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Bart Meijer

Tauno Marttinen

July 13, 2007 at 9:34 PM

My brother Dirk is a professional bassoon player. He has a knack for finding good music and championing it. When we were young, the Beatles were his favorites. It took him a lot of persistence to win his family over, but in the end we all saw the Beatles' qualities.
Later the process was repeated with the Danish composer Carl Nielsen and the Frisian Paulus Folkertsma, and in 1995 he first heard the compositions of Finnish composer Tauno Marttinen. It's thoroughly dodecaphonic and very beautiful, once you have acquired the taste.
Being good at organizing things, Dirk has brought together a group of Dutch musician friends to play Marttinen's music and to record it. As a result they sometimes get invited to Finland to give concerts.
Currently, there are plans for concerts in Finland on 29 and 30 September; the first and fourth Nonets (violin, viola, cello, double bass, wind quintet) are among the works that are going to be played.
Two days ago Dirk phoned me: the group's violinist cannot participate because she has other obligations, and efforts to find someone to replace her have had no success. Could I, perhaps?
I'm of two minds. First, it's a great adventure. It promises to be enriching; it is an honor, and it's probably fun. After all, I love to play the violin and to make music.
But I'm not a professional, and as Mengelberg used to say: one person can ruin things for everyone. And I don't want to be that person! This music both needs and deserves to be played very well.
I have the violin parts and a CD with both the Nonets. The first, especially, is somewhat difficult for the violin. It's fast, and it goes off the trodden path, musically as well as technically. With enough careful practice I could probably learn it.
I have told Dirk that I won't be offended when he finds someone else to do it after all.

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