This CD gives an impression of the broad stylistic spectrum of Dutch music over a period of more than fifty years. The programme focuses on an instrument that for more than two centuries was neglected by composers: the double bass. Despite some exceptions, the instrument only played a role within the orchestra. Louis Andriessen, Hans Kox, Martijn Padding and Michel van der Aa have enriched the double bass repertoire with music in which the instrument takes up a solo role in a concerto with orchestra, and is also heard in a small ensemble and even on its own. The search for special sounds and tonal combinations, stylistic open-mindedness and the free handling of traditional and modern styles, jazz and pop music – all these are conspicuous aspects of Dutch music. Louis Andriessen, now internationally the best known Dutch composer, wrote Elegy for cello or double bass and piano as far back as the 1950s, while Hans Kox's Four Studies for double bass solo date from 1988. The most recent pieces on this CD, Reports from the Low Country by Padding and For the time being by Van der Aa, are not least inspired by the famous Dutch double bass player Rick Stotijn, who features as the soloist on this recording.
Rick Stotijn studied double bass at the Conservatory in Amsterdam with his father Peter Stotijn, and graduated with the highest distinction. He continued studies with Bozo Paradzik at the Hochschule in Freiburg. He won several first prizes at competitions and was awarded the highest accolade to a musician in the Netherlands; the Dutch Music Prize. According to the jury: ‘Rick is a versatile musician with a moving musicality and an overwhelming virtuosity.’ Amongst the many solo appearances which followed worldwide, was a Carte Blanche series in the Recital Hall of the Concertgebouw Amsterdam.
Raw salted herring and a toasted sandwich with brandied fruits and mature cheese were standard lunch repertoire during the wonderful sessions we had with the composer Martijn Padding. As a double bass player, there's nothing so exciting as being able to witness the birth of new pieces for my instrument. And look how rich Holland is in incredible composers whose music should be played much more often!! So I'm really proud and grateful, especially for the support of Channel Classics in realising this dream project, to present four fantastic Dutch composers on this CD: Martijn Padding, Michel van der Aa, Louis Andriessen and Hans Kox. And all this together with the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra under James Gaffigan and my friends and family Christianne Stotijn, Rosanne Philippens and Hans Eijsackers. Rick Stotijn