‘Sensitive
and profound’
– reviews –
ResMusica, februari 2018

En écoutant les interprétations de Camiel Boomsma, musicien néerlandais âgé de 27 ans, on a l’impression d’être face à un art pianistique accompli et d’une maturité remarquable. Voici son premier disque pour le label Challenge Records, qui est une belle occasion de se familiariser avec ce soliste prometteur.

Pour ce qui est de l’interprétation des Nocturnes et de l’Impromptu en sol bémol majeur de Frédéric Chopin, sculptée par des tempi relativement lents, c’est la lucidité et la simplicité narratives qui se voient mises en lumière. Le pianiste se fait avant tout poète de son instrument, peaufinant les nuances et rendant hommage aux sonorités sensibles, tout comme Chopin (si l’on en croit les chroniqueurs de son époque) ou comme, de nos jours, Krzysztof Książek, dont la magnifique exécution du Concerto en mi mineur du compositeur polonais chez Dux a été récompensée d’une Clef ResMusica. C’est ainsi que, sous les doigts de Camiel Boomsma, les Nocturnes sont d’une beauté apollinienne, nous dévoilant la nature rêveuse, voire méditative de l’artiste qui varie avec soin et raffinement les teintes et les ambiances, mais qui en même temps évite toute mièvrerie ou nonchalance. Ajoutons que la disposition harmonieuse qu’il offre, y compris pour les crescendos électrisants dans le Nocturne op. 48 n° 1, se situe aux antipodes de la spontanéité et la virtuosité déconcertantes à la Fazil Say ou Martha Argerich.

En ce qui concerne la Sonate pour piano n° 21 de Franz Schubert, l’exécution des premières mesures du mouvement initial nous met devant une conception intimiste (et « intimidée ») de cette page. En effet, le jeu de Camiel Boomsma se traduit par un tempo retenu et des nuances délicates ; même les deux trilles dans les basses de la main gauche sonnent comme s’ils étaient suspendus dans le temps. Après cette « ouverture » imprégnée d’une ambiance un brin mystérieuse, la narration – d’une poésie limpide et au pianisme léger et tendre – devient de plus en plus souple, en même temps que s’affirment la douceur immatérielle des lignes mélodiques et une lumineuse clarté d’allure. C’est par la suavité du geste et une palette de couleurs sombres inusitée que Boomsma plonge l’auditeur dans un univers tout à la fois contemplateur et languissant. Le climat mélancolique ne quitte même pas l’interprétation du troisième mouvement de la sonate, le Scherzo : Allegro vivace con delicatezza, dont les traits font penser ici à une lamentation nostalgique. Cette approche romantique plutôt que classique du pianiste (en quelque sorte le contraire de ce que nous propose Krystian Zimerman) atteint son apogée dans le finale, Allegro ma non troppo – Presto, pour lequel de légères fluctuations agogiques sont audibles, et des contrastes dynamiques marqués impressionnent par la précision articulatoire et séduisent par la profondeur des fortissimi, jamais agressifs.

Translated quotes:

”Listening to the interpretations of Camiel Boomsma, a 27-year-old Dutch musician, one has the impression of being faced with accomplished piano art and remarkable maturity”

”The Nocturnes are of Apollonian beauty and reveal the dreamy and meditative nature of the artist who carefully varies and refines the colors and moods, while avoiding all nonsense or nonchalance”

Pianowereld/Muze, december 2017

”There is more than one musical truth. But there is only one musical essence. to posit a truth takes conviction, to ‘release’ the essence takes patience and insight. Camiel Boomsma possesses a rare gift for this”

Klassieke Zaken Magazine, november 2017

….he grants the music the time to pierce into the souls of the listeners. Thoughtfully, sensitive for the smallest turn of admosphere, he plays the sonata as if in a dream. But next to all the sensitive reflections, Schubert’s sudden demonic bursts get the expression they deserve too. Nothing is hidden, all sound matured from beginning to end. Delicacy and a singing tone also meet in the three nocturnes and an impromptu by Chopin. What strikes is the timing of the rubato, when the pianist plays a subtle game with the forcing mesure of the metre. This CD is one of the Musical Surprises of the year…

Luister Magazine, december 2017

” Every harmonic turn, subtle or completely unexpected, is emphasized by Boomsma in a completely natural way [..] the music comes to life through these color changes”

Pizzicato, 20-11-2017

”Wenn der holländische Pianist Camiel Boomsma (27) mit Chopins Nocturne op. 9/1 seine CD beginnt, ist man sofort überwältigt von dem überaus feinen, samtigen und dynamisch außergewöhnlich nuancierten Spiel. Die ersten drei Stücke werden sehr reflektiv und fast weltverloren gespielt. Eine Wohltat! Das Nocturne op. 48/1 ist etwas dramatischer als die übrigen Stücke und wird sehr differenziert gestaltet. Das sind wunderbare Chopin-Interpretationen!

Dank seiner brillanten Technik erreicht Boosma auch eine sehr schlüssige Darstellung der B-Dur-Sonate – Schuberts Abschied von seinem Instrument. Melancholie, Resignation kommen hier genauso packend zum Ausdruck wie das im Bedrohliche im ersten und im letzten Satz.

Boomsma hat einen wunderbaren  Anschlag, eine tief atmende Gestaltungskraft und eine großartige Kunst des Versenkens in Schuberts Musik der Stille, des Klagens, des Zweifelns und Verzweifelns, aber auch des Hoffens, die tief berührt.

Very reflective and poetic performances which dig deep into the soul both of Chopin and Schubert”

De Volkskrant, 20-10-2017

”with Boomsma the notes flow philosophically […] Boomsma has got velvet attached to his fingers. […] the Dutchman speaks of acquiescence and death.”[…] Click here for the full review in Dutch.

Elger Niels, recital review, PianoWereld/Muze magazine

” De kracht van Camiel Boomsma dat hij te midden van die stroom zowel rustpunt als vertrekpunt is. Met het eerste deel uit Schuberts Pianosonate D960 verzette hij zijn luisteraars in opperste concentratie. Niet door hen te forceren met gewilde verrassingen, maar door, vanuit oprechte ingetogenheid, zelf intens te luisteren naar de zich ontvouwende muziek.
De stilte werd steeds dieper, naarmate deze de maatslag van de muziek aannam. Op de schitterende Steinway, die vlak voor het concert nog eens extra bijgestemd werd, kon Boomsma ook tot de bodem gaan. Waarbij melodische en harmonische wendingen in Chopins Nocturnes opus 48 nr.1 & opus 62 nr.1 op een goudschaaltje werden gewogen en op het moment werden toegesneden – vrij als een blad in de wind.
Epateren was er niet bij, niet in Chopins Ballade opus 23 en al helemaal niet in de drie transcripties uit Wagners opera’s Götterdämmerung en Tristan und Isolde. Boomsma bracht de muziek tot haar oorsprong: in den beginne was er de stilte… Van daaruit kon je tijdens dit recital ademloos volgen, hoe klank en harmonie, ritme, tijd en dus ook melodie zich daarbij voegen en het muzikale organisme tot leven komt, zich ontwikkelt en passeert – je bezielend in het voorbijgaan. Zo vanzelfsprekend en toch eindeloos mysterieus.

Pianonews magazine july/august issue, 2016

”Boomsma versteht es, die Melodien – fülle (Lohengrin), das Rauschende (Liebesgesang) und Orchestrale (Götterdämmerung) der Werke herauszuheben zwischen Zartheit und Pomp kommt Wagners ganze Ausdruckspalette zum tragen”

Pianist magazine 8-09-2016

”Boomsma plays with enormous concentration and really puls us into the music. I am convinced!…”

Luister magazine 13-7-2016

”The mystical spheres and elegiac tone paintings are elaborated with a high degree of transparency”

NRC Handelsblad 31-5-2016

”[…]”Wagner on the piano is thoughtful” [..]” The musical lines are very clear [..]”Boomsma shows that these transcriptions have a value of their own”

Trouw 6-5-2016

”[…]Very intriguing and very beautiful [..]” [..]”Boomsma plays with great empathy”[..]

De Volkskrant 27-4-2016

”[…]Boomsma makes the music swarm and sing mildly[..]Impressive, the way the CD is concluded..A fever vision on Wagner’s deathbed[..]”

Klassieke zaken 25-3-2016

”[…]What Boomsma does is profound and mature” [..] In one word: beautiful”

Péché de Classique 09-2015:

”No pathos, simply extraordinary, magnificent virtuosity by the young Dutch pianist Camiel Boomsma. This disc is a pure masterpiece”

Neuss-Grevenbroicher Zeitung, 06-2015

”Nun kommt ein junger Hollandischer Pianist namens Camiel Boomsma mit einem furiosen Platte daher […] und bietet einen Wagner der auf Haubitze und Kalaschnikow verzichtet, sondern das lyrische Potential seiner Musik erkundet. Das macht er hinreisend. Jene Werke spielt er auf der basis einer sehr schon tempertierten pianistischen Diskretion, er liebt es, wenn Musik ihr Fundament im Piano, nicht im Forte besistzt – wenn dann aber eine dynamische Kurve unerbittlich nach oben fuhrt dann kann Camiel Boomsma enorme Reserven entfalten. Manchmal scheint es, als habe er zwolf oder 15 Finger.”

BBC music Magazine, 07-2015:

”This young Dutch pianist plays, very beautifully, 6 versions [..] which honor the majesty of the operas” (5/5 stars)

Diapason d’or, 07-2015:

”Esprit et puissance imprègnent Parsifal. Impressionnantes ou subtilement présentes…] (4/5 stars)

Andrea Bedetti, cdclassico.com, Italy 03-2014:

‘Truly remarkable is the interpretation of the young Dutch pianist Camiel Boomsma, able to highlight a great stylistic maturity.’

René, Seghers, Luister magazine, 1-06-2014:

‘These transcriptions have much more weight than the vocal texts. Even more charming is that the transcriptions like the ‘Verwandlungsmusik’ from Parsifal sound much more pure than the orchestral versions. One hears Wagner like he invented it, on the piano. Take the moderation from the Trauermarsch from Gotterdammerung. Stripped from its explosive bombast, it suddenly becomes a transcendental piece. In that matter, I ‘disagree’ strongly with Spanjaard: Boomsma emphasizes the purity en profundity of this music, which is suddenly much closer related to Mozart and Beethoven. A penetrating recital’

‘Wagner transcriptions performed by a young keyboard wizard’, Constantine P. Carambelas-Sgourdas – Critics’ Point online music magazine, Greece, 7-08-2014:

‘More recently, one of the rising star pianists of the younger generation, the Dutch Camiel Boomsma, who has distinguished himself in a number of international competitions and who received a scholarship from the Richard Wagner Stipendienstiftung, dedicates his very first album to Wagner transcriptions proving from the beginning that he wished to offer something special and not just another recording of the standard repertoire. It was not only the chosen repertoire that touched us deeply during the audition of the CD, but above all, the very special readings[…]He approaches the music with great feeling, deep poetic insight and certainly, very good taste […]Boomsma builds up the climaxes with grandeur, nobility and emotion. His is quite impressive in the way that he sheds light to various orchestral voices and especially the way he them colour. In addition, he gives perspective to the sound by controlling the dynamics in a splendid manner[…]the pianist allows the music to flow with great panache and captivating charm[…]The dark, tragic tension that prevails here is boldly approached by the young musician, who once again uses his miraculous timbral palette to achieve his musical goals[…]Boomsma delivers the music with the sensual and ecstatic intensity that it asks for. The sound he produces is crystal clear and analytical, his tempi are well selected, he always leaves space for the music to grow organically and his narration is captivating (listen to how sensitively he leads the heroine to her last moments). I am sure that both Wagner and Liszt would have adored his interpretation. Summing up, Boomsma is a true artist with excellent technique. He knows how to illuminate the inner sanctum of the music he performs in a way that delights the listener. After hearing this wonderful album, I am eagerly waiting for his next recording and really hope that we shall soon have the chance to applaud him during a recital in Greece’

Henri Dost, Platomania.eu, 15-01-2014:

[…] ‘With this Wagner album he proofs he is a huge talent’

Biella Luttmer, De Volkskrant, 15-01-2014:

‘Boomsma has been struck by Wagnerfever and looks for cooling in the less heated piano versions which have been written in the past centuries. in the Liebestod, he skillfully translates the veiled shivers to piano sounds and he can deal very well with the enduring lyric in ‘O du mein Holder Abendstern’ in which he draws the mood from the very first note. His CD is even more interesting because, besides famous transcriptions by Liszt and Busoni, he recorded obscure transcriptions written by Bendel, Stradal and the hungarian pianist Zoltan Kocsis’ (4/5 stars)

Dutch Liszt society, may 2012:

‘[He] made Gretchens spinningwheel snore in a subtle [and] transparent way. [..] The youthful pianist concluded his recital with a charming and dramatic Isoldes Liebestod. [..]. A wonderful performance!’

‘Boomsma emphasizes the purity en profundity of this music, which is suddenly much closer related to Mozart and Beethoven. A penetrating recital’Luister Magazine, CD ‘Wagner Transcriptions’

Reformatorisch Dagblad 7-05-2014:

‘He posseses a strong developed feeling for colour of sound, besides a substantial dose of technic. A worthy, well recorded debut’.

‘Camiel Boomsma plays Wagner’, Tjako Fennema, OpusKlassiek:

[…] ‘An irresistible CD. […] Camiel Boomsma is averse of the terrifying thunder in Wagner’s music. [..] On this CD he chooses for calm and graceful tempi. […] Stradal’s transcription of the Verwandlungsmusik from Parsifal sounds serious and sovereign. One sits straight up when listening to the Trauermusik from Götterdämmerung, transcribed by Ferruccio Busoni, which thunders without an excessive amount of notes.[…]Boomsma plays his Improvisation on Walthers Preislied from Die Meistersinger serene and moderate. […] Boomsma understands the ‘Mild und Leise’(Tristan und Isolde) very well’.

Peter van Korlaar, reviewer at Brabants Dagblad, boardmember of the Dutch Liszt Society:

[…] ‘This wonderful transcription by Liszt is the final piece on this excellent and superb debut CD from Camiel Boomsma. […] He lets Isolde breath her final breathe softly and wafer-thin…[…] Ferruccio Busoni (1866-1924) made an impressive transcription from the ‘Trauermarsch’ for the death of Siegfried (Marcia Funebre) from the Opera Götterdämmerung. Camiel Boomsma plays this work with a great overall sense of tension and captures the haunting atmosphere which is so typically for the death of Siegfried. The listener is grabbed by the throat![…] Because of the, often, orchestral recorded transcriptions, one automatically appreciates the original works of the Wagner much more.’

Concertkamer Voorschoten, 2011:

‘The programme started with Beethoven’s sonata in A major Op.2 No 2. Especially the melancholic largo was played with remarkable empathy . […] One could hear Wagner […] clearly in the theatrical and longing ‘Isoldes Liebestod’ from the opera Tristan and Isolde.’

Zandvoorste Courant, 23-09-2010:

‘[…] He showed why he is a laureate of the competition. The prelude and fugue BWV 860 by Johann Sebastian Bach proved to the hilt that this pianist has a bright future ahead of him. He made the challenging ‘Jeux d’eau’ by Maurice Ravel look easy.’

Haarlems dagblad, march 2009:

‘[…] As soon as Camiel commences Franz Liszt’s ‘Waldesrauschen’ it is as if one can [hear] the subtle sound of waving trees.’

Henri Dost, Platomania.eu, 15-01-2014:

[…] ‘With this Wagner album he proofs he is a huge talent’

‘A very daring debut CD by Camiel Boomsma without virtuosic thunder but highly musical and profound’Jan Brokken, writer

Jan Brokken, writer:

‘Youri Egorov wasn’t very fond of Liszt. he considered the composer insincere, not honest. Camiel Boomsma’s CD contains two Wagner transcriptions by Franz Liszt. Tannhauser: Recitativ und Romance en Tristan und Isolde: Isoldes Liebestod. It seems as if Camiel discretely wants to contradict Youri: Both transcriptions are free of false effects and are remarkably pure. That is maybe also because of Boomsma’s restrained and subtle playing. One can make Wagner thunder, also in transcriptions, but Boomsma does not do this. The CD also contains a transcription by Zoltan Kocsis, Tristan und Ioslde Einleitung: Impressive. A funny coincidence is that Zoltan Kocsis regularly visited Egorov residence at the Brouwersgracht in Amsterdam. A very daring debut CD by Camiel Boomsma without virtuosic thunder but highly musical and profound – entirely in the style of Egorov’

‘Ed Spanjaard, conductor:

‘Boomsma aims for the magic and the grandeur of Wagner’s music which has been translated to the piano’