by the halting flute motif which evokes the entry of an actor on stage, uttering but a single exclamation.

In the Andantino, the solo entry with its descending broken cord symbolises the apparition of a heavenly messenger, and after several recurrences, the same motif quietly closes the movement.  The Finale with its snappy rhythms, is a tribute to Telemann, the Vivaldi of the North.

Following the Phillip Bate’s Memorial Recital with Simon Standage in Oxford, United Kingdom I composed for him the Violin Concerto ]2008]. The initial proud and festive Allegro suggests the opening of a royal ceremony. The Adagio evokes sleep, whereby the violin solo represents the wandering spirit, and the accompaniment playing an ostinato motif in unison, the body. The gigue-like Finale wraps up the concerto in a compelling gesture.

The Cello Concerto [2005] written in Canada, sounds a grimmer note. It alludes to the ‘Battle of Britain’ in which the German ‘Luftwaffe’ failed to annihilate the Royal Air Force’s ‘Fighter Command’ of which in August 1940 Sir Winston Churchill declared: “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.”

The lyrical Adagio represents the Divine Grace. Here the solo is only sparsely accompanied by two violins playing pizzicato in unison; both sections are repeated in ornamented fashion.

In the quick outer movements, as in Vivaldi’s early ‘Concerti a Cinque’, the cello alternates between its independent concertato and its basso continuo role. In the Finale, notably the cello and string frequently play in dialogue, completing each other’s musical gestures. After a final cadenza, the movement resumes with its opening ritornello, before slowly fading away.

The Recorder Concerto [2001], which I composed on the French Côte d’Azur, is the most concise of the 5 Concertos.

In the quick movements, the ritornello and its Da Capo [the literal repeat of the initial ritornello at the end of a movement] appear to frame one continuous solo, as in the ‘Preludes of J.S.Bach’s English Suites. The opening theme of the first movement recalls the restrained character of an instrumental ‘sinfonia’ in German church cantatas. The pastoral middle movement with its slowly swifting harmonies marries melody with texture, characteristic of music from Venice. The opening of the Finale with its syncopations, suspensions and irregular metrical groupings brings in an element of wit, and the recorder provides ample virtuoso display with its warbling arpeggios, culminating just before the end in one of its highest notes.

 ©Hendrik Bouman


CD recorded at Firle Place, East Sussex, United Kingdom in 2009 DASH

“Bouman's writing is elegant and well grounded in knowledge of historic styles and performance practice.  ...both delightful and tasteful in its joie-de-vivre and bravura...bristling with energy, elegance, dialogue...reminding the listener that music is a supreme form of entertainment. His scoring for strings is exemplary… Bouman does not compromise when it comes to his choice of players; the disc sparkles with instrumental performance at its best.”
The Harpsichord & Fortepiano, UK. Spring 2012Harpsichord_%26_Fortepiano_CD.htmlshapeimage_1_link_0

Composer’s Notes on the CD 5 Baroque Concertos for Anna

Hendrik BOUMAN - Composer / Soloist / Direction

Ensemble Baroque SaMuse / The Baroque Muse


The 5 Baroque Concertos for Anna are the fruit of the sweet and persuasive requests from my beloved wife and muse Anna, that I would compose new concertos in the style we both love.

Today’s result is that I composed my first concerto [for harpsichord] in 1999 which was premiered for CBC Radio in the Indian River Festival, Canada. Six Concertos for recorder, cello, violin, flute, oboe and another for harpsichord followed in the years between 2001 and 2012, of which four were premiered in Brighton, England, by my ensemble The Baroque Muse [alias Baroque SaMuse] and its soloists, including myself, Simon Standage, Heiko ter Schegget, Tormod Dalen, Greg Jeay and string players Olivier Brault, Alison Bury, Hajo Bäss and Andrew Kerr.

My 5 Baroque Concertos for Anna are a tribute to those masters who first ventured into the concerto genre. One of the characteristic formal principles of the Baroque concerto to which I adhere in most movements, is the familiar Vivaldian ritornello formate in which the orchestral opens recurs throughout a movement, in full, reduced, varied, or in different tonalities, thus emphasising the contrast between the solo and tutti sections.

The Flute Concerto and the Cello Concerto contain as well characteristics of the Post-Baroque, notably in elements from the Galant style with its ideal of textural transparency, and in the dramatic effects and nervous rhythms typical of the German Empfindsamkeit [literally - sensibility]. In spite of the changing language, the formal principle of the Baroque concerto remains.

I wrote the Harpsichord Concerto [1999] originally as a solo composition which I recorded in 1997 on the CD First Notebook for Anna.

The opening Allegro of the concerto, with its quick ascension of two octaves, evokes the busy hauling of sails in a Mediterranean port. The lilting Siciliano ‘whispering miracles’ is dedicated to our son’s Italian kindergarden teacher, Sister Modesta.

In the Finale, I use cantus firmus principle of the German choral fantasy by weaving into my score musical phrases from ‘Jerusalem’, a hymn composed by Hastings Parry on text by the poet William Blake, which was adopted by the British Royal Air Force, and became in 1940, the unofficial anthem of Britain for rallying the country in its direst need.

The Flute Concerto [2009], completed on New Year’s Day in Sussex, United Kingdom, is minimally scored without a viola or double bass. The result is an intimate sound texture with a distinctive Rococo quality.

The opening ritornello of the first movement displays an array of contrasting sentiments, followed

Recorder Concerto in C major mvt.II Andante, composed by © Hendrik Bouman 2005

Soloist: Heiko ter Schegget   -  CD 5 Baroque Concertos for Anna DASH 2009/2017