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Bach and Moore, a sublime combination

Johann Sebastian Bach and Kate Moore in one concert programme. With this choice for the fifth episode of her 'Cello 020' series, cellist Lidy Blijdorp once again outdoes herself in originality. And the effect of this choice is phenomenal.

Strengthened interaction

Not only does she bring together works by two completely different composers, she further enhances the interaction by performing their music alternately. This creates an interaction in which the composers unleash special qualities in each other's work. Bach and Moore let each other flourish, especially in the performance by Lidy Blijdorp and two members of the Villa Stolz trio: Jellantsje de Vries (violin) and Marieke Schut (alto oboe).

Supple, lived-in and with a refined gentleness, Lidy Blijdorp plays the six movements of Bach's fifth suite for solo cello. It is dark, introverted music. Yet Blijdorp also manages to put something light and silvery in the tones. This means that, however restrained the music starts, the sound soon becomes expansive and covers the entire space of the Amstelkerk with its beautiful acoustics.


From beginning to end, Blijdorp identifies with the masterful turns in Bach's music. The visual aspect - that is, as you see her play - is entirely consistent with her rendition of this music. She looks around as if she is walking through a forest and sees one note after another hanging from the trees with wonder. She knows the notes inside out, and yet she puts into them the tension of a curiosity-inducing discovery. Lidy's playing is a story.

photo Maarten Baanders

In this intimate atmosphere, Marieke Schut and Jellantsje de Vries enter after each movement of Bach. Their rarefied clear sounds blend beautifully with the cello. Having both initially play from the higher passages around the audience is an apt invention. It heightens the poignant spatial effect of Moore's music.

Contact from afar

The rarefied sounds with which 'Mystic Trumpeter' opens give you the feeling of a voice making contact from a distant beyond. Later, in 'Tarantella', the softly beginning interplay with the cello is ramped up to raging power. Bach's solitude has given way to intensely entwined harmonies. Moore's music sounds as if it wants to penetrate the whole wide rump.

photo Rina Blijdorp

Herein lies the peculiarity of Bach and Moore's alternation. Each time, after the seclusion, the space is thrown open. And each time a return follows. In particular, the descending lines in the Sarabande are a beautiful expression of the internalisation, the deepening within oneself.

Breathing motion

This gives the programme a breathing motion between deep and wide, between closed and expansive. Very good that this is not interrupted by a pause. Otherwise, from this breath the development towards the tempestuous final scene would never have developed so beautifully. Bach's Gavotte and Gigue already bring a more open character. When Moore's five works then follow - the witty 'Telephone', the 'Dance', the ferocious 'Dies Irae', the yearning 'Journeyers' and the booming 'Apple Tree' - the space is conquered with conviction.

photo Maarten Baanders

The conquest of space

What a wonderful surprise when, in the final section, two dancers - Luana van Eekeren and Luca Cacitti - come onto the floor and let the sounds blow through the space. They have and beautiful interaction that adds colour to the tension of the music. The musicians also change places and occasionally adopt dance-like postures. Luana van Eekeren also turns out to be able to sing, 'Journeyers', a song about endless journeys.

photo Maarten Baanders


The programme is dedicated to 21 June, the beginning of summer. When you choose such a theme, many people quickly think of midsummer nightdreams and sunny sounds. In this programme, the theme is not so on the surface. It is more about what you feel internally at the prospect of the summer season. What you feel is the movement from being small and hidden to openness. The sensation you get when the time of freedom arrives. The wide world lies open before you. The leap to a timeless feeling.

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Seen: 21 June, Amstelkerk, Amsterdam 

Why Lidy Blijdorp deserves all the attention
Last season, I followed Lidy Blijdorp's 'Cello 020' series and published my reaction on Culture Press each time. It is striking that this series has otherwise not been picked up by the press in the Netherlands. In all episodes, I had the feeling of seeing a cellist at work who not only plays well, but also dares to take a very personal path by choosing idiosyncratic programmes, highly original in composition and choice of themes. Each time, she sought to collaborate with different musicians, storytellers and dancers, with whom, without exception, she managed to develop an infectious chemistry. I wrote about 'Cello 020' because I am convinced that what Lidy Blijdorp puts on stands out from other musical offerings and that many people will find her performances special.

Maarten Baanders

Free-lance arts journalist Leidsch Dagblad. Until June 2012 employee Marketing and PR at the LAKtheater in Leiden.View Author posts

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