Dialogo (2013)

Prokofiev, Lutoslawski, Britten

Joris van den Berg, Martijn Willers

“Dialogue is the starting point and unifying force in all human relationships”
Daisaku Ikeda

Cellist Joris van den Berg and pianist Martijn Willers present their first CD, titled “Dialogo”, named after the first movement of the cello sonata by Benjamin Britten.

This CD represents the dialogue in all its forms: An intense conversation between two outstanding musicians, constantly challenging and inspiring one another, reaching new heights in that process; a dialogue between musicians and audience, the wonderful experience of sharing incredible music together; and finally, the dialogue between musician and composer, a fascinating process which the two sonatas on this CD demonstrate perfectly.

Benjamin Britten’s cello sonata is bursting with fantastic techniques and effects in which cello and piano are constantly in active conversation. This sonata was written for the great cellist Mstislav Rostropovich. Sergei Prokofiev also wrote his sonata for this great cellist, but with quite a different result. In this sonata we find the real romantic Prokofiev: beautiful colours and enchanting fairy tale-like melodies. The third piece, Grave, by the Polish composer Lutoslawski was written ‘in memoriam’ for Stephan Jarocinski, musicologist and a close friend of Lutoslawski’s.

Joris van den Berg and Martijn Willers were prize winners at the Amsterdam Cello Biënnale, the Johannes Brahms Chamber Music Competition in Austria and the Pierre Fournier Award in London.

As laureates of Dutch Classical Talent Tour & Award they will per- form in 11 of the most important concert halls of The Netherlands from October 2013. In summer 2014 Van den Berg and Willers will make a big concert tour in China. The duo is widely acclaimed for its sincere and intense performances of the cello and piano repertoire.

Joris van den Berg received the Dutch Classical Talent award 2014, awarded by the Royal Concertgebouw and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra after the final round in the Recital Hall of the Concertgebouw today, together with pianist Martijn Willers. “It’s an incredible honour to be chosen for this fantastic award and to be featured on the wall of the Recital Hall of the Concertgebouw next to cello legend and winner of the 1955 competition, Anner Bylsma!”.

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Joris van den Berg

www.jorisvandenberg.com

Joris van den Berg, born in the Netherlands in 1986, is a diverse and talented young cellist, characterized as a true artist with a personal sound, an intelligent and warm musicality, a strong conviction and an impressive command of the instrument. Mr. Van den Berg studied at Conservatory of Amsterdam with Quirine Viersen and Godfried Hoogeveen, at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester with Ralph Kirshbaum and Gary Hoffman and at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Cologne with Frans Helmerson. He graduated with highest distinction and received the Gold Medal, the highest award in performance, and an International Artist Diploma from the Royal Northern College of Music. Joris van den Berg made his debut in the big hall of the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, performing with Amsterdam Sinfoniëtta conducted by David Geringas, after he won the first prize at the Dutch National Cello Competition 2006. Together with his regular pianist Martijn Willers he was prize-winner at the International Johannes Brahms Competition 2008 in Austria. In 2012 Van den Berg and Willers have been selected as laureates for the Dutch Classical Talent Tour and Award, organised by the Concertgebouw and the Con- certgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, which includes recital tour in the 2013-2014 season with performances in the most important concert halls in The Netherlands, including the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam. The duo is widely acclaimed for its sincere and intense per- formances of the cello and piano repertoire. In searching for utmost depth and musical truth, Joris van den Berg and Martijn Willers have found ideal colleagues in each other. The intense musical and personal dialogue between the two musicians and between the musicians and their audience is one of the central themes of their performances, which conquered the hearts of many audiences. Joris van den Berg had master classes with, among others, Heinrich Schiff, Janos Starker and Lynn Harrel and chamber music master classes with Silke Avenhaus, Gabor Takacs and Nobuko Imai. He participated among others in the Verbier Festival Academy, International Musicians Seminar Prussia Cove and The International Holland Music Sessions. Chamber music is an important part of Mr. Van den Berg’s life. Besides his collabora- tion with pianist Martijn Willers he plays with different ensembles in the Netherlands and abroad, working among others with Daniel Hope, Philippe Graffin and Gary Hoffman. Joris van den Berg performed concertos with The Hague Residentie Orchestra (The Hague Philharmonic), Manchester Camerata, the Symphony Orchestra of Flanders, Amsterdam Sinfoniëtta and Camerata Amsterdam. He performed among others at the big hall and the recital hall of the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the big hall of the Moscow Conservatory and at the Wigmore Hall, London. Joris van den Berg was a member of the European Union Youth Orchestra. Joris van den Berg plays a Giovanni Grancino cello (1703) and a Tourte “L’ainé” bow, placed at his disposal by the Dutch National Musical Instrument Foundation.

Martijn Willers

www.martijnwillers.com

Martijn Willers enjoys a varied and stimulating career in the Netherlands as piano soloist, chamber musician and teacher. He has remained committed to performing as broad a range of music possible since his studies at the Conservatory of Amsterdam, under Mila Baslawskaja and David Kuijken. As a soloist, Martijn Willers had masterclasses with Jan Wijn, Willem Brons and Mikhail Voskresensky, He was also coached by Norma Fischer in London, England. In several ensembles, he took part in chamber music masterclasses and coachings with a.o. Ralph Kirshbaum, Heinrich Schiff, Colin Carr, Quirine Viersen, Tabea Zimmermann, Thomas Riebl, Pascal Devoyon, and Philippe Grafin. Martijn Willers forms a duo with cellist Joris van den Berg. Widely acclaimed for their sincere and intense performances, they were prizewinners in the 2008 International Johannes Brahms Chamber Music Competition in Pörtschach, Austria and the 2013 Pierre Fournier Award in Wigmore Hall, London. They have performed in several major venues in the Netherlands, including the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and Vredenburg Utrecht, as well as abroad. They were invited to perform at the Delft International Chamber Music Festival and Grachtenfestival Amsterdam, and were selected as finalists in the Dutch Classical Talent Tour and Award Program in 2013, including a series of eleven concerts around the Netherlands during the 2013-2014 season. Martijn Willers is also a member of Trio Contrasts Amsterdam with Fleur Bouwer (clarinet) and Maria Milstein (violin). In 2008-2009, the trio presented an extensive series of concerts around the Netherlands, ‘Het Debuut’, recorded by Concertzender, for national radio broadcast in The Netherlands. The trio continues to explore the exciting repertoire pos- sibilities for their combination of instruments, playing less known pieces, transcriptions (e.g. Brahms Horn Trio) and new repertoire (often written for the Trio), as well as the duo repertoire for violin with piano and clarinet with piano. In 2006, Martijn Willers won the SNS Reaal Foundation Masterclass Prize in the final of the “Vriendenkrans Concours” in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. He is frequently heard on Dutch National Radio, both as a soloist and as a chamber music performer. Martijn Willers is grateful to the Dutch National Musical Instrument Foundation for providing a Steinway and Sons grand piano (1919) for his own personal use.

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Dialogo (2013)

Prokofiev, Lutoslawski, Britten

Joris van den Berg, Martijn Willers

    Akkoord Magazine (spring 2014)

"De opname en het samenspel zijn zeer overtuigend. Vooral de warmte van de grote celloklank van de Grancino maakt indruk"

    Luister (jan 2014)

"veel oog voor zowel de subtiliteiten als het grove geweld".

    Volkskrant (nov 13, 2013)

Van den Berg heeft een doorleefde, vlezige toon waarmee hij direcht doordringt tot de kern van een compositie

    Leeuwarder Courant (nov 8, 2013)

Dit zijn twee aan deze muziek en aan elkaar verknochte musici, die zich in elkaar verdiepen en gesprekken voeren waar een buitenstaander maar wat graag naar luistert.

    Friesch Dagblad (okt 25, 2013)

Duo overdondert met technische hoogstandjes

Dialogo (2013)

Prokofiev, Lutoslawski, Britten

Joris van den Berg, Martijn Willers

Digital Converters: dCS 904 & dCS 954
Mastering Engineer: Tom Peeters
Mastering Equipment: KEF Reference series 107
Microphones: Bruel & Kjaer 4003, modified Rens Heijnis
Mixing Board: Rens Heijnis, custom made
Producer: Tom Peeters
Recording Engineer: Tom Peeters
Recording location: Westvest90 Church, Schiedam, The Netherlands
Recording Software: Pyramix
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD64

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COBRA0039: Dialogo
03:24:24   Select quality & channels above
Tracks.
1.
Sonata for cello and piano-I. Andante Grave
Prokofiev
00:11:39   Select quality & channels above
2.
Sonata for cello and piano - II. Moderato
Prokofiev
00:04:55   Select quality & channels above
3.
Sonata for cello and piano - III. Allegro ma non troppo
Prokofiev
00:08:05   Select quality & channels above
4.
Grave - Metamorphoses for cello and piano
Lutoslawski
00:06:27   Select quality & channels above
5.
Sonata for cello and piano - I. Dialogo
Britten
00:06:42   Select quality & channels above
6.
Sonata for cello and piano - II. Scherzo-pizzicato
Britten
00:02:19   Select quality & channels above
7.
Sonata for cello and piano - III. Elegia
Britten
00:06:20   Select quality & channels above
8.
Sonata for cello and piano - IV. Marcia
Britten
00:02:10   Select quality & channels above
9.
Sonata for cello and piano - V. Moto perpetuo
Britten
00:02:29   Select quality & channels above

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