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Bram Heemskerk

No violinconcerto of “the black Mozart” Joseph Boulogne Chevalier de Siant-Georges

October 30, 2005 at 10:06 AM


Saturday I was so disappointed I could sink through the ground, let me explain:
I visited Amsterdam Sinfonietta, the chamberorchestra of Carla Leurs, who wasn’t playing (but I have heard her with her Swiss pianoplayer, Reto Reichen-Bach. What a professional, what a tone, also people next to me were impressed after her Grieg , Brahms 1 and Prokofiev 2 sonata’ s, I had whizzing ears afterwards, because I sat too close to the players) The reason was that Amsterdam Sinfonietta should play a violinconcerto of the “the black Mozart” Joseph Boulogne Chevalier de Siant-Georges. Last weeks I also have heard from this orchestra the first violinconcerto of Haydn, played by Liza Ferschtman and the 5th Mozart, played by Janine Jansen. The reason for that 5th Mozart was that I play with an amateurorchestra this 5th Mozart together with a national competition winner (the father of his violinist is also playing in this amateurorchestra) and an old girl-friend with whom I visited 10 years ago a concert, which I had not seen for a long time would like to join me, so I went to the concerthall for social reasons, because if she didn’t had join me I would have been to my amateurorchestrarehearsal that evening, where we also play this 5th Mozart. But normally I rather like to go to the concerthall for rare violinconcerto’s, like last year Korngold and Barber or a few weeks ago the Chinese violinconcerto Butterfly Lovers of Chen Gang, played by the National Symfhony Orchestra of China from Peking and the Chinese concertmaster as soloist (also Janine Jansen again played with that orchestra the same evening the short piece The Lark Ascending by Vaughan Williams) . Although I also had played the first Haydn with an amateurorchestra, I had never seen or had heard it in a concerthall and that was the reason also to visit that concerto of Liza Ferschtman and Amsterdam Sinfonietta. Even when a good professional orchestra with a prominent soloist would play the violinconcerto’s of Brahms, Beethoven, Mendelssohn or Tjaikovsky I don’t need to hear it because I have heard this violinconcerto’s too often and have played them too often with amateurorchestra’s.
So that was a good reason to visit the concerthall: Amsterdam Sinfonietta would play the violinconcerto in G, opus 8, nr. 9 (1775) from “the black Mozart” Joseph Boulogne Chevalier de Siant-Georges and the soloist was Augustin Dumay, who was in the jury of the last Queen Elisabethcompetition in Brussel, I thought. The also played the first stringquartet of Leos Janacek arranged for stringorchestra and an arrangement of the Kreutzersonate of Beethoven for stringorchestra. Beethoven had first this Kreutzersonate dedicated to a black mulatto violinist George Bridgetower. But because of quarrel about a woman Beethoven decided to dedicate this sonata to the French violinist Rudolphe Kreutzer. So perhaps this Bridgetower was a reason for the programming also to play something from a black mulatto composer Joseph Boulogne, who had played with Mozart himself the premiere in Paris of Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante for violin/altviolin and it is likely that the forgotten Joseph Boulogne had a great influence on the compositions of Mozart, said the programmbooklet. There are few violinist who have a violinconcerto of this composer on their repertoirelist.
There was not so much public in the concerthall on this saturdaynight. No one behind the orchestra, no one on the balcony and the rest of the hall below was filled for ¾. Of course Joseph Boulogne is like Salieri not so well known as a composer as Haydn or Mozart.
But after the arranged first stringquartet of Janacek, there was the blow. I saw that for healthreasons Augustin Dumay had cancelled and that Janine Jansen would play… 5th Mozart.
I hardly could look at Janine Jansen, I hardly could hear again this Mozart, I understand the hatred and jealousy of Salieri from the movie Amadeus, because of his silly giggles, I hardly could hear or have seen the arranged Kreutzersonate, because in deep disappointment I only stared to the ground. I was freezed during the pause, I could not speak a word, disorientated I leaved the concerthall in the wrong direction. After 2 minutes I realised that my folding bike was parked somewhere else. I drove back in my car without classical music, which I do usually. Also here I drove in the wrong direction because of my very deep depression and disappointment and took another and longer route to go home.
Next year is a Mozart-year. So I quess they will play again a lot this 5th violinconcerto of him. Will I hear Joseph Boulogne ever in my live in the concerthall one day or do I have to wait 20 years for that??? Or was this a coincidence because of the the Bridgetower/Kreutzer story and a once in a lifetimechance. I missed?
I am still very miserable and down, the next day. It is not normal and perhaps I am to fanatic and strange with my rare violinconcerto’s obsession. It is the same feeling when you are rejected for an audition in an orchestra in which you so eager wants to play or for a professional when you don’t go to the next round in a violincompetition. And it feels when my former girl-friend breaked up with me, but that was in some way a relief, so a less hard emotion.
So please, PLEASE,PLEASE, Carla, play Joseph Boulogne again when Augustin Dumay is healthy again with Amsterdam Sinfonietta soon someday.
Ok. Now it is time to go to my next rehearsal of my next (chamber)orchestra with unknown Dutch composers. So I must go. Live goes on.

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