… IT'S THE PEOPLE WHO SHAPE THIS CITY

Concert on the Canals (+Amsterdam song)

Well, actually, on a canal: the Prinsengracht! As part of a bigger festival, this concert is for free, for all to enjoy. When? This Saturday, August 23rd!

Right in front of Hotel Pulitzer (one of the concert’s sponsors) there will be a huge pontoon on which the musicians will perform. For a quick good feel of what the concert entails, just have a look at the Prinsengracht pictures online! <— Find them by clicking here.

So… what kind of concert is it?
Performing during the 33rd Prinsengrachtconcert, is violinist Lisa Batiashvili. She will give a solo performance, however… together with her husband, oboist Francois Leleux. So I guess you could say there will be two soloists this year. Batiashvili and her husband will be supported by an international ensemble. This ensemble is accompanying the couple on their tour through Europe.

And this is what she’ll play!
Shostakovich: Lyric Waltz from Dance of the Dolls
J.S. Bach: Concerto for Violin in E major, BWV 1042 (1st mvt only)
Piazzolla arr. Leleux: Primavera arr. for Violin, Oboe and Strings
J.S. Bach: Concerto for Violin and Oboe in C minor, BWV 1060
J.S. Bach: Concerto for Oboe in D minor, BWV 1059 (2nd & 3rd mvts only)
J.S. Bach: Erbarme dich (arr. for oboe, violin, strings and b.c.)
Shostakovich: Two Pieces for String Octet, op. 11
Pieter Goemans: Aan de Amsterdamse Grachten

Aan de… what? (Video & Lyrics below!)
Aan de Amsterdamse Grachten means: along the Amsterdam canals. The Prinsengracht always finishes with this Amsterdam classic. It was written by Pieter Goemans (1925-2000) under his pen name Peter Schott. As people will join in and sing along, you might want to practise the lyrics? :-)

Here’s the 2013 edition, by Maltese tenor Joseph Calleja and Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, conducted by Antonio Pappano, Music Director of The Royal Opera: as corny as it might seem right now, please enjoy. You can tell Callejo does, too! And truth be told, it gave me goosebumps… The lyrics, plus my quick translation, are right below the video.

Lyrics ‘Aan de Amsterdamse Grachten’
Er staat een huis aan de gracht in oud Amsterdam
Waar ik als jochie van acht bij grootmoeder kwam
Nu zit een vreemde meneer in ‘t kamertje voor
En ook die heerlijke zolder werd tot kantoor
Alleen de bomen dromen, hoog boven ‘t verkeer
En over ’t water, gaat er, een bootje net als weleer

There’s a house on a canal in old Amsterdam,
where I used to visit my grandmum as an eight year old boy
Now there’s a strange man in the room up front
and that lovely attic has become an office
Only the trees are dreaming, high above the traffic
and on the water passes a boat, just like yesteryear

(chorus)
Aan de Amsterdamse grachten
Heb ik heel m’n hart voor altijd verpand
Amsterdam vult mijn gedachten
Als de mooiste stad in ons land
Al die Amsterdamse mensen
Al die lichtjes ‘s avonds laat op het Plein
Niemand kan zich beter wensen
Dan een Amsterdammer te zijn

The Amsterdam Canals
have stolen my heart forever
Amsterdam fills my ever thought
as the most beautiful city in our countrly
All those Amsterdam people
all those lights at night on the Square
No one could wish for more
than to be an Amsterdammer

‘k heb veel gereisd en al vroeg de wereld gezien
En nimmer kreeg ik genoeg van ‘t reizen nadien
Maar ergens bleef er een sterk verlangen in mij
Naar Hollands kust en de stad van Amstel en IJ
Alleen de bomen dromen, hoog boven ‘t verkeer
En over ’t water, gaat er, een bootje net als weleer

I’ve travelled a lot and saw the world at an early age
and never after did I grow tired of travelling
Yet somewhere inside of me a strong longing stayed
to the Dutch coast and the city of Amstel and IJ
Only the trees are dreaming, high above the traffic
and on the water passes a boat, just like yesteryear

(repeat chorus)
Aan de Amsterdamse grachten
Heb ik heel m’n hart voor altijd verpand
Amsterdam vult mijn gedachten
Als de mooiste stad in ons land
Al die Amsterdamse mensen
Al die lichtjes ‘s avonds laat op het Plein
Niemand kan zich beter wensen
Dan een Amsterdammer te zijn

Tickets, I’d like tickets!
It’s for free, so you can’t get them. It’ll be busy, busy, busy, so make sure you’re on time to see something! There’s only a few seats available for the sponsors, and for those in a wheelchair or who have difficulty walking. The latter ones you’ll find when you stand with your back towards Hotel Pulitzer, on your right hand, on the quay. Bear in mind these are often already taken during the afternoon.

You could rent a boat..
…and enjoy the concert from the water. You can enter the area as of 11 am (11:00 hrs), approaching from the Westermarkt only. If you want to indulge yourself and have the best possible Prinsengrachtconcert experience ever, that would be The Thing To Do. It’s on my wish list, that’s for sure!


PRINSENGRACHTCONCERT
WHAT Classical music for free, right on one of the main canals!
WHEN Saturday August 23rd, 2014. Opening show: 8 pm/20 hrs; main concert: 9.30 pm (21.30 hrs)
WHERE In front of Hotel Pulitzer, Prinsengracht 315
WHY It’s an experience like no other. Evening, lights, boats, classical music…
WWW Facebook * Site * Twitter

CC foto: Bart van Poll Text © lyrics: Pieter Goemans © article/translation lyrics: Amsterdam Culture/Sheila Schenkel


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