A Tribute to Bach

(And to Tersite and Henk)

The beauty of Bach’s baroque music is timeless, its reach limitless.
Most of us instinctively recognize his work, even though we are no connoisseur’s of classical music.

Tersite Ayele-flute

I am privileged to have some classically trained musicians in my circle of friends and one of them, Henk Bloemers, has recently done something quite out of the ordinary.
He and his late Partner Tersite Ayele have recorded a number of Bach themes but in a present day setting. Called “Bach after Midnight”, the album offers an unusual and very ‘easy listening’ version of these well known scores.
Sadly, Ayele has passed away.
But their common love for Baroque music lives on, as you will experience when you click on the link below and listen to the work of two great, gifted musicians.

A concert on an Island in the Land

christmas_concertThere are places that exert a kind of magnetic attraction. And this is one of them. A former island in the ‘Zuyderzee‘.

schoklandBarely 500 yards long and 50 wide, its three habitable pieces were connected by wooden  walkways, barely wide enough for a single person. You could only pass each other by doing ‘The Dance’. holding on to each other and slowly change places, taking care not to fall in the sea or the mud.

haven%20emmeloordThe north-west gales battered the island for many centuries. As their short, powerful waves ate away the land, the Dutch government decided in 1859 that the safety of the few families still eking out some kind of existence there could no longer be guaranteed and evacuated the island.

What remained was a lighthouse, a church and a small protected anchorage that served as a refuge for local shipping during storms. Its island status finally came to an end when, in 1942, the dikes of the first large reclamation project closed and Schokland became just another spot in the newly created Noord-Oost Polder.

tfr24-55Fortunately for posterity, its unique historical value was soon recognized and it was the first Dutch location to be added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. Today, the former island is a museum and a wonderful location for cultural activities, such as this Christmas Concert.

Five gifted musicians and one of their students offered us a variety of works by various great composers such as J.G. Albrechtsberger, J.S. Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven. The location and the ambiance, as well as the quality of the performance made one wish there would be a similar concert every week!

Some photo impressions

Marlot Hendriks playing J.S.Bach’s “Sarabande”


Maarten Mestrom deeply concentrated on Beethoven’s “Pria chio limgeno”


The end of the concert, just before the standing ovation started