has been taken with the recording. Good also that the (unsung) texts of the works of Takemitsu and Garcia Lorca (to whose memory Poulenc’s Violin Sonata is dedicated; the “Intermezzo” is based on his “Las seis cuerdas” (the six strings) have been printed.
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