This album gives an impression of the broad stylistic spectrum of Dutch music over a period of more than fifty years. The programme focuses on an instrument that for more than two centuries was neglected by composers: the double bass. Despite some exceptions, the instrument only played a role within the orchestra. Louis Andriessen, Hans Kox, Martijn Padding and Michel van der Aa have enriched the double bass repertoire with music in which the instrument takes up a solo role in a concerto with orchestra, and is also heard in a small ensemble and even on its own. The search for special sounds and tonal combinations, stylistic open-mindedness and the free handling of traditional and modern styles, jazz and pop music – all these are conspicuous aspects of Dutch music.
Louis Andriessen, now internationally the best known Dutch composer, wrote Elegy for cello or double bass and piano as far back as the 1950s, while Hans Kox’s Four Studies for double bass solo date from 1988.
The most recent pieces on this album, Reports from the Low Country by Padding and For the Time Being by Van der Aa, are not least inspired by the famous Dutch double bass player Rick Stotijn, who features as the soloist on this recording.
Total time: 00:50:55
Van den Hul, exclsuive use of 3T Cables
Horus, Merging Technologies
Pyramix Workstation, Merging Technologies
Amplifier: Van Medevoort Holland; Cables: Van den Hul (exclusive use of Van den Hul cables)
Bruel & Kjaer 4006, Schoeps
Rens Heijnis, custom design
Padding/Reports from the Low Country is a live recording made by Polyhymnia International
|Original Recording Format|
Koninklijk Concertgebouw, Amsterdam (Padding) De Vereeniging, Nijmegen (Van der Aa) Muziekgebouw Frits Philips, Eindhoven (Andriessen) MCO, Hilversum (Kox)
Pyramix Workstation, Merging Technologies
|Recording Type & Bit Rate||
Grimm Audio LS1, Audio Lab, Holland
|Release Date||September 20, 2019|
“This set from double bassist Rick Stotijn is as superb-sounding as it is musically innovative, with sonorous low frequencies in formats up to DSD512.”
Pleasantly Classic (Aangenaam Klassiek)
Stotijn turns his double bass into a wonderful instrument. Sighing, supporting, and screeching ‘primo uomo’. A real feast for explorers.
(…) Stotijn speelt de sterren van de hemel en maakt van de contrabas een heerlijk zingende, zuchtende, steunende en gierende ‘priemo uomo. Een waar feest voor ontdekkingsluisteraars. (…)
(…) This is a release that hits the bull’s eye in every respect by the bold input from Rick Stotijn: the choice of repertoire, unrestricted virtuosity and of course that boldly brutal cover.(…) a beautiful product from the Low Countries (…) Dit is een uitgave die in alle opzichten in de roos schiet door de gedurfde inbreng van Rick Stotijn: de repertoirekeuze, de ongebonden virtuositeit en natuurlijk die brutale cover. (…) Een prachtproduct uit de Low Countries.
De contrabas zit doorgaans goed verstopt in de achterste gelederen van het symfonieorkest. Dat de ronkende kolos ook een veelzijdig soloinstrument kan zijn, bewijst contrabassist Rick Stotijn op zijn nieuwste cd. (…) bluegrassfieldels, jazzy loopjes en groovende Albertijnse basjes (…) een sluiptocht met stuiterstok door een nachtelijk klankveld van geheimzinnig resonerend slagwerk. [Padding] (…) De contrabas als scheurende viool of roffelende trommel. [Van der Aa]
In handen van Rick Stotijn verandert de contrabas van een brombeer in een ballerina. (…) Het titelstuk, gecomponeerd door Martijn Padding, is een contrabasconcert met hink-stap-spronggekrabbel, een waanzinnig weemoedig middendeel en een stuwende finale vol geplukte snaren. (…) Broze schoonheid staat naast theatrale hectiek in For the Time Being van Michel van der Aa
(…) Twee vliegen in één klap: Rick Stotijn levert een ode aan de contrabas en eerst daarnaast een rijtje Nederlandse componisten. (…) In het instrument van Stotijn lijkt nostalgie verscholen te zittendie hij er op een aanlokkelijke manier uithaalt. (…)
(…) Bewondering verdient hij ook voor de cd Reports from the low country, waarop hij zijn reusachtige strijkinstrument in zeer diverse samenstellingen bespeeld. (…) Stotijn speelt het allemaal geweldig.
(…) Boeiende hedendaagse Nederlandse muziek.(…)
The double bass plays an important role in the orchestra. But as a solo instrument, you hardly ever hear the bass. There is little music written for it.
That is why it is nice that there is now an album with only solo music and that is also from composers from Dutch soil featuring captivating contemporary works for double bass solo.
In the hands of Rick Stotijn, the double bass changes from a moped bear to a ballerina. His new album Reports From The Low Country is entirely devoted to Dutch music. The title piece, composed by Martijn Padding, is a double bass concert with a hop-and-jump scribble, an insanely melancholic middle section and a powerful finale full of plucked strings.
Brittle beauty is next to the theatrical hectic in For the Time Being by Michel van der Aa, in which Rick is joined by his soprano sister Christianne, violinist Rosanne Philippens and pianist Hans Eijsackers, and by the intriguing texts of Carol Ann Duffy.
For the continuation of the album, Elegy by an 18-year-old Louis Andriessen and Four Studies by Hans Kox, the bass player had to reach a little further in the past. His playing is convincing, the pieces do less.
All the necessary comments have been made on Facebook on the cover of this album. “Is he real, Rick?” Stotijn has been boldly contemporary photographed complete with tattoo.
The Stotijns are an old line of race musicians on all conceivable instruments and voices, with the patriarchs the oboists Jaap and Haakon. Rick plays the double bass, started his studies with his father Peter, and won the Dutch music prize in 2013. After that, he quickly made an international career: he is a solo bassist of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and teaches at the Robert Schumann Hochschule in Düsseldorf.
The repertoire that he presents here extends over a period of more than half a century and is typically Dutch. No better title than ‘Reports from the Low Country’ – the catchy name that Martijn Padding came up with for his double bass concerto, an assignment from Kees Vlaardingerbroek, artistic director of the ZaterdagMatinee.
As a composer, Martijn Padding (1956) does not care about conventions, a preference for unusual combinations and a strong sense of humor. Characteristics that came in handy when writing concerts for forgotten instruments such as the mandolin and the harmonium. That makes him the perfect candidate for coming up with a double bass concerto for Rick Stotijn, in which the Dutch background of both men not only led to lunches with Dutch food, but also to a piece in which Dutch cows manifest themselves in the percussion by the ‘lions roar ‘- to the great amusement of the public at the premiere on 2 April 2016 in the Concertgebouw.
Just as Dutch is the prominent role of the accordion in the orchestra (played by Bart Lelivelt). The bass is screwed one tone higher in this piece, and the bassist certainly does not get it as a gift in three bold parts with titles that speak for themselves: Alberti – Ricochet – Slapping. The latter is a direct reference to both jazz and the Bartók pizzicato, where the string has to hit the key.
Michel van der Aa (1970) not only often uses visual elements in his work, but, like Padding, he easily finds a connection with pop music. This is especially evident in the third part of his ‘For the time being’ for mezzo-soprano, violin, piano, and double bass. In the composer’s words: “It is a very up-tempo, jazzy-poppy piece and it should not sound too civilized.” Rick Stotijn’s sister, Christanne, is the dream vocalist (and here much more than just mezzo-soprano).
After two of his students, the most famous Dutch composer himself speaks with a piece he wrote when he was seventeen. Louis Andriessen (1939) learned the trade from his father Hendrik (the later influence of brother Jurriaan is still noticeable here), and that can be clearly heard in this romanticly raving Elegy from 1957, optionally for cello or double bass.
We read about Hans Kox’s four études in the explanation that they are tailor-made for Rick Stotijn. That is of course intended in a transferable sense because Kox wrote them in 1988 for the then double bass player of the Concertgebouw Orchestra, Guibert Vrijens (1943-2012). A suite of four character pieces in the form of a baroque sonata da chiesa (slow-fast-slow-fast).
This is a publication that hits the mark in every respect because of the daring input of Rick Stotijn: the choice of repertoire, the unbounded virtuosity and of course that brutal cover.
A wonderful product from the Low Countries.
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