Psalms, easter eggs and euph recordings

Just before Easter, the 2nd recording session for my new solo CD took place. Two beautiful compositions by Marco Pütz and Hendrik de Boer, a well prepared conductor, a beautiful sounding orchestra and an enthusiastic recording- and sound engineer made it into an amazing day. And yes, the soloist tried to give his best as well! 🙂 

Everyone came together this weekend in a small village at the border of the Netherlands and Germany called Dinxperlo. This town in the area called ‘de Achterhoek’ is famous for one of the best fanfare bands in our country, Fanfare ‘Psalm 150’. The main orchestra of ‘Psalm 150’ competes in the Championship Section, garnering some impressive results through the years. Consisting mostly of amateur musicians, the orchestra has a rich history. Some highlights include a concert tour to Poland and five top division appearances at the World Music Contest in Kerkrade. Their conductor, Tijmen Botma, is also chief conductor of the Koninklijke Militaire Kapel ‘Johan Willem Friso’, a professional military wind band and he is well known for his great work in and outside the Netherlands.

Two pieces were to be recorded last weekend. We started the session in the morning with the ‘Concertino for Euphonium and Fanfare Band’ by composer Marco Pütz. In my opinion one of the most interesting works in the repertoire and also perfectly written for fanfare band accompaniment. The work has never been recorded in this original version before, but there are some nice recordings with piano and wind band accompaniment around. As it is a piece which is demanding both stylistically, musically and technically it was a very nice challenge for me to work on in the last few weeks.

Whilst the temperature in the building went up more and more in the afternoon, we started recording the new composition by the young Dutch composer Hendrik de Boer, called ‘The Hell of ’63’. The composition is a musical reproduction of the so-called ‘Elfstedentocht’ (or ‘Eleven Cities Tour’) of 1963, a legendary 200 kilometre skating event which passes through eleven cities in Friesland. This tour is known as the toughest in the event’s history due to the dreadful weather conditions. The composer makes use of wind samples, howling tubes and delay pedal to create this icecold atmosphere.

I was very happy to notice that the recording went very fluent. The orchestra and conductor were well prepared and it was amazing to see how much concentration and focus they had. This made the process go quickly and resulted in lots of nice takes. Again, recording engineer Anteun Hoesen and sound engineer Renato Meli did a great job listening to all the takes and commenting us in a positive and stimulating way to make the most out of it.

So now 4 out of 5 pieces are recorded. Only one to go next month, so everything is still perfectly on schedule. In the meanwhile Anteun and I are very busy making the montage  of the first 4 recordings now and how special is it to hear all these new compositions come to life. With only 2,5 months before the release I can’t wait to share it with you all!

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