Terugblik: Fenomenaal concert door Marlene Hemmer
Op dit moment loopt in Nederland een groot aantal jonge violistes rond van hoog niveau. Marlene Hemmer is één van hen. Zij speelde samen met haar partner, Jochem Geene, in de Edesche Concertzaal op zaterdag 13 december 2014.

Het concert heette 'première' omdat dit het eerste concert is in een reeks van drie waarin 'artist in residence' Marlene Hemmer een belangrijke rol gaat spelen. Deze avond werd dus het spits afgebeten en het belooft wat voor de volgende concerten. 

Furieuze finale

Het spel was ronduit verbluffend. Zoals er muziek gemaakt werd: het was fenomenaal! Geopend werd met de vioolsonate op. 28 van Richard Strauss (die 150 jaar geleden werd geboren). Een jeugdwerk... hij was 24 jaar jong toen hij het schreef. Deze sonate wordt weinig gespeeld, omdat het te boek staat als één van de moeilijkste sonates voor deze bezetting. Zowel van de violiste als van de pianist wordt het uiterste gevraagd. Hemmer en Geene doorstonden deze muziek en maakten grote indruk door de doorleefdheid en passie in hun spel. Het eerste deel is zeer virtuoos met lange muzikale lijnen, in het tweede deel kwam de romantiek om de hoek kijken. Emotioneel en pakkend gespeeld om zo over te gaan in het derde deel. Een furieuze Finale. Logisch dat de pauze na dit stuk gepland was.

Wonderschone toon

Na de onderbreking speelde Hemmer alle werken uit haar hoofd. De Poème van Chausson en een bewerking van het vijfde vioolconcert van Vieuxtemps. Hemmer en Geene gingen verder waar ze voor de pauze gebleven waren. Het publiek zat ademloos op hun stoel te genieten van deze muziek. Het fraaie impressionistische Poème was eigenlijk bedoeld als vioolconcert, maar Chausson heeft het bij dit vrije werk gelaten. In deze vorm is het wereldberoemd geworden. En het was hoorbaar waarom. Het beroemdste vioolconcert van Vieuxtemps, het vijfde, maar nu zonder orkest. Jochem Geene nam deze partij voor zijn rekening op de prachtige Bösendorfer. De wonderschone toon van Marlene vulde de hele zaal. Vooral de cadens uit het eerste deel was magistraal. Dubbelgrepen waren er vele en daarbij nog trillers tussendoor. En zeer geconcentreerd gespeeld. Juist die concentratie sloeg over op het publiek dat om een toegift 'vroeg'. 

Je moet ze gehoord hebben

De 'Melody' uit Orfeus e Euridice van Von Gluck in een bewerking van Frits Kreizler. Een fabuleuze afsluiter van een virtuoos concert dat nog lang zal naklinken in de Edesche Concertzaal. Het uitzien is naar de volgende concerten die deze artist in residence in petto heeft. Marlene Hemmer en Jochem Geene, je moet ze gehoord hebben!

Redactie Edesche Concertzaal, terugblik op 13 december 2014

Virtuoso Opera Fantasies
Marlene Hemmer (violin), Derrick Hemmer (piano)
Dutch Record Company DRC 111005/01 · 60 '

CD Review

Marlene Hemmer (1981) is a violin talent who already caught attention with a beautiful Brahms programme (click here for a review). Then I mentioned, among other things, that she played with an uninhibited expressiveness and a glossy sound, in a long educational tradition that has produced violin talents like Emmy Verhey (1949) and Isabelle van Keulen (1966).

Hemmer, along with her brother Derrick,  presents a programme that consists mostly of known ‘encores’ and which poses, measured in form and content, less stringent requirements than the violin sonatas of Brahms, but there is of course much more to these small pieces than mere virtuosity: without the appropriate sense of style and a healthy dose of flair (if not bravura!) one will not accomplish much. But Hemmer’s intense musicality is of such a high level that she can compete with violinists as Maxim Vengerov and Anne-Sophie Mutter, but also with the great violinists of the past, such as Heifetz, Milstein, Zimbalist, Elmer, Gitlis or Grumiaux. She plays it differently (thankfully!), but no less fascinating, and as for Hemmers' great predecessors and contemporaries Paganini’s I Palpiti remains a hurdle (but do not underestimate the difficulty of, for example, the Dance of the Blessed Spirits which is, just like the equally famous Meditation from Thaïs by Massenet, an exquisite miniature at showing off an ultimate legato!). In Wieniawski's Faust Fantasy (based on Gounod's opera) she can dig deeper and that’s exactly what she does with fully expressive devotion, beautifully dosed and with a great sense of tension. This is another work (it takes nearly nineteen minutes) in which poetry and passion go hand in hand, with Marlene having an eye for both and letting her instrument sing.
Great appreciation for Derrick Hemmer, who emerges here as an accompanist clearly speaking his own word and, where necessary, emphasizing the adventurous character of the piano part in the dialogues with his sister. The final work on this CD does not seem coincidental: Sarasate’s Carmen-fantasy summarizes everything you can do on the violin, both technically and interpretatively. Melody, harmony and rhythm are bonded in a passionate marriage that makes you long for warm southern regions  ...

For the ones who do not know it yet: Jochem Geene of Dutch Record Company (DRC) makes great recordings in Studio van Schuppen in Veenendaal, The Netherlands. This is again one of them, made in December 2010 and January 2011. In short, a must! ·

© Aart van der Wal, March 2012 -

Marlene Hemmer and the highest art of violin playing

Marlene Hemmer is a violinist with guts. After her debut CD with the three sonatas of Brahms she goes directly to the highest art of violin playing. On her new album Virtuoso Opera Fantasies she, together with her brother Derrick at the piano, lets De Sarasate’s Carmen Fantasy shine with brilliant, highly secure harmonics and she gives the Habanera ‘L'amour est un oiseau rebelle’ an authentic sensual feel. She also plays the fantasy that Wieniawski wrote on Gounod's opera Faust and the Paganini Variations on 'I Palpiti "from Rossini's opera Tancredi. Marlene Hemmer presents her new album during some concerts in the Week of Classical Music, 

see Highly recommended!

Classic Affairs November 2011


Flutist Emmanuel Pahud is accompanied by an orchestra on his latest CD with opera fantasies (EMI 457.814-2) but violinist Marlene Hemmer plays the opera fantasies with her brother Derrick at the piano.

Normally she is establishing herself in the larger works of Brahms, Bruch, Dvorak and Saint-Saëns, but here she can show her feelings and virtuosity especially in a recital containing various works for the duration of almost an hour.

Some of these works are intended to be performed with orchestral accompaniment. But what color is possibly added there, is fairly compensated by greater transparency and attention for the violin in this recording.

The violinist keeps the sound nice, clean and even in Paganini's I Palpiti which is immediately a certificate of competence. Elsewhere, in Wienawski’s Faust Fantasy the nice rounded chords and the fierce attack catch attention. Elsewhere one can also detect much poetry in the interpretation of the music.

It is therefore not merely a demonstration of extroverted virtuosity, but also of possessing a correct sense of style and great musicality. Who wants to hear Marlene Hemmer in a more conventional repertoire, needs to give a listen to her recording of the Brahms Violin Sonatas (DRC 081005/01).

Jan de Kruijff -



Conductor, soloist and orchestra players all in top form for final concert of winter season.

This final concert of the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra’s winter season, in the Durban City Hall, was a splendid occasion in many ways. The programme included a novelty; then another work that was something of a revelation; and a classic from the symphonic repertory. And the performers --- conductor, soloist and orchestra players --- were all in top form.

The conductor was Arjan Tien, who comes from Holland. His tall, lean figure is familiar to City Hall audiences; he has been a regular guest conductor with the KZNPO for the past twelve years.

The soloist was another Hollander, the young violinist Marlene Hemmer, playing in Max Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy. Not yet 30 years old, she is already an experienced player of very high quality. She was a most attractive figure on stage: calm, undemonstrative, slender, pretty, and wearing a red evening gown that was both decorative and decorous. And she is a top-class player, as she showed from the outset in Bruch’s four-movement Scottish Fantasy, producing a consistently sweet and accurate tone and handling the many technical difficulties with aplomb.

This composition is not played very often, and it must have been an eye-opener (ear-opener?) to many members of the audience. Bruch, who was German, wrote it in 1880 and based it on four Scottish folk songs. In the twentieth century the work was often played by Jascha Heifetz.

It is melodious, expertly scored, and often poignant. The third movement is, as I said in a pre-concert lecture, really heart-clutching music, and so it should be. The words of the folk song are: “I’m a doun, doun, doun, I’m a doun for lack of Johnnie. If Johnnie knew I was not well I’m sure he would come to me, but oh, he has forsaken me”. A sad little tale, and Bruch’s beautiful music matches the mood exactly.

Marlene Hemmer was given a prolonged ovation at the end, and she deserved it. Among those applauding enthusiastically were the members of the orchestra, which is, I suppose, the ultimate accolade.

 Michael Green, Artsmart: arts news from Kwazulu Natal

3 juni 2010


Fire at Magogo-concert unevenly distributed

... Fortunately  violinist Marlene Hemmer and Gianni Lincan on the cimbalom (a Hungarian piece of wood full of strings that are brought  to life with little hammers) stirred up the fire under the music.... The performances of Bartok's "Divertimento" and Ravel's "Tzigane ' especially were impressive. A recording of the performance  was made for the debut CD of the orchestra, which will be released later this year ....

... the daring performance full of contrasts of violinist Marlene Hemmer in "Tzigane". She was able to let her violin sound softly and sweetly for one moment, and immediately afterwards gritty like sandpaper. With her bravura she pushed the whole orchestra to great heights ....

... The party was complete in a duet that he (Gianni Lincan) played with Hemmer. Together they let the temperature in the room rise quickly ...
René van Peer, Brabants Dagblad February 2010



A superb Mozart Divertimento 

No spanish rhythms of piano virtuoso Juan Miguel Murani, but Mozart ... Marlene Hemmer (violin), Vilem Kijonka (viola) and Jaap Block (cello) are already superbly adapted to eachother in their short existence as a string trio, so they were more than excellent substitutes for Murani…
In the programme a concert tour with the internationally renowned flutist Claudio Arimany was mentioned, with whom they had recently been on tour. And rightly so, because their approach to Mozart’s Divertimento in E flat major KV 563 was superb. It is important to add that this six-movement (!) Mozart work is not some sort of entertainment music, but in fact rises far beyond that. The inspired musicians uncover all the tensions, contrasts and romantic episodes that can be found in the score. Masculine, with a rich and full sound, full of appropriate accents, but also honoring Mozart as a melody freak. In the fourth part, after the simple beginning, the musicians eagerly submerge themselves in the variations of the theme, interrupted momentarily by a touch of melancholy. And a dazzling finale was the crowning glory of this magnificent concert ...

The Press, March 2010



'Passionate', 'romantic’,’ lyrical ‘(or as Brahms would have called it:

"schwärmerisch'): it's all applicable to the violinplaying of Marlene Hemmer. And the piano is significantly more than just the accompaniment of all this beautiful playing!

Music Store Vink - Vink-recommended


Brahms Violin Sonatas Opus Classic 3.1
No 1 in G op. 78

No 2 in A, op. 100

No 3 in d op. 108
(Violin), (piano).
DRC 081005/01 · 72 '·
"Is the Dutch violinist Marlene Hemmer (1981) the counterpart of 'our' Janine Jansen? Qualitatively speaking her chances are high, but usually the podium success simply can not be separated from the studio work: the more and the better the CDs are ‘put on the market ', the greater the interest of impresarios, concert halls and managements etc..
Music creates the beauty of the illusion, but in the tough musicbusiness one should fight for that relentlessly, preferably using wheelbarrows full of publicity. We all know how Janine Jansen was put on the world map by the Decca label of Universal Music using her great talents but also with the help of a PR avalanche. Some labels are investing huge sums of money in a limited number of artists that are bombed 'star performers', who then have to pull the car (for all the others there is no money left anymore). It sounds a bit demeaning to speak of a 'publicity circus', but it can not be denied that the multimedia marketing techniques are still the main tools to let the money roll in. From Pauw & Witteman to VPRO, from AVRO's Klassiek to widespread advertising in newspapers and magazines. There is nothing wrong with that, provided that the musiclover lets his own "artistic conscience" prevail in these matters and is not being swept off his feet by all the superlatives, which often precede the interpretation itself. Anyway, talent is 1, 'plugging' is 2, the resulting synergy is at least 4.

Who has watched and heard the duo Hemmer-Komen playing the Adagio and Presto agitato from Brahms' Violin Sonata op. 108 on the Dutch - indeed! - TV-network VPRO on Sunday, April 20th will no doubt have been deeply impressed. The same goes for the conversation at the table with Hemmer, in which she established herself as a down-to-earth-girl with a fresh look at 'her art', averse from star attitude, perfectly matching the Dutch slogan "If you act normal, you will act crazy enough". And thàt is how she plays as well, with an uninhibited expressiveness and a glossy sound, rooted in a long pedagogical tradition that has produced violin talents like Emmy Verhey (1949) and Isabelle van Keulen (1966).
In this Brahms-recital played on a 1670 Grancino-violin Hemmer can reach for the stars, with an impressive sound, phrasings that are as solid as a rock and a dynamic scale that fits this intense music. With the equally great Paul Komen (he plays a Steinway D) at her side we undergo a shining, passionate Brahms, who tried to find the boundaries of classicism in these sonatas also.
The crystal clear recording was made in Studio van Schuppen in Veenendaal, The Netherlands. A special compliment for the deeply bronze Steinway-sound. What is more, there is finally a real bass sound coming from the piano! The information in the booklet is also printed in Dutch. Dutch all the way... "
© Aart van der Wal, May 2008


Brahms completed his three Violin Sonatas respectively in his 46-th, 53-rd and 55-th year of life. In the very lyrical first sonata the composer declares his yearning love for Clara Schumann. Marlene Hemmer and Paul Komen have no trouble greatly interpreting  this passion which was probably never consummated. Their tempo rubato is rich and full of imagination. There is no prosaic slump for even one moment in their ensemble-playing  and sound.

In the Second Sonata, the longing contemplation is exchanged for a bright, cheerful atmosphere. Again there is great musicianship. Listen to the perfectly played second movement with radiant high notes of Hemmer and beautiful Vivace-interruptions of both!

The Third Sonata in D minor is the most boisterous and orchestral sonata of the three. Despite the fact that Brahms is composing in a more heavier way the musicians always take care that transparency remains in their solid sound. The passion in the final movement Presto agitato never degenerates into a vulgar Espressivo but remains cultivated and beautiful of sound until the end.

Robert Schumann once called Brahms 'a young eagle’, referring to the inspired flight of his imagination. This warm, human interpretations prove how true this characteristic is and how Brahms' legacy can stand the test of time without any difficulty.’

Willem Veldhuizen, Classic Affairs, May 2008



"The performance of the young violinist Marlene Hemmer was a revelation to the audience. Calm and with great mastery she played the dreamy 'Romance' in f by Antonin Dvorak. She has an abundance of virtuosity in her fingers and bowing, which was evident in her performance of the ever popular 'Zigeunerweisen "by Pablo de Sarasate. The compelling melodies and acrobatics on four strings brought the listeners into ecstasy."

Rinus de Groot, Haarlem Dagblad


"Violinist Marlene Hemmer stole the hearts of the audience with the dreamy 'Romance' of Dvorák. The orchestra excelled in" Sarka "from Má Vlast by Smetana and 'Zigeunerweisen for violin and orchestra" by De Sarasate with again an enchanting Marlene Hemmer .. . "

"... Spring from the Four Seasons by Vivaldi was fragile with such a small group of stringplayers and a harpsichord. The violin solo was played by Marlene Hemmer. The performance was sophisticated ..."

Ellen Kruithof, The TC Tubantia


".. the 3rd violin concerto by Saint-Saëns. The young soloist Marlene Hemmer performed the complicated violin solo beautifully. Her wonderful sound and balanced dynamics inspired the orchestra to deliver a great accompaniment. (...) After the completion of this work the soloist and orchestra received a standing ovation, which was entirely justified. "

Lisse actueel


"The orchestra accompanied soloist Marlene Hemmer in the 3rd violin concerto by Saint-Saëns. A very promising soloist with a fantastic sound and an inspiring way of playing. The audience was very enthusiastic about this performance given the great applause for soloist and orchestra."



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