The scene is a warmly-lit house on the Grachtengordel in 18th-century Amsterdam: remnants of a hearty dinner remain on the table, but the guests have retired to the salon, where the musicians among them have taken up their instruments or seated themselves before the harpsichord. As the musicians begin to play, you notice that the music was printed neither in London nor Leipzig but right here in Amsterdam.
This programme celebrates Amsterdam and its role as one of the main music-publishing centres in 18th-century Europe. Building on its success in book publishing in the previous century, Amsterdam became fertile ground for music as well: at one point in the 18th century, there were no fewer than 76 houses publishing music! Of special importance ar the firms of E. Roger and his daughter in the first half of the century and J. J. Hummel and J. Schmitt in the second half.
The music on this programme comes from the catalogues of these publishing firms. Among the most famous of Roger’s hundreds of publications are Corelli’s Concerti Grossi op. 6 and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Hummel and Schmitt popularised the music of Haydn, Mozart, C.P.E. Bach, and scores of other galant and Classical composers of note, both in the Netherlands and in northern Europe.
We have selected a variety of chamber works published in Amsterdam — beautiful, intriguing, and well-crafted works by both composers living and working in Amsterdam and foreigners who found fame here through the publishing industry.
Our name, ‘Postscript’, comes from the idea that — for the most part — the music we perform was written down and published long before we had the chance to play and present it to you. We don’t want to forget how far we are from the context in which each piece was written, and from the composers who wrote them. We do, however, want to add something to these works. During our performances, the music needs to live again — it needs to communicate, to inspire, and to bridge the gap of time between the moment the composer’s pen touched paper and now, the final post script.
We approach each program and each project with dedication and passion — whether it is scouting for unknown repertoire, improvising, studying historical sources, or making music videos. We love the music we play, and we are excited to share it with you.
Aysha Wills, traverso
David Westcombe, traverso
Octavie Dostaler-Lalonde, cello
Artem Belogurov, harpsichord