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Handel At
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Online classical music streamingsite 24classics celebrated her 1st birthday this year. For the occasion, we ventured on a new endeavour: a recital in a really huge space in Amsterdam, where they usually have techno events and grand theatre productions. The event was one of the most special concerts I have ever given – an intensely concentrated audience of people mostly in their twenties, a late night hour and inspiring surroundings for me to focus, play and project. Enjoy the pictures!

With musical affection and an immaculate virtuosity

[…] The D minor suite (No 3) opens in an audacious and improvisatory manner that looks ahead to Bach’s ‘Chromatic’ Fantasia and Fugue before pressing forwards in a more sharply fugal style. The Air and Variations from the same suite progress richly ornamented and at an ever-quickening pace, and the Gigue from the G minor Suite (No 7) tells of writing more popular than academic.

Daria van den Bercken presents everything with musical affection and an immaculate virtuosity (never more so than in the considerable demands of the Chaconne) and an inset photo of her singing, Gene Kelly-style, in the rain is somehow apropos. Sony’s sound is exceptionally warm and refined.

Gramophone, Bryce Morrison, October 2013

Daria takes over London

In May Sony Classical released my CD in the UK. London has always been a bit intimidating to me, I could never get the map into my brain; the city is just too big! And how could I reach people, new people, in this gigantic place?

My sister Ilonka and me devised a plan to ask all of our friends if they knew somebody who wanted to host a house concert. This resulted in an overwhelming 10 concerts in 9 days in several homes, companies, churches, the Dutch Embassy and the University of East London. Here you get an impression of some of these venues and what it was like. I can only say that I thought it was a fantastic way to get to know the city where Handel lived a bit better.

You can click on a photo for enlargement and flip through the album.

Next summer I will come back to London, playing recitals at both the Petworth and Henley Festival!

Meeting Martin Lovett

When I played a house concert in London in May, an unexpected surprise was awaiting. Martin Lovett, the cellist of the world famous Amadeus Quartet was there to listen (pictured sitting on the couch). The quartet’s recording of Schubert’s G major Quartet has always been one of my all time favorites. (And guess what: recorded in the Beethovensaal in Hannover, as was my Handel CD!)

Martin was heard to say: ‘I have played with many great musicians, but Daria is a very, very, very good pianist’.

Her fiery, crystal clear renderings sounded very inspired on the Érard

[…] Handel wrote first-rate clavier music fit for the concert stage. Daria proved this with her impassioned renderings of the splendid Suites in d minor and F major, the fragile and moving minuet in g minor, and above all, the virtuoso Chaconne in G major. Instead of treating the grand piano as a harpsichord (i.e. by playing at one volume), she made good use of the dynamic expansion possibilities the feisty Érard offers. Her rendering of the Chaconne especially tended more towards Liszt or Busoni than to baroque.

[…] Daria concluded her performance with three of Debussy’s Préludes and his ‘L’Isle joyeuse’. Here the Érard came out at least as well as in Handel’s works. Van den Bercken put the sonorities of the instrument to excellent use in her refined and technically awe-inspiring renderings.

Trouw, Christo Lelie, 17 August 2013

‘On a dreary December day in 1826 Beethoven, already mortally ill, was agreeably surprised by a “royal gift”, as he described it: Johann Andreas Stumpff had sent him from London the complete works of Handel in Arnold’s splendid forty-volume edition. In these volumes he found solace on his hopeless sickbed. To him Handel was “the greatest, the most excellent composer”, from whom he could “still learn”.’

Ludwig van Beethoven, edited by Joseph Smidt-Görg and Hans Schmidt (Bicentennial edition 1770-1970)

Besides Mozart and Beethoven, Schubert is also known to have been inspired by scores of Handel. If you listen to the start of his ‘Mirjams Siegesgesang’ you will hear more Handel than Schubert. But that changes quickly: a fascinating mix!

(Spotify is required for listening to this post)

Handel in helicopter view

George Frideric Handel – Chaconne in G Major HWV 435
My recording for 24classics of which I am also a curator. Check out this great site  – and my ‘dance’ section.

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