Preparations for the present album have offered us much lightness in the dark months of the corona crisis. The timing was right: I dreamt at length about forming an ensemble of Dutch top musicians to record the Haydn violin concertos and the arrangement of the Stravinsky Divertimento in a play&direct setting. Empty corona diaries suddenly presented a short-term opportunity.
I have often performed Haydn and Stravinsky in combination, and although at first sight you might not associate one with the other, I do believe they form a fine pair. Why oh why? Perhaps because of the music’s frankness. The nimbleness. The intelligence behind it. And the humour, which you hear so well in the little final movements in particular. Haydn plays with his time signatures and puts the listener on the wrong track with his halting phrases. The pleasure of Stravinsky emerges for instance in a romantic pas de deux which turns and changes into a sort of circus music. I think both pieces are cheerful, light and sometimes rather romantic, but never over the top.