DIARY/BLOG, PUBLICATIONS AND RELEASES 2014-2015 SEASON
13-15 July 2015
CD recordings in the Westvest Church in Schiedam, preceded by a semi-public concert on Sunday 12 July, at 15.00 hours. Previously unrecorded works by J.S. Bach (?), Karl Czerny, Bernhard van den Sigtenhorst Meyer, Claude Debussy, Olivier Messiaen and Albert Brussee will be performed. Admission by personal invitation.
5 July 2015
Lunchtime concert at the Albert Vogel Hall of the Haagse Kunstkring, Denneweg 64, 2514 CJ The Hague, starting at 12.00 hours. On the programme unknown repertoire of J.S. Bach, Kart Czerny, Bernhard van den Sigtenhorst Meyer, Claude Debussy, Olivier Messiaen and Albert Brussee.
Admission: € 10.00; members of de Haagse Kunstkring: € 5.00.
27 June 2015
Concert (second try-out) in the ‘Chinese salon’ of Mr. and Mrs. Meeuwsen, Leuvensestraat 23, 2587 GB The Hague (Scheveningen), starting at 20.00 hours. On the programme unknown works by J.S. Bach, Karl Czerny, Bernhard van den Sigtenhorst Meyer, Claude Debussy , Olivier Messiaen and Albert Brussee.
Admission: free. Registration required at: firstname.lastname@example.org or tel. 070-3558671.
21 June 2015
Concert (first try-out) at the home of Martha Chorney and Ed Nijssen, Professor Lorentzlaan 117, 3707 HC Zeist, at 15.00 hours.
On the programme unknown works by J.S. Bach , Karl Czerny, Bernhard van den Sigtenhorst Meyer, Claude Debussy, Olivier Messiaen and Albert Brussee.
Admission € 15.00 p.p. You are kindly requested to transfer this amount in advance to bank account NL29INGB0001954533 of Mrs. K. Dorst-Brussee, stating ‘Concert’.
17 May 2015
Repeat of A LISZT RECITAL WITH FERRUCCIO BUSONI – A RECONSTRUCTION (see 15 March), as part of the Pianola Festival from 14 until 17 May.
Pianola Museum, Westerstraat 106, 1015 MN Amsterdam. Admission: € 15.00, Reservation strongly recommended: 020-6279624.
4 May 2015
Each year, at 20.00 hours, in the Albert Vogel Hall of the Haagse Kunstkring (The Hague Art Society) the victims of the Second World War are remembered. This year nine war memorials were shown, each accompanied by the recitation of a poem or some music. I was asked to provide the musical background. Works performed were the Adagio in G Major of Bach, Ruïnes, the first part of Saint Quentin, opus 12 by the Dutch composer Bernhard van den Sigtenhorst Meyer – Saint Quentin is a little town in the north of France, completely destroyed during the First World War – and the peaceful Prélude de La Damoiselle élue in the piano transcription by Debussy himself.
Publications Spring 2015
In Piano Bulletin 2015-1 there appeared three CD reviews from recordings made in the 1970s and 1980s by the Rumanian-born pianist Liana Serbescu, living in The Netherlands since 1975:
– Silvia and Liana Serbescu in Concert, a double CD with old radio recordings, including two on which Liana’s mother, the famous pianist Silvia Serbescu, is heard
– a double CD with music of 14 woman composers, a project which played a domimant role in the second half of Liana Serbescu’s life
– and a CD with chamber music of George Enesco, recorded in 1981 in the Recital Hall of the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.
In Liszt Bulletin (May 2015):
– Tradition and Craft in Piano Playing by Tilly Fleishmann (book review). Tilly Fleischmann was a student of both Bernard Stavenhagen en Berthold Kellermann, two important Liszt pupils. Therefore, this book provides interesting information about the ‘Liszt tradition’.
22 April 2015
Lunch concert in the Oude Kerk in Zoetermeer, at 12.45 hours. Entrance free. On the programme works by J.S. Bach, Karl Czerny and B. van den Sigtenhorst Meyer.
15 March 2015
A LISZT RECITAL BY FERRUCCIO BUSONI – A RECONSTRUCTION. On 9 October 1906 the great pianist and composer Ferruccio Busoni gave a Liszt recital in the ‘Small Hall’ of the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. Several of the works then played were recorded around that time (in 1905 and 1907) on Welte-Mignon rolls. That gave birth to the idea that it must be possible to reconstruct at least part of that concert. This ‘remake recital’, organized by the Dutch Franz Liszt Kring and introduced by me, takes place on 15 March 2015, starting at 15:00 hours in the Piano Museum, Westerstraat 106, 1015 MN Amsterdam. Admission € 15.00. Reservation strongly recommended (0031 20 6279624).
Publications February 2015
In the overdue Journal of the Franz Liszt Circle 2014 two articles appeared:
– Franz Liszt at Lake Como, a detailed account of Liszt’s stay in Bellagio and Como, based on two visits to those surroundings in the summer of 2003 and April 2014. The article is illustrated with some previously unpublished images of, for instance, Albergo dell’ Angelo in Como, where Liszt and Marie d’Agoult spent many a night and Cosima was born. I found also a picture of the house in Bellagio, where they lived almost two months (the house on the right, with balcony). An English version of this article will be published in the Journal of the Liszt Society.
– Mazeppa in Weimar? A quest for the truth. A study in response to a passage in the book Sophie in Weimar by the Dutch writer Thera Coppens. She paints a concert that Liszt, along with many other famous artists, would have given in the Court Theatre at Weimar at the occasion of the marriage of Princess Sophie, the daughter of the Dutch King William II, and Carl Alexander of Saksan-Weimar-Eisenach. According to that book, Liszt played then between other things his Mazeppa study (in first version). Because nothing is known of this in the Liszt literature, I have been researching the true facts – a search in old newspapers and various archives with a surprising result…!
5 January 2015
On the occasion of the presentation of a book on the English historian and theologian John Robert Seeley (1834-1895), written by my brother Jan Brussee, I was asked to play a few works by Chopin, Debussy and myself.
Koorkerk, Middelburg, at 16.00 hours. Admission free.
Publications December 2014
In Piano Bulletin 2014-3:
– (with Jan Marisse Huizing) An interviw with the Dutch jazz pianist Rob van Kreeveld (see the Agenda 2013-2014)
In Liszt Bulletin (December 2014):
– Liszt’s Final Decade (a book review of the excellent study by Dolores Pesce)
– Franz Liszt’s Christus – a monumental symphonic poem for piano? (CD review)
– a short review of Thera Coppens’ Suzanne en Edouard Manet (book review)
Release November 2014
– Variations on ‘My Funny Valentine’ (2nd version). For more information, see: Sheet music > Personal compositions > AB II-19.
16 November 2014
Official presentation of Mazeppa in de romantische kunst [‘Mazeppa in the Romantic Arts’] in the Public Library Amsterdam (OBA), Oosterdokskade 143 (close to Central Station), starting at 15:00 hours. There are two short speeches by the piano pedagogue and author Jan Marisse Huizing, for many years artistic director of Holland Music Sessions, and my brother Jan Brussee, he himself the author of novels and scientific studies. The official part is followed by a lecture by me, illustrated with slides, music examples and exerpts from Mazeppa movies. Admission free.
2 November 2014
Presentation of Mazepppa in the Romantic Arts by way of a lecture, illustrated with slides, music examples and excerpts from Mazeppa movies.
Albert Vogel-zaal, Haagse Kunstkring, Denneweg 64, The Hague, starting 15:00 hours. Admission free.
15-27 September 2014
Holiday in Italy, my favourite holiday country! This time I went to Campania, the province around Napels and Salerno. The actual reason was the reading of the Italienische Reise by Goethe, who in that book discusses so many buildings and regions unknown to me, that an irrepressible desire to go there took possession of me. I had my bed and breakfast in Salerno, a city I had never previously visited, and went on trips in the surrounding area almost every day: to Paestum, with the best preserved temples of ancient Greece, and to Caserta, where the Bourbons built an enormous palace, in terms of size not inferior to that in Versailles! Of course I also visited Amalfi, not for the first time – but always gorgeous, how the church there is situated, accessible only via a wide staircase of a hundred steps. From Amalfi I went to Ravello, an historical city not far from there, in the mountains. Wagner was once there, too, and at the sight of the garden of the Villa Rufulo he must have shouted: “Il magico giardino di Klingsor è trovato!” and found inspiration then for the music of his opera Parsifal, where in the second act Klingsor’s magic garden is encountered. The photo offers a magnificent view of the Gulf of Napels, taken from the garden of the Villa Rufulo.
Publications September 2014
In Liszt Bulletin September 2014:
– ‘De orkestmuziek van Liszt in historisch klankgewaad’ [‘The orchestral music of Franz Liszt in historical garb’], a short discussion on the truly great recordings of Liszt’s symphonic works by Martin Haselböck and his Orchester Wiener Akademie (CD review);
– a brief response to the new thriller Inferno by Dan Brown, in which something is said about Liszt’s Dante Symphony. According to the writer in the first part of the symphony a chorus of ‘a hundred voices’ is singing the familiar words ‘Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate’ [‘Abandon hope, all ye who enter here’]. Paper is patient, my father, the author of 186 textbooks, H.G. Brussee, used to say. For in the first part there is no choir at all….!
In Piano Bulletin of the Netherlands and Flanders:
– ‘Het Parijse muziekleven in mei/juni 1928’ [‘Parisian musical life in May/June 1928’].
– ‘In memoriam Martin Kloos’ [‘Obituary of Martin Kloos’]. During my conservatory years I enjoyed learning the subjects ‘Piano Methodology’ and ‘Keyboard History’ from the piano pedagogue Martin Kloos, a memorable educator. Later I had occasional contact with him regarding the edition of Berkhout’s De Kunst van het Pianospel [‘The Art of Piano Playing’, AB II-08], for which he wrote the Preface. In January 2014 Martin Kloos died at an advanced age. His partner asked me to write an obituary, which of course I did with great commitment, because having myself lectured in Keyboard History for 25 years at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, I feel privileged to have been introduced to this field by such a erudite and conscientious person as Kloos. The photo below was taken after a concert by a classmate and good friend, Joop Albracht (on the right), also a student of Kloos (centre). The old master was, despite his age, present at that concert. This photo was very dear to him and stood on his writing desk during the last years of his life.
13 September 2014
On Saturday 13 September at 14.00 hours, the opera Mazeppa by Tchaikovsky was performed in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, broadcast live on Radio IV. Afterwards there was a radio talk, for which I was invited because of the release of my book Mazeppa in the Romantic Arts. Other members of the panel were the historian Martin Jansen, who recently published a book on the history of Ukraine, and the Georgian baritone Lado Ataneli, who sang the leading role of Mazeppa. Panel chairman was Hans Haffmans. The conversation took place in the Concertgebouw Café from 16.30 until 17.45 hours.