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GEORGE van RENESSE
Dutch pianist (1909 - 1994)



George van Renesse was a name entirely unknown to me, but given my passion for the playing of Cor de Groot, I couldn't resist.  To my delight, I discovered another brilliant colorist.  His tone was gorgeous and its range phenomenal.  Just listen to his Schubert Impromptus.  In the third from Op 90, he manages to create a sense of polyphony, not of voices, but of tonal quality and dynamics.  The fourth impromptu is played lovingly, unhurriedly, and with the color palette of a great master.

As exquisite as is his Schubert, George van Renesse's Chopin misses the mark for me.  The ryhthmic subtleties are missing and his approach is more along virtuoso lines.  Stylized or no, these are dances with important rythmic elements for which, to my ear, so few non-Poles seem to have a good understanding.  It's a bit like trying to teach a grown non-Haitian how to dance the Méreng authentically.  (This is said with apologies to any Dominicans among my readers.)

As I have relatively few examples of George van Renesse's solo playing to share with you, I am including examples of his performances as an accompanist.  His playing is beautiful and contribuites mightily to the overall effect of the songs, as it should.  Again, his extraordinary tone palette is apparent, particularly in the Andriessen songs.



Schubert  Impromptus, Op 90 (D 899)

recorded in 1966


1 in C minor
2 in E major



3 in G major
4 in A major




Schubert Moments Musicaux, Op 94 (D 780)

recorded in 1969


1 Moderato in C major
2 Andantino in A major
3 Allegro moderato in F minor



4 Moderato in C minor
5 Allegro vivace in F minor
6 Allegretto in A major




Chopin Waltzes



2 in A major, Op 34~1
3 in A minor, Op 34~2
16 in A major, Op posth
17 in E major, Op posth



5 in A major, Op 42



6 in D major, Op 64~1 "Minute Waltz"
7 in C minor, Op 64~2
8 in A major, Op 64~3



9 in A major, Op 69~1 "Valse de l'adieu"
10 in B minor, Op 69~2
1 in E major, Op 18 (Grande valse brillante)



11 in G major, Op 70~1
12 in F minor, Op 70~2
13 in D major, Op 70~3




Christmas Hymns
"Nu Sijt Wellecome"
"Maria Wiegenlied"




Schubert  Songs


"Wohin" (Müller)
"Fischerweise" (von Schlechta)
"Im Frühling" (Schulze)
"Liebesbotschaft" (Rellstab)
David Hollestelle, basso



Ständchen" D 920
Mariane Dieleman, alto with the Netherlands Chamber Choir
recorded in 1971




Brahms  from Vier Ernste Gesänge, Op 121
3 "O Tod, wie bitter bist du"
Lois Marshall, soprano

recorded live in 1956




Mahler  from Humoresken (Des Knaben Wunderhorn)
7 "Rheinlegendchen"
Lois Marshall, soprano

recorded live in 1956




Rachmaninoff  Songs
"Christ is Risen" Op 26~6 (text by Merezhkovsky)
"Lilacs" Op 21~5 (text by Beketova)
Robert Holl, basso

recorded in 1972




Hendrik Andriessen (1892-1981)  "Trois pastorales" (Rimbaud)
1 "Tête de faune"
2 "Le dormeur du valle"
3 "Sensation"
Elisabeth Cooymans, alto

recorded in 1965










For those of you who enjoy murder mysteries, here is my first with a strong musical polemic as background

Murder in the House of the Muse

which is also available as an audiobook.



And this is the more recently published second mystery in the series:

Murder Follows the Muse



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