Author Archives: Maryleen Schiltkamp

Pan’s universe in colorful tones

Pan’s universe in colorful tones …

The tone poem “Pan”, op. 43 by the Czech composer Vítězslav Novák, is an evocation of the mythical forest god, Pan, in five parts: Prologue, Mountains, Sea, Forest and Woman. Forces of nature are recalled musically, from overwhelming and majestic, to subtle and sensual, to serene tranquility; a masterpiece of neo-romantic style and modernist harmonies. All in great thematic unity, as the word “pan” also means.
In addition to Beethoven’s 250th – , the year 2020 is also the 150th birth year of Vítězslav Novák. At the initiative of pianist Tobias Borsboom, Novák’s ‘Pan’ will be performed at various locations in the Netherlands during 2020. Tobias Borsboom, one of the Netherlands’ most famous young pianists for his poetic, colorful interpretations, is for these concerts in collaboration with the artist Maryleen Schiltkamp, ​​who interprets this piano piece in her own unique way, from her discipline as a painter. Schiltkamp, ​​who lived and worked in Prague for many years, has made oil paintings for the five parts of Novák’s Pan. These  “Pan” paintings will take part in the concerts. For the event at the Haagse Kunstkring in The Hague, she will also paint live simultaneously with the music as performance art, creating the artwork ‘live’, following the structure of the music composition.

Tobias Borsboom – pianist     Maryleen Schiltkamp – music painter

 

 

Tobias Borsboom ‘Pan’ video Vlissingen

Pan’s Prologue (Prolog) – part 1 of  Vítězslav Novák ‘s  tone poem ‘Pan’; oil on canvas, 100 x 120 cm, 2019

 

Mountains (Hory) – part 2 of  Vítězslav Novák ‘s  tone poem ‘Pan’; oil on canvas, 120 x 100 cm, 2019

 

Sea (Moře) – part 3 of  Vítězslav Novák ‘s  tone poem ‘Pan’; oil on canvas, 120 x 100 cm, 2019

 

Forest (Les) – part 4 of  Vítězslav Novák ‘s  tone poem ‘Pan’; oil on canvas, 120 x 100 cm, 2019

 

Woman (Žena) – part 5 of  Vítězslav Novák ‘s  tone poem ‘Pan’; oil on canvas, 100 x 120 cm, 2019

 

 

 

 

De Klankvijver – Voorschoten  19.01 202

RondoM Concerten – Wilhelminaoord 11.01 2020

Haagse Kunstkring – The Hague 27.02 2020

Maryleen’s review of Arthur Olof’s book: ‘The Art of Survival’

July 2020

De Kunst om te Overleven: Russische Muziek in de Eeuw van Dmitri Sjostakovitsj

[The Art of Survival: Russian Music in Shostakovich’s Century]

Book review published in the July 2020 edition of DSCH Journal, the music magazine dedicated to the life and work of Dmitri Shostakovich.

By Maryleen Schiltkamp

In ‘The Art of Survival’: Russian Music in Shostakovich’s Century, Dutch radio producer Arthur Olof (1954–2014) describes the history of music in twentieth-century Russia, a time when Soviet artists were forced to conform to the party line in their creative works, under the threat of persecution. The focus of the book is Dmitri Shostakovich, whose resourceful ability to compose in spite of these restrictions, was of great interest to the author as an example of the art of survival.

Olof explains how Shostakovich’s oeuvre was closely connected to the contemporary artistic and literary scene in Leningrad, and provides a wide-ranging, kaleidoscopic view of music history along with colourful details. These insights offer a deeper understanding of the context of Shostakovich’s work and sketch a broad cultural and sociopolitical framework as a background to his life. To Olof, Shostakovich’s music mirrored the political oppression and cultural life in 20th-century Russia.

The fulcrum of the book is the Dutch radio series Oorgetuige (‘Ear-witness’); almost 100 episodes produced for the Concertzender station between 2009 and 2014. Interspersed in the book’s text are QR-codes providing links to the Concertzender website, allowing access to the music under discussion. The book thus offers a unique sound library of around six hundred compositions by twentieth-century Russian composers: from Shostakovich to Ustvolskaya, from Prokofiev to Gubaidulina and from Stravinsky to Schnittke. In addition, there are links to visual art provided by access to the websites of museums such as the Hermitage, the Tretyakov Gallery and the Pushkin Museum.

While the wide-ranging scope of the book necessarily excludes in-depth analyses of chosen subjects, the provided links to on-line references undoubtedly enhance the book’s appeal. In addition, the author’s selection of artists, coupled with his insightful comments on them provide an original and fascinating panoramic view. But it is Olof’s ability to draw the reader into a realm which is so very Russian, where beauty could still save the world and a deep sense of the metaphysical is alluded to, that projects this book far beyond the mere musical history. To “set the tone” each broadcast began with a motto: “All in memory of you ….”, a line of poetry by Alexander Pushkin, which Anna Akhmatova used to accompany her Northern Elegies, a cycle of poems she wrote during one of the darkest times of her country and her personal life. Chosen in turn by Arthur Olof, these words convey how music can relate to the human soul, and the power of artistic creation to connect and transcend.

Arthur Olof was the son of the well-known violinist Theo Olof, a Jewish refugee from Germany. Arthur studied Slavic Languages and Dutch Literature in Amsterdam and was a producer for Concertzender.

The idea to publish a book based on the radio series took shape around 2012. A year later Olof was diagnosed with a fatal illness. Determined to complete the book, he handed the finished manuscript over to his wife, José ten Berge, six weeks before he died in 2014. She became the driving force behind the publication and book launch in June 2019.

De Kunst om te Overleven: Russische Muziek in de Eeuw van Dmitri Sjostakovitsj

Amsterdam: Autres directions (2019) Paperback. 256 pages, colour illustrations.

ISBN 978-90-821384-1-2
The Art of Survival is on sale from https://Olof.cz, priced € 29.95

Shostakovich Inspired! at Brecon Theatre, Wales (UK), 29th September

Shostakovich’s Tenth String Quartet was the subject of Maryleen’s participation as live musicpainter in collaboration with the Fitzwilliam String Quartet at Brecon Theatre, Wales (UK) on 29th September during Festival Hay-on-Wye 2019.

For the Live Art performance of the String Quartet, Maryleen painted on stage in synchronicity with the music, dividing the four musical movements over three canvasses.

It has been a great experience and fascinating interaction with the brilliant musicians of the Fitzwilliam Quartet! This year celebrating its 50th anniversary, the Quartet’s impressive history goes back to founding member Alan George (viola) personally meeting Shostakovich in the ’60’s, with the composer attending their concerts and trusting the Fitzwilliam Quartet to be the performers of his string quartets in the West.


Dmitri Shostakovich with Alan George

The present members of the Quartet are leader Lucy Russel (violin), Marcus Barcham Stevens (violin), Alan George (viola) and Sally Pendlebury (cello)

DSCH Journal announcement of the Fitzwilliam Quartet’s collaboration with Maryleen

The Art of the Symphony at Europe House, 16 September 2019

After our succes with the screening of the documentary film The Art of the Symphony in Amsterdam at De Balie in April this year, there was a next screening of the documentary in The Hague at the House of Europe on 16 September. Organized by Blinibioscoop, we could show our film, with panel discussion and exhibition of paintings, during an afternoon related to Russia and the post-Soviet States, interestingly this time in the context of the EU.


Line-up of deputies of the embassies of Belarus, Azerbaijan, the organizers of Blinibioscoop Grigori Pasternak and Olga Sterenshis, panelspeakers Olga de Kort and Tony van der Togt, Maryleen Schiltkamp and ladies from the Russia House …

‘The Art of the Symphony’ – documentary film (2017)
Synopsis:
Filmed in Prague, ‘The Art of the Symphony’ takes us from a studio where live paintings of Shostakovich symphonies are created, to archive footage of Prague during the Communist era and to present-day sites of former Communist monuments. Through these images, the main theme of the film – freedom from oppression – is related through a humanitarian, rather than political standpoint where; the individual, the human soul, strives to rise above this agony. Shostakovich’s Fourth Symphony is at the heart of these notions.

Produced by the DSCH Journal affiliate DSCH Films, written & directed by Alan Mercer.
Live-paintings by Maryleen Schiltkamp

Trailer documentary

With panelspeakers Olga de Kort (Musicologist and music journalist) and Tony van der Togt (Associate fellow at Clingendael Institute, The Hague); discussion was moderated by Maryleen Schiltkamp
Panel introduction


Shostakovich Symphony No.10 – oil on canvas painting, 200 x 100 cm, 2016

The exhibition at the House of Europe on 16 September 2019

Festival “Winteravonden aan de Amstel” Hermitage Amsterdam 2018

MusicpaintingLIVE at the Hermitage Amsterdam
16 December 2018

with pianist Reinis Zariņš

Festival “Winteravonden aan de Amstel” 2018


Gubaidulina Chaconne design for musicpainting


Studio with Gubaidulina Chaconne

Program Hermitage:
Gubaidulina – Chaconne
Medtner – Sonata Reminiscenza No.1, Op.38
Shostakovich – Preludes & Fugues No.24 in D-minor
Scriabin – Sonata No.7, Op.64

a
studying Scriabin


Shostakovich Prelude & Fugue No.24; musicpainting (detail)


Shostakovich at the Kerkzaal in Hermitage Amsterdam

Nikolai Medtner – Sonata Reminiscenza (MusicpaintingLIVE detail)

‘Hungarian Canvas’ Vriendenconcerten, Zuiderkerk Amsterdam, 2018

‘Hungarian Canvas’; live musicpainting concert on Hungarian composers Franz Liszt and Zoltan Kodaly in collaboration with cellist Pamela Smits and pianist Tobias Borsboom on 13 January, 2018 at the Zuiderkerk Amsterdam.

Video Hungarian Canvas
Live at the Zuiderkerk 2018

Program:
Liszt – Die Zelle in Nonnenwerth, S.274
Liszt – Piano Sonata in B minor, S.178
Kodály – Cello Sonata , Op. 8

Video of the rehearsal at Maryleen’s studio


Kodály – Cello Sonata; musicpainting (detail)


Vriendenconcerten at Zuiderkerk Amsterdam – ‘Hungarian Canvas’


Liszt – Piano Sonata in B minor


studies for Liszt B minor Sonata


Liszt B minor Sonata; musicpainting (detail)

Photos Zuiderkerk Kim Dijkstra

At De Balie in Amsterdam …

At DE BALIE in Amsterdam – THE ART OF THE SYMPHONY 2019


On 6 April at De Balie in Amsterdam the film screening, panel discussion & exhibition of the documentary film ‘The Art of the Symphony’ took place, with a full auditorium attending and interesting panel discussion.

Filmed in Prague, ‘The Art of the Symphony’ takes us from a studio where live paintings of Shostakovich symphonies are created, to archive footage of Prague during the Communist era and to present-day sites of former Communist monuments. Through these images, the main theme of the film – freedom from oppression – is related through a humanitarian, rather than political standpoint where; the individual, the human soul, strives to rise above this agony. Shostakovich’s Fourth Symphony is at the heart of these notions.

Produced by the DSCH Journal affiliate DSCH Films, written & directed by Alan Mercer.

Live-paintings by Maryleen Schiltkamp

Trailer documentary: https://vimeo.com/197099565

———

The documentary (50 minutes) was screened in the Filmzaal of De Balie, and followed by a panel discusssion and Q&A, after which an exhibition of the paintings created and filmed for ‘The Art of the Symphony’ could be visited in the upper-foyer at De Balie, Amsterdam.

Panelmembers:
Libor Štichauer – speaker at Jan Palach commemoration 2019
Olga de Kort – musicologist and music journalist
Albert van der Schoot – aesthetician, philosopher and musicologist
Alan Mercer – filmdirector DSCH Films

The subjects of the panelspeakers reflected the central theme of the documentary – freedom from oppression:


Panelmember Libor Stichauer, Czech scientist and speaker at Jan Palach commemoration 2019, Czech Center/ Goethe Institute Rotterdam. Very strong speech on the value of principles and commitment, with the memory of Jan Palach self-demolition on January 19, 1969 on Wenceslas square in Prague as a universal signal.


Panelmember Olga de Kort, musicologist, music journalist and critic, with expertise on the reception of Russian composers in the Netherlands. Olga enlightened us on Shostakovich and the Fourth Symphony.


Albert van der Schoot, aesthetician, musicologist and philosopher. His subject was the Zhdanov Decree of 1946 and its effect on Shostakovich. Soviet Realism in music was questioned, as were grounds for ‘Formalism’; ‘Anti-Formalist Rayok’ was held as example of Shostakovich’s satirical reply. Integrity of the composer and moral dillemma’s were addressed in the panel discusssion


Alan Mercer, founder and chief editor of the DSCH Journal, a regulair publication on the life and work of Dmitri Shostakovich, and film director at DSCH Films, affiliated to the DSCH Journal.


Maryleen Schiltkamp – visual artist, music painter; moderator of the panel

The exhibition of paintings was open for public at the upper-foyer of De Balie for one week, during 5 – 12 April

Many thanks to the employees of De Balie for their kind support and cooperation!

Live performance at Vidzemes Concert Hall, Cesis, Latvia – 2017

musicpaintingLIVE performance at Vidzemes Concert Hall, Cesis, Latvia – July 2017
with pianist Reinis Zariņš

musicpaintingLIVE ‘teaser clip’ with Reinis and Maryleen

“Bold fusion of two creative minds leaving lasting impact of beauty”, – Arturs Maskats, award winning Latvian composer, Cesis 2017


During Messiaen’s ‘Par Lui’ (Vingt Regards)

Videos Live performance at Vidzemes Concert Hall, Cesis, Latvia – July 2017:
LIVE concert video of Ravel’s ‘La Valse’
LIVE concert video of Bach Busoni Chaconne
LIVE concert video of Messiaen’s ‘Par Lui Tout A Été Fait’ (Vingt Regards)


Musicpainting detail of Bach Busoni Chaconne


Paint trays during Ravel’s ‘La Valse’


studying Messiaen’s ‘Par Lui …’ (Vingt Regards)


Messiaen’s ‘Par Lui…’ (Vingt Regards)

Portrait Sofia Gubaidulina

Portrait of Sofia Gubaidulina 2018
Russian composer Sofia Gubaidulina, here united with her portrait – January 2019

Hans-Ulrich Duffek, Mrs.Gubaidulina’s musicpublisher, at Korzo Theater, Den Haag, during the Gubaidulina festival, October 2018

The original photo on which the portrait is based, was made by music-journalist Olga de Kort, for her interview with Sofia Gubaidulina