Search Options

Get Download Manager Now
Newsletter Archive
Find Us in Facebook
Follow Us on Twitter

Classicsonline Home » Artists » » Brüggen, Frans

 Update me on new releases by Brüggen

Frans Brüggen (1934 - 2014)

Frans Brüggen studied musicology at the University of Amsterdam; and flute and recorder, with Kees Otten, at the Amsterdam Musieklyceum. Here, where it was possible to study the recorder as one’s principal instrument, he was one of the first students to receive the Dutch Recorder Diploma, in 1953. When only twenty-one he was appointed a professor at the Royal Conservatory at The Hague. Later academic appointments included Erasmus Professor at Harvard University and Regent’s Professor at the University of Berkeley. Brüggen was a leader in the drive towards professionalism in recorder playing, which accelerated steadily with the emergence of vigorously ambitious young Dutch players. He was thus partly responsible for transforming the international view of the recorder from it being seen as a purely pedagogical instrument to one that possessed musical significance in its own right. In parallel with his academic activities Brüggen launched into a career as a recorder virtuoso and as a flute soloist. As well as performing an extensive repertoire he gave lectures and illustrated performances of recorder music throughout Europe. He also commissioned numerous new works for the recorder, such as Luciano Berio’s Gesti of 1965, which required and received highly theatrical performances. Perhaps most significant in the long term was his participation, together with other major figures in the emergent field of period performance such as , Gustav Leonhardt and Jaap Schröder, in recordings for the Telefunken label Das Alte Werk. Brüggen said of this highly influential activity, ‘What we have to discover is what the composer wanted, and not what he had to be satisfied with.’

In 1981 Brüggen launched out on a career as a conductor, founding the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century which was dedicated to the performance of music from the epoch of its name. Its members, who are drawn from more than twenty countries, play on period instruments, or on contemporary copies. They work together three or four times a year for concerts in Holland and on tour. In its structure and size, the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century closely resembles the luxurious ‘Classical’ orchestras of the period active in London, Paris and Vienna. Brüggen and the orchestra soon established an international reputation and recorded an extensive repertoire for the Philips label, ranging from Purcell, Rameau, Bach and Handel to Beethoven, Schubert and Mendelssohn, with a particular emphasis upon the music of Haydn and Mozart.

Brüggen’s work with the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century provided an effective springboard for an international career as a conductor. From 1991 to 1994 he was artistic director of the Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra in Hilversum; in 1992 he was appointed a principal guest conductor, together with Simon Rattle, of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, with whom he has also recorded and appeared at the Salzburg Festival; and from 1998 to 2000 he was principal guest conductor of the Orchestre de Paris. In addition, his conducting activities in recent years have included engagements with major traditional symphony orchestras including the Royal Concertgebouw, the Leipzig Gewandhaus and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestras, to whom he has brought many of the principles of period performance practice.

Brüggen is unusual among the growing number of period performance conductors in that, while maintaining a strong emphasis upon sprung rhythms, clear textures and balance, he often adopts a freer approach in his interpretations to tempi, phrasing and dynamics. The resulting performances have a strongly individual character whilst remaining true to the principles of period practice. This more highly individualised approach to period performance has not always met with contemporary critical approval although its musical vitality is hard to deny. Brüggen’s commercial recordings are now invariably made at public concerts. Among his most distinguished recent recordings are the four orchestral Suites of J.S. Bach, Haydn’s Sturm und Drang Symphonies, and two of the ‘London’ Symphonies, Nos 101 and 103, the ‘Clock’ and the ‘Drumroll’, and the suites from two stage works by Rameau: Acante et Céphise and Les Fêtes d’Hébé. Frans Brüggen has been aptly described by the composer Luciano Berio as ‘…a musician who is not an archaeologist but a great artist’.

© Naxos Rights International Ltd. — David Patmore (A–Z of Conductors, Naxos 8.558087–90).




Affiliates  |  Classical Points  |  Press Room  |  About Us  |  Contact Us  |  Terms of Use  |  Privacy Policy

ClassicsOnline Newsletter Archive

Monthly Features on ClassicsOnline

Why choose ClassicsOnline?
ClassicsOnline is your source for classical music new releases, rare catalog, historical recordings and exclusive bargains. Our vast classical music catalog has over 1 Million tracks from more than 50,000 albums available in DRM-free MP3 (320kbps) and FLAC (lossless format). More than 500 new albums are added each month, all of which are carefully indexed, and searchable by Composer, Artist, Work and Label. Membership is free, and registration includes 5 free tracks for download. Get a free track every week and gain access to exclusive classical deals when you subscribe to our newsletter. ClassicsOnline was honored in 2010 as the Best Classical Download Site by the MIDEM Classical Awards Jury.

Some titles may not be available in all countries because of possible copyright or licensing restrictions.

Copyright © 2016 Naxos Digital Services Ltd. All rights reserved. – Your Classical Music Download Source
3:37:12 AM Monday, May 2, 2016  -230-
This site is now closed, but it has been replaced with our exciting new service ClassicsOnline HD•LL.   x
Continue to buy your downloads at our new store, which now offers all content in lossless CD quality  
formats, in addition to MP3, and thousands of high-definition titles. To learn more, click here.  
Note that previously registered customers may still login to view their accounts until further notice.  

ClassicsOnline customers will not be able to use their log in to access the new HD site. Please create a new ClassicsOnline HD•LL account to download albums, subscribe to streaming, create playlists and more!