401Concerts 22 Conservatorium Utrecht IMWW

In Memoriam Wolter Willemsen

CD presentation of the CD ‘Dutch Heldentenor Arias Vol I – 1850-1950'.

Hendrik Vonk (Heldentenor), Barbara Schilstra (soprano), Paul de Boer (Piano).

24 March 2019
Lokation: Conservatory Utrecht, K & W
Adress: Maria Plaats 27
Time: 14.00-16.00

Video: Fragments of rehearsals, concerts and recording sessions opnames that produced the IMWW CD 'Dutch heldentenor I – Arias and Duets'

Partners: Nederlands Muziek instituut, GHG Von Brucken Fock Fonds, Gravin van Bylandt Stichting, Van Kerkwijk Piano's, Francine Willemsen.

Live concert repertoire in the Conservatory:
Richard Hageman: Caponsacchi (1932): 'She stands in the dusk' (duet Caponsacchi, Pompilia)
Simon van Milligen: Darthula (1900): 'Duet Darthula, Nathan'
Simon van Milligen: Darthula (1900): 'Monoloog, Nathan'

De CD Nederlandse Heldentenor Aria’s Vol I – 1850-1950'

cdHeldentenorThe CD presentation ‘Dutch Heldentenor Aria’s Vol I – 1850-1950' was an In memoriam for our deceased pianist Wolter Willemsen, who passed away on June 18, 2018, two weeks before we could finish recordings for the CD 'Dutch heldentenor Arias Vol I'.  In order to produce this In memoriam CD we used live recordings and try-out materials from earlier studio sessions. The result is a unique CD with a plenitude of modern day and often absolute world premieres of Dutch Heldentenor repertoire. Hoewever, with the recording sessions left unfinished the material used is not from one source or hall. The pianos vary in quality, from venue to venue. regardless, Wolter's unique touché is recognizable throughout, even though here and there we would have wished him a strong Bösendorfer. A few passages that he could not be used from or archive materil have been dubbed by the illustrious Dutch piano legend René Rakier. With these notions clarified, we are still very proud to present this truly stunning document in a stunning release, with hard cover and 65 page booklet (Dutch/English) that has biographical background for the composers, plot summaries of the arias and the texts of the arias. Few CD's today are published as luxurious as this one. Regarding Wolter Willemsen I can be brief: he was a unique human being with two special gifts. One was mathematical. The other the piano. Because of his intrinsic anti-materialistic personality his talent was never recognized outside a small cirvle of admirerers. As a pianist Wolter was most likely one of the most underestimated performers in the post-war era.

The CD-program

Cornelis Dopper – Wilhelm Ratcliff [1900 Willemsen]
Robert Vorstman – Seelenkampf (1898 Vonk, Willemsen)
Emile von Brucken Fock – Seleneia [1895 Vonk, Willemsen, Hiemstra]
MC Van de Rovaart – Der verwunschene Prinz (1895 Vonk, Willemsen)
Charles van der Does – Le Roi de Bohème (1852 Vonk, Willemsen)
Carel Oberstadt – De Scheveningers (1940 Vonk, Willemsen)
Cornelis Dopper – Frithjof (1895 Vonk, Willemsen)
Cornelis Dopper – De Blinde van Casteel Cuillé (1894 Schilstra, Willemsen)
Gerard von Brucken Fock – Jozal (1911 Vonk, Willemsen/Rakier)
Ernest Mulder – Daphne (1935 Schilstra, Vonk, Willemsen)

In Memoriam Wolter Willemsen

De CD presentation for family and friends was held at the Utrecht Conservatory, here both Wolter and our Heldentenor Hendrik Vonk started their lives in music. Around Wolter and Vonk we formed a team with soprano Barbara Schilstra and later also baritone Hans de Vries, the Dutch A-Team of the 401DutchOperas project, mirrored in our Flemish team with pianist Pieter Dhoore, soprano Jolien De Gendt and tenor Denzil Delaere. René Seghers, initator and artistic director of 401DutchOperas: 'An impression of the unconventional, poetic an sometimes als mindblowing circumstances in which we produced concerts and recordings with Wolter van be witnessed in the here presented In Memoriam rehearsal reportage that was played for friends and relatives in the Conservatory. We did not make this intimate video 'public' on YouTube but we do present it here on Wolters memorial ground on our website. Since those of you who read this till this point are abviously friends of Wolter, Henk, Barbara, Hans or our 401DutchOperas project. We all cherish the t wo years we could work with Wolter and are all grateful for those who made it possible to produce this memorial CD. I do beleive that the videos on this page capture the esence of his visionary playing and his drive in helping us revive these unique but forgotten Dutch operas.'