update: 23-06-2009


Dutch edition of this page





The picture is "Amstelhof" built in 1681 as a resting home for elderly.

In 2009 this building will be the Amsterdam Hermitage.


Translation is ongoing at the moment


World Premiere of Stravinsky's 'Les Noces'

World premiere of Igor Stravinsky’s composition Les Noces in its original 1919 edition

August 15th, as the opening concert of the 'Grachtenfestival' (Canal Festival), the composition of Igor Stravinsky 'Les Noces' will be premiered in its original edition of 1919, wich was never completed. Theo Verbey undertook this task recently. This never before completed compostion for soloists, choir, pianola, 2 cimbalons, harmonium and 2 percussionists has now been completed by They Verbey. This composition will be the hightlight of a 'Dorpsbruiloft’ a village marital celebration. In this Dorpsbruiloft also Scherzo à la Russe, Histoire du Soldat will be performed while the audience enjoys a community meal. This premiere will be at the former resthouse for the elderly, now transoformed to the Amsterdam dependance of St. Petersburg Hermitage.

Amstelhof nu Hermitage  

Peppie Wiersma, initiator of Svadebka!, became fascinated the moment he became aware of the 1919 edition of Stravinksky’s Les Noces. Due to the very peculiar instrumentation the 1919 edition of presents itself as an authentic Russian bridal gypsy orchestra. Soon the idea arose to create an evening of music based on Les Noces. Histoire du Soldat is added to amuse the audience. An audience that will be treated as were they guest at a bridal party. And the ideal Ouverture for this evening was found in the arrangement of Scherzo à la Russe, an arrangement made for this event by Louis Andriessen.

Igor Stravinsky was fascinated by mechanical instruments, because they would guarantee him, more than musicians, a true reproduction of his compositions. The pianola was to him the ideal instrument to preserve his compositions for generations to come. That is why this instrument is prominent in his composition les Noces Villageoises.

Due to technical problems and the lack of qualified cimbalom players, made Stravinsky decide to stop writing after finishing two of the four tableaux. The 1919 edition was never finished. However, Stravinsky used his scetches to compose the 1923 edition of Les Noces, now for 4 pianos and six percussionists.

Ninety years later Peppie Wiersma succeeded in acquiring formal permission by the Stravinksky inheritors to have Theo Verbey finalize Les Noces 1919, and also to have Louis Andriessen arrange Stravinsky’s Scherzo à la Russe.  The exclusive rights to this performance are granted to Wiersma till 1st of October 2010.

Modern technique is capable of handling sychronisation problems. Also two skilled cimbalom players could be found. With those two problems solved, Stravinsky’s original idea can now be realized for the first time this summer.

The performance of the world premiere of Svadebka! will be played by top musicians. The performance will be played without a conductor, singers will not use scores. By this way of performing it will closely resemble an authentic Russian marriage celebration.  All performances will be in ‘open air’.

Performing musicians:

Cappella Amsterdam
Françoise Rivalland cimbalom
Michiel Weidner cimbalom
Dirk Luijmes harmonium
Peppie Wiersma slagwerk
Rozemarie Heggen contrabas
Heleen Hulst viool

Koen Kaptijn trombone
Peter Masseurs cornet
Marieke Stordiau fagot
Arjan Woudenberg klarinet
Judith Herzberg verteller
Marc Pantus regie




15 (première), 16, 17 en 18 augustus

Hermitage center court Amsterdam


22 en 23 augustus

Tent in Griftpark

Den Haag

29 en 30 augustus

Tent on Clingendael Estate

Electra (Groningen)

5 en 6 september

In ' Klein Hayema' farm at Electra