My journey with Dutch composers started during my master’s degree I made in The Netherlands, in Conservatorium van Amsterdam. I was fascinated by how different music and views it had to offer, and how little I knew about it. One of the first experiences of playing Dutch music was a duet with Dutch cellist and teacher Doris Hochscheid, who has wonderful range in playing and knowlage of Dutch composers. Further, I found many soloistic and chamber music experiences, including music of Henriette Bosmans.
I was first introduced to her chamber music: quartet and piano trio – wonderful pieces of music. The Concertstuk I played for the first time at the request of a friend of mine, Elizaveta Agrafenina, for her set of concerts “Dutch Female Composers”.
Bosmans’ Concertstuk is a very special piece of music. It consists of one of the most amazing melodies I have ever heard written for violin, and it fluently jumps in between styles that remind me of Bloch and Stravinsky. The strong part of this piece is definitely its intimacy (despite symphonic score) and the range of colors the piece is asking from you. The audience loves the virtuoso part of the piece, as well as the moments of pure heartbreak. Challenging part of the piece is unusual lack of structure – Bosmans’ choice of not keeping a classical structure of a concerto but let the themes come one after the other can make the piece feel longer as it is, and without a typical payoff we are use to hear. It took me to listen to the piece two or three times before I got to love it for what it is.
Furthermore, Bosmans leaves a lot of room for interpretation – being a pianist it’s incredible how well she wrote the piece, but still, you can bend virtuoso parts more towards violin technic and impress the audience even more. I also wrote a short cadenza I love adding to the piece.
Performing this piece is pure joy, and audience loves it as well. Both small and big hall, highly educated and somewhat random – audience reacts just beautifully to this piece. It’s definitely going to stay in my repertoire forever, and I hope it will deserve its place in the canon of pieces played in The Netherlands and abroad, because its truly remarkable.