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Madoka Nakamaru's CD album for solo violin

WACHET AUF – Compositions and Transcriptions by Wouter Dekoninck

Released by Etcetera record in September 2023


I released this very personal CD for baroque violin solo in collaboration with the Belgian organist, composer and harpsichordist, Wouter Dekoninck, in September 2023 and with the Belgian label Etcetera Records. I and Dekoninck are well versed in historical performance practice. On this CD, our challenge was to bring Dekoninck's compositions based on historical styles and his stylistic transcriptions to the public of “ here and now” in our personal way, yet respecting historical music background. This project was financially supported by the Flemish government and Belgian Sensation Syonan (Japan).


-The CD Title Wachet auf

Wachet auf is a timeless title : get up, wake up. Those words can be very symbolic. For both me and Dekoninck, this creation of the CD became an artistic awakening, but everyone is free to philosophies about the title "Wachet auf". It is an invitation to see where you have fallen asleep and may awaken. Even on a global scale. A lot is happening for which we need to be better alert, like with the climate and ongoing wars. That's all "Wachet auf".

This CD title is also derived from the first piece of this album, the Choral partita for solo violin “Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme” which is composed by Wouter Dekoninck.

He based his compositions on “Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme”, a 16th-century choral melody by priest Philippe Nicolai, which also inspired Johan sebastian bach, Mendelssohn, Max Reger... Nicolai wrote the choral during the plague epidemic. He lost his student, which affected him greatly. By composing this choral melody Ncolai wrote to get his grief off his chest. He created light in the darkness, which I think, it is the ultimate power of art.


-Compositions in historical style

Dekoninck's fusion of styles is akin to period composing, in which the composer does not step outside the boundaries of a particular historical style, thus making that craftsmanship his own. However, Dekoninck does break through those boundaries. He writes within a Baroque framework within which there is room for Romanticism. It also make connections with today in his compositions.

In my home country, Japan, it is important to preserve traditions. In Europe, things evolve more and therefore there is a great creativity and innovativeness. Dekoninck combines both and I find it very beautiful : he preserves the identity of the old choral melody, but weaves around it a personal, creative fusion of European historical musical styles, with occasional references to the present.


-My journey to the solo violin world

solo violin is a very minimalistic setting, paradoxically it allows one to create a complete orchestra on its own. Thus my challenge was to distance myself from the violin as a melody instrument and explore how to let these pieces sound polyphonically, by highlighting the bass line, harmony, rhythm, as well as the melody. For the transcriptions, I found it primarily important to respect the character of the original organ pieces, while utilizing all violinistic possibilities -colors, dynamics, shapes - in order to give new dimensions to those pieces “reborn” by Dekoninck’s hands.

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