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HIP hip
May 2011

Anyone who tells a lie has not a pure heart, and cannot make a good soup.
Ludwig van Beethoven

Welcome to the first of De Swaen’s last two concerts. After April’s performance some of you commented on the use of modern instruments with a "hardcore" Baroque ensem-ble; an interesting point and we have to draw a line somewhere. The newly-written piece was scored for that setting and we did not claim that Lucas played a Baroque saxophone, Margreet, an Amati singing saw (it was actually a Nicholson #50, 26’’, 8-point) or Bart, a late-17th-century accordion. A line in Historically Informed/Inspired Perfor-mance (HIP) can be drawn between the honest use of a modern instrument and a florid, or Baroque interpretation of the word "historic".

Without even pretending to be historic, Andre Rieu chooses to direct his well-rewarded orchestra as Standgeige, as was the original practice for such repertoire in the 19th century; other ensembles choose to play Baroque music on modern instruments at modern pitch. Why not! De Swaen decided to draw different lines, which you can read about on our website.

One pleasure of our instruments is to do what cannot be done with their adapted namesakes. For instance, in March 2010, we performed a programme that would not have been possible using the system of nodal vent holes that first appeared on "Baroque" trumpets in the late1950s, since the wooden mute renders this system useless. Leaving aside its absence of lips or lungs, only a giant squid would be able to reach such holes on the straight, wooden "lituus", which is probably why there are no such holes original examples at the German National Museum in Nuremberg.

In this spirit, Daniel Glatzel has included a part for our calcant in his newly written setting of Aus der Tiefen, Hand-pumped bellows allow the calcant to have a direct influence on the flow of air into the organ, allowing him to create effects unavailable to the usual electric one.

Daniel writes: "I came to the conclusion that if I go into the depths and to the bottom of my soul there’s not only despair but a lot of joy as well! There’s enough depressive and melancholic new music out there... Let’s have some divine fun with this!"

Daniel is best known for the Andromeda Mega Express Orchestra, which he founded in Berlin, organises, writes the music for and plays in. Daniel somehow found time to write a new piece for us and we’re thrilled that he did - especially Lucas, who chose this month’s programme and, after the season got shuffled around, was happy to hear that a saxophonist would compose something for it. For his "surprise", Lucas has chosen Nymphes des Bois by Josquin des Prez.

Today, we bring you out of the depths; in return, you can help bring us out of debt. Please donate generously after the concert. The recommended minimum donation is 10 Euros. For only 25 Euros, you can buy the new De Swaen 10 JAAR Jubileumboek, the special coupons in which could save you more than 1.000 Euros when you buy the unique products offered at our Webwinkel.

Mike Diprose
May 2011