Brieven aan de Meesters
(Letters to the Masters)
The true expression of music will always be music itself. There is however a strong alliance between language and music. While writing this book I realized that that alliance, a subtle dialogue between words and sound, can reach deeper layers than I initially thought. As poetry can address subconscious feelings, I wanted to give space to free and associative thoughts that arise during writing about music. In silence I was able to find the right expression which I could never have found out loud. It also meant a renewed acquaintance with music I have played and listened to for years.
This book would not have been there without the Corona pandemic. In april 2020 I spoke with Lex Bohlmeijer, presenter of the classical music radio channel NPO Radio 4 about the unreal situation. What now? No concerts, nothing. I felt that I had to fill this silence and began to write letters to composers I feel I understand on a deeper level. It has been a valuable process during which I’ve learned a great deal about my own musicianship and about artistry in general.
For years already I enjoy reading about music. I am particularly inspired by publications from the beginning of the 20th century. James Huneker wrote a beautiful biograhpy of Chopin: The man and His Music. He moves naturally between the personal and the factual. The fact that, in 1900, a writer looks back at a composer that lived ‘only’ fifty years ago appeals to the imagination. With my book I have tried to come closer to my beloved composers and their music.