A preface for the film “Barend Schipper: Villa Concert”                             [home]
by dr. Nathaly Zuidema-Slotina Vainshtein                                                
[news/ press]

Barend Schipper composes and plays new forms of romantic music, which appeal by its sincerity and warmth. Schipper goes back as far as the roots of the romantic piano school, from Renaissance composers to Scarlatti, Bach, Mozart and Haydn, to whom also the Romantic composers orientated themselves again in order to develop further.
He places their musical language in our time. From here he creates on.
Our time is an inter cultural time. Accessibility of other cultures in the past and around us has never been so open. It urged Barend on a journey through time and space.

Wandering off.
Outside I hear how the wind blows a sad melody. I am in a sad mood. I have promised to go to the concert of Barend Schipper, but my appetite has disappeared today. The terrible bomb explosion in the metro of Moscow, close to my home even, perpetually haunts my mind. I think of my beloved city of Moscow, where I grew up.
Tonight you will hear in my city the sounds of sombre music. Again a terrorist attack, again many innocent victims; people who are torn away from their full life without any reason. They had plans for this evening, just like I have, but between them and me is a big difference: I will go to the concert.
Despite my sad mood I do go to the villa, where the concert of Barend Schipper:
“a Rebirth of Romantic Music’ will take place.
Actually there are too many questions about life going through my mind, but I hold on to the words the Russian composer Strawinsky who once spoke: “Through music we can learn to understand the world better.”

The rebirth of romantic music.
The small yet atmospheric hall is loaded with people. Then Barend Schipper appears and I hear the sounds of his music on the concert grand piano.
Straight from the first second I am captured by the genius of Schipper. I hear his compositions and understand (because of it) the fragility of our life. I have the feeling that every sound of his new romantic work obeys the composer and gets exactly the musical shape it needs. The music of Schipper is flexible as the painting “Persistence of Memory”, of Salvador Dali, in which Dali depicts an image of a fluid clock as TIME, time which curls as a road between the objects. By means of his music Schipper tries to escape the boundaries of time, which enabled him to find this new form of composing.

The very skilful and free dealing with the musical shapes of romantic music by Barend Schipper gives a warm emotion and stimulates the imagination. This might be considered as the most precious and tangible result of this evening.
Schipper does not start from a stereotype generality; he creates new life in his music, a life filled with sincerity and warmth. The origin of his music is post modern. Schipper, though, composes from here further on. He evokes the memory of different musical styles with an expressive ability of his own, through which the music is (as if it were) being ‘reborn’. His creative work connects the past with the time which flies us ahead.

Barend Schipper and the child.
At certain moments Schipper reminds me of a playing child that has discovered a treasure chest with precious surprises in the basement of the family castle.

The big bar of gold from the chest seems to him a good fundament for the doll’s house he is about to build, a big ruby evokes his interest, because it looks like a delicious fruit, and with the roll of parchment he could build a beautiful kite. In his hands the valuable objects of the family get a different meaning.

The audience recognizes in the program Tango Classica, Kletzmer Ungarica and Variations de Flamenco, but this music of the greatest composers ever is revived by the spirit and virtuosity of Barend Schipper.
Postmodernism owns typical characteristics such as eclecticism, patchiness, irony and upsetting of traditions. All those elements are absent in the music of Barend Schipper, who creates a follow up of Post Modernism. In stead of eclecticism, putting different national culture styles as a mosaic next to each other, I listen to a fluid integration of styles and in stead of patchiness of themes I experience the organic growing of music which creates a steady flow of emotion.

In stead of irony I experience a natural openness and in stead of upsetting traditions I hear a lively interest in and a mastery of them. Here I experience the adventure of traditions which come to life once again in the process of integrating cultures.

The Tango Classico for instance keeps its rough physical movement but becomes at times very refined and I experience classicalness in this tango which is delicate and strong at once. The same can be said of the other national dances.

The music is like a journey, the river of your course of life
In his book “The time” Jorge Borges tells about time: “Time is flowing in the middle of the night”. A poetic metaphor! The whole world is asleep, but the river of time keeps flowing over our earth.
Barend Schipper says: “Music streams and never ends there where I started. Music takes you with it, like a journey, a river, a path of life.”
This is exactly what I feel during the concert. The music of Schipper shakes people up, awake and gives them the feeling that life is one big movement. In his music you can feel the breathing of a new time.

During the second half of the concert Schipper performs with vocals and piano, in which he performs poems and prose of Arthur Rimbaud, Paul Gauguin and James Strecker. Not coincidentally Schipper chose the story ‘Movement’ of Arthur Rimbaud. Movement is a sign of time never standing still. Also “Cities” of Rimbaud is taken to close observation by Schipper. Cities are our space in which time plays its important and own role. Fantasy and reality flow together elegantly when Schipper combines time and space in his musical interpretation.
In Gauguin’s letters we follow the painter in his travel through time and space to a forlorn paradise in the South pacific, to a stone age culture, confronting our own.
In Strecker’s poems “Glenn Gould”, the movement through time and space seems to hover, sunken in thought on nature and human beauty.
“Canale Grande Hanging Loose” on drunken Dionysian beauty in life and love, the movement in a final whirl has become life’s feast again and leaves us with ecstatic and melancholy humour, and brilliance.

Barend Schipper and Mozart.
Barend Schipper: “Music should be as natural as putting your thoughts to words”. After his post academic studies he studied the composer Mozart for six years with this mentality.
Mozart was for the area of musical composition a genius in the way Albert Einstein was for physics. For almost all composers after Mozart his music forms a library of ideas on composition, captured in note writing.

Mozart was, just like many other well known classical and Romantic composers, capable of creating the definite shape directly, without sketches. Barend studied this composer’s scores for six intensive years.
It is in this period that Schipper discovered a frame of Mozart’s direct creation technique. With the technique, which requires a long training, the composition is created at once, completed and performed.

This technique makes the music maximal fluent, she becomes more ‘physical’ and finds its natural emotional shape: feeling and logic at ones, as in a lived through thought. Suddenly Schipper understood why Mozart and other classical and Romantic composers used the direct technique. In total Schipper wandered so to say a 14 years lasting travel after his post academic studies of composition in four capitals of Europe through a musical history and obtained this way a thorough knowledge of ‘the secrets’ of his music.

This way Schipper contributed to the revitalizing of the classical direct creation technique as an meaningful composition tool which was lost in the twentieth century composing. He developed it further and made it his sole technique to give his concerts and created twenty CDs of new music with the it. With this classical direct creation technique, ones common in the classical and Romantic world, he knows the secret of the rebirth and shares this with his listeners.

The concert is almost over when I look up to the windows above our heads, where a reflection of Schipper is visible in the reflecting glass, as if he is located in another space and time. As through a miracle suddenly a beautiful full and bright moon appears that guides the reflection of Schipper as a sign of inspiration, a sign that has also moved Mozart, Scarlatti, Bach and Haydn to great inspiration.
This evening the moon belonged to the reflection of Barend Schipper and the birth of his music. Charles Baudelaire once wrote: “Life knows one true fascination, the fascination of the game in which no minutes or seconds exist and real time disappears.”

Dr Nathaly Zuidema-Slotina Vainshtein did her scientific research in the field of the critical contemporary theory and hermeneutics next to semantic and philosophy in fashion and mass media. She published her scientific work and articles in scientific and art magazines in Moscow and in the Netherlands.