silence #35: end and beginning

1 April 2022

Silence is a music series of extremes: of music that resonates throughout the space of the Oude Kerk and the silence of the morning. On 1 April the Oude Kerk will present a programme unlike any it presented before. The concert will comprise compositions by two modernist Russian composers, Galina Oestvolskaja (1919-2006) and Alexander Raskatov (b. 1953), performed by Tomoko Mukaiyama and an ensemble of eight double basses and percussion.

Russian composer Galina Oestvolskaja rose to fame in the West by her participation in the Holland Festival of 1989, the year of the Collapse of Communism, now 33 years ago. The 1973 Dies Irae is one of her most powerful works; the music’s continuous hammer blows will fill the church space. Alexander Raskatov’s composition makes a stark contrast, as it is based on the rich sounds of Russian Orthodox church bells. ‘I will employ all sound combinations that are possible using piano, percussion and double basses to bring these mysterious instruments to life,’ says Raskatov. Two age-old elements thus come together: the Dies Irae, which has been performed as part of Liturgy of the Hours for centuries, and the sounds of bells, which used to mark the course of the day in bygone times.

End and Beginning

Galina Oestvolskaja               Composition No. 2 Dies Irae (1973)
Alexander Raskatov               Bells (2019)

tomoko mukaiyama
Tomoko Mukaiyama is a Dutch-Japanese pianist, performer and visual artist based in Amsterdam. Contemporary art projects have always had a great fascination for Tomoko; she plays with the conventions that surround her instrument and the profession of pianist. By integrating different disciplines, she plays with the concept of performance and adds a new dimension to the concert space as we know it. She previously worked with film directors, designers, architects, dancers and photographers, including Marina Abramović, MERZBOW, Jiří Kylián and Michael Gordon. Tomoko received the VSCD Dance Award in 2014 and the Japanese Dance Forum Award in 2017. She performs End and Beginning together with eight double bassists from the Royal Conservatoire The Hague and percussionist Niels Meliefste.

Niels Meliefste (percussion), Andrea Dettori (contrabas), Cody Takacs (contrabas), Dominique Chabot (contrabas), Louis van der Mespel (contrabas), Daniël Muskitta (contrabas), Quirijn van Regteren Altena (contrabas), Reinout Hekel (contrabas), Yussif Barakat (contrabas).

music in the oude kerk
The Oude Kerk is not only the oldest building in Amsterdam, it is also the oldest music temple in the city. It is a place where musical traditions have been created, passed on and renewed for over 700 years. The morning series Silence presents musical surprises every first Friday of the month. In the Saturday evening series Monuments, leading organists from the Netherlands and abroad play music by composers in whose oeuvre the organ occupies a central position. Playing the Cathedral is a residency programme and festival in which nationally and internationally renowned musicians are invited to create new work especially for the church space. In the Oude Kerk, you get to hear acknowledged masterpieces in new ways and pioneering works performed by living legends.

Tickets (only available online)
8 a.m. – 9 a.m.

This concert is made possible by the Performing Arts Fund NL, Ammodo, Fonds21, Prins Bernard Cultuurfonds, Dioraphte and BNG Cultuurfonds. The composition of Alexander Raskatov’s Bells was made possible by the Eduard van Beinum Stichting.

Photo: Shinji Otani