Press Release (5 October 2009)

This Week Front Page News in The Hague:

Holland's Own Symphonic Tradition Rediscovered

Front Page Cultural News in The Netherlands this week as the new CD of The New Dutch Academy introduces the country to its own, recently rediscovered, symphonic tradition.  

The landmark recording was launched last week by the NDA's conductor Simon Murphy during the orchestra's season's opening concert in The Hague. The disc is in shops in the Netherlands from October 2009 onwards. International releases start from November 2009 to February 2010.

English Translation of Article in the Haagse Courant 5 October 2009:

18th Century Rock 'n Roll!

The New Dutch Academy puts Forgotten Court Music of The Hague on CD

The Hague - It must have all been pretty exciting at the court of Stadhouder William the 5th. At least musically speaking. In any case, that excitement is exactly what you hear on the new CD of The New Dutch Academy.

By Winand van de Kamp

This is the first time that a view of the Symphonic Tradition of the Court of The Hague appears on CD. The disc is an eye-opener for anyone who thought that the early youth of the symphony only happened in Mannheim or Vienna. The discoverer of all of this is Simon Murphy, founder and conductor of The New Dutch Academy. He suspected that there must have been a musical treasure trove lying behind all of the stories about the Prince of Orange's Court and he went searching.

Murphy's research lasted seven years long, trawling the libraries, locating numerous pieces. Murphy tells passionately about missing pieces of paper, about how all the separate instrumental parts needed to be made into a score before they could be played, and particularly about his excitement at making a new discovery. “Making the whole musical journey was a fantastic experience, from the beginning looking at the separate parts on microfische right the way through to the joy and exhilaration of hearing the music finally come alive with the whole orchestra.”

Murphy sketches a view of the musical richness of 18th century The Hague. “The court had musicians of the highest quality in residence, people like Christian Ernst Graaf, Carl Stamitz and Friedrich Schwindl. They lived and worked here, writing many symphonies.” And there were also the musical visitors. “Mozart, Beethoven, Hummel - all the big names from the period came to perform in The Hague.”

One of the Dutch masters which Murphy stumbled upon was Zappa. Not the 20th century phenomenon Frank but the 18th century cellist Francesco. “He was a great craftsman”, according to Murphy. “But also someone who experimented wholeheartedly. Some of his symphonies like are a treasure chest. Inside them you find a secret Cello concerto!”

CD: New Dutch Academy, conducted by Simon Murphy with works by Graaf, Zappa, Schwindl, Mozart and C. Stamitz. PentaTone Classics

Read More in The Press Release (in Dutch)

Listen to a sample of the new CD on audio stream

Watch the NDA perform Dutch Symphonies live in concert on video stream

Simon Murphy NDA Zappa CD Cover