Ainsi la Nuit: a journey through the night
We invite you to travel with us on a wonderfully varied journey through the many color palettes of dusk and the night: mysterious and sometimes ominous, but also atmospheric and intimate.
An unusual adventure in the possibilities of sound!
Nocturne from Borodin's 2nd Quartet, Haydn's "Sunrise" Quartet, "Ainsi la Nuit" of Henri Dutilleux, Caplet's Conte Fantastique, and a newly commissioned quintet by the Dutch composer Roel van Oosten.
Gwyneth Wentink and the Rubens Quartet perform together regularly as a unique chamber music team. The pearl-like sounds of the harp combined with the velvety medium of the string quartet create a magical concert experience!
Violist Roeland Jagers recently interviewed Gwyneth about their unique collaboration:
RJ: In 2006 you were awarded the highest honor that a musician from the Netherlands can receive: the Nederlandse Muziekprijs (Dutch Music Prize). What kinds of opportunities did this present for you?
GW: The thing that was the most unique for me was that, even during the year before I actually received the prize, I was given the possibility and capacity to pursue projects that I was really interested in. I had the luxury of being able to search for and realize the activities that excited and inspired me. And those things which helped to develop and deepen my art are precisely the things that I continue to build on today.
RJ: Since that time you have developed huge international concert activity. What do you find most challenging about performing?
GW: It is so challenging to share the repertoire which I have pored over for so many hours with people who are probably hearing it for the first time. Or the opposite, if someone has heard something already thousands of times, and is then listening to it again. It is challenging to find your own voice when interpreting the music of others. I also find it equally challenging to play in a small venue that seats fifty people, and in the largest and most important venues.
RJ: How do like collaborating with the Rubens Quartet?
GW: I find it incredibly inspiring to play with the Rubens Quartet! As a "soloist", I think it is very special to be able to play together with a group of four people so regularly. They know each other so well, are so integrated and have developed such a unique ensemble character, without compromising their own individual voices. I am crazy about chamber music and love to make music with others, and I find this combination with the Rubens Quartet very fulfilling.
RJ: Many composers were greatly inspired by the colors and sounds of the night. What musical associations do you have with the night?
GW: I love to fantasize, and therefore I can find images associated with day or night in everything! Years ago I may have labeled something as "introverted", but can later experience the same thing very differently. That is something that I also find very beautiful about music. Something touches you in a certain moment or situation, and years later you can feel completely the opposite. But the question was about associations with the night...the work of Van Oosten that he wrote for myself and the Rubens is a prime example. Also: certain songs of Schubert and Mahler and some songs of J.J. Cale. And a couple of Indian ragas that were originally meant to be played during the night hours.
RJ: The new quintet Crepuscule by Roel van Oosten was written especially for us. How can you describe the piece?
GW: Well, it is quite difficult to describe given that I have not really had the piece in my hands yet. Roel van Oosten already wrote an earlier piece for me and I am familiar with his varying styles. He writes beautifully for the harp and knows the instrument well. When creating Crépuscule, I sat behind the harp and he and I searched for sounds together that fit the night theme. Whispering currents, a kind of rustling... I saw passages already that revealed
exciting, penetrating string parts, pure sounds and an interesting play between the harp and the string quartet. I wil probably see the piece in its final form this week!