Two of Dutch composer Henk Badings' finest works
Superb sound quality from these mid-50s Philips recordings
Notes on the recordings:
These recordings both date from the mid 1950s - I've been able to date the Symphony recording to 28-30 November 1955; it seems safe to assume the Concerto for Two Violins was contemporary, though I'm pretty certain they were not recorded at the same sessions.
What is particularly unusual about the Concerto recording is that it sounds quite distinctly like a continuous performance, including the gaps between movements. In many recordings of the 1950s there's a clear and obvious cut of silence between movements on the master tape, where oxide-free 'leader' tape would be inserted to create a section of total silence. Indeed, these were too often rather roughly inserted, cutting off the decay of the last note of a movement quite abruptly and requiring the careful use of a little extra digital reverberation to mask the 'chop'!
Not here - I got a clear impression of the musicians stopping and waiting between movements - small sounds of preparation that one simply doesn't expect to hear outside of a live recording. Of course I may be entirely mistaken and the engineers may simply have edited in some background 'atmos' rather than going to complete silence. Either way, it's a more convincing approach to making a studio recording resemble a continuous performance than some recordings of the era.
It should be said that both of these recordings were excellent. Philips has a deservedly fine reputation for quality at this point in their history, and the following year the composer, Badings, was to take up residency at their main studios to begin work on some of his earliest electronic compositions. No doubt when he heard these recordings he was suitably impressed!
Full Badings biography 1: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henk_Badings
Full Badings biography 2: http://www.yourdictionary.com/biography/henk-badings
Full Badings biography 3 (Dutch): http://www.harmonie-peer.com/intern_infomuziek.html#anchor_241
Full Badings biography 4 (Dutch): http://www.huygens-fokker.org/wieiswie/badings.html
Willem van Otterloo
Biographical notes from Wikipedia
Van Otterloo was born in Winterswijk, in the Netherlands, the son of William Frederik van Otterloo, a railway inspector, and his wife Anna Catharina Enderlé. He qualified to study medicine at Utrecht University but switched to studying cello and composition at the Amsterdam Conservatoire. While playing as a cellist in the Utrecht Stedelijk Orkest, he won a composition prize from the Concertgebouw Orchestra for his Suite No. 3, which he presented in his 1932 conducting debut, also with that orchestra. He held posts with the Utrecht Stedelijk Orkest, before being appointed chief conductor of the Residentie Orkest in The Hague (1949-1973).
He spent 11 years in Australia. From 1967 to 1970 he was chief conductor of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and in 1971 he was appointed chief conductor of the Sydney Symphony, where he remained until 1978.
Particularly prized for his performances of newer music, he made recordings, mostly for Philips Records, with Residentie Orkest, Concertgebouworkest, Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, Vienna Symphony, Orchestre Lamoureux and the Sydney Symphony.
He died in East St Kilda, Melbourne in 1978 from injuries suffered in an automobile accident. This occurred not long after his farewell performance with the Sydney Symphony. His body was flown to The Hague for cremation.
Van Otterloo was married and divorced four times in the Netherlands. He married Elisabeth ter Hoeve on August 1, 1935 (divorce 1938). On April 22, 1941 he married Anette Jacoba Adriana Heukers, with whom in December of that year he had a son, Rogier van Otterloo (1941-1988) , who would become a well-known conductor in the Netherlands as well. He and Anette divorced in April 1943, but remarried April 28, 1944. They would have another son and two daughters, but divorced again on September 20, 1954. Ten days later he married Susanne Maria Anna Wildmann with whom he had another daughter. A month after his fourth divorce, he married Carola Gertie Ludewig (born 1945) on 12 August 1970 in Australia.
From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willem_van_Otterloo
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