24 Preludes for Piano - opus 15
Gerard von Brucken Fock

24 Preludes for Piano - opus 15

Frans Douwe Slot

Label: Aliud
Format: CD
Barcode: 8717775551775
Catalog number: ACDOE 1352
Releasedate: 09-06-23
- World Prmiere Recording
- Available in "Immersive Sound"
- After an intensive mediacal rehabilitation of "focal diystonia,' Frans Douwe Slot has returned to the concert stage
- Frans Douwe Slot wants to let the world know about this desease which many musicians suffer but dare not to tell about it because of concert loss.
In 1901, Edvard Grieg encountered many ‘Chopinesque’ elements in the latest work of the Zeeland-born (i.e., Dutch) composer and painter Gerard von Brucken Fock. The 24 preludes from opus 15 were played to him in Norway by Julius Röntgen, a respected (half) Dutch pianist and composer.  From that moment onward, Grieg spoke – in jest, according to Von Brucken Fock – of ‘the Dutch Chopin’.

Gerard von Brucken Fock was born as Gerard Fock on a country residence named ‘Ter Hooge’, near Middelburg. He was the fourth son of a wealthy ‘president’ of the island of Walcheren. One of Gerard’s brothers, the amateur composer Emile, can incidentally be proclaimed as ‘the Dutch Wagner’ on account of his opera Seleneia (1894). ‘Von Brucken’ has been added to the original family name based on a fictitious lineage. Gerard studied with Richard Hol in Utrecht and with Friedrich Kiel and Waldemar Bargiel – stepbrother of Clara Schumann – in Berlin. Until his marriage with Dame Marie Pompe van Meerdervoort, and partly after the marriage, Gerard was uncomfortable within himself. He had great ambitions in his music-making but was inhibited by depressions and doubt.

Von Brucken Fock regarded his 24 Praeludien opus 15 as most representative for his work, which means for his style, his ideas, and his skills around 1900. This also meant that he was ready to bring it out in the open, which wasn’t always so easy for a man who was highly sensitive to criticism and who turned away from the world. 

Julius Röntgen asked his friend Edvard Grieg to write a preface for the 24 Praeludien by Von Brucken Fock. “An introduction by me?”, Grieg answered, “Surely, his music doesn’t need that”. Therefore, I hereby apologise for this introduction of the most representative work of Gerard van Brucken Fock.

In 2022, there was a most remarkable synergy: in an old stack of sheet music, pianist Frans Douwe Slot found a copy from the 1960s’ of 24 Praeludien opus 15. Slot was immediately convinced of its quality and instantly made plans to record Von Brucken Fock’s complete oeuvre for piano, along with his sonatas for other solo instruments accompanied by piano.