Cees Hamelink - Solace


Cees Hamelink - Solace

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I knew after the funeral service for my old friend Louis van Dijk that I needed solace. The duo CD that Jean Louis and I planned had to be music of solace for a great loss. I also realized that the theme of solace would be very fitting for the Corona year. Many of us in different parts of the world and in widely varying ways are in need of solace. A pandemic in the genuinse sense of “pan demos” had affected all of us living on planet Earth, physically, mentally, politically, economically and culturally.

Music has always been a place for comfort. As Hans Christian Andersen formulated it: “Where language fails, music speaks”. The compositions we selected gave us solace and may bring the same to those who listen to them. The opening and the closure of the CD is Old Friend, a composition by baron Toots Thielemans with whom Louis made unforgettable recordings. This lyrical dedication for an old friend is followed by the greatness of Bach, the dreamy compositions of Debussy and Schumann, a choice from the Klezmer repertoire, and the confirmation that even in the deep human tragedy of the Holocaust there was Schindler’s list. We followed the adhortation of Saint-Saens to love each other with his Aimons-Nous. This tender composition is based upon a poem by Théodore de Banville which in the splendid English translation of Richard Stokes tells us that greater than God and death is love. The poem is read by Norman Perryman.

The Stoic philosophers taught us to find solace in the moments of love and beauty that we experience in our lives and more than lingering mournfully with our losses we should rejoice the moments of paradise that life gives us.

Jean Louis made, once again, beautiful and tasteful arrangements and recorded and directed our sessions. During our recordings I began to (re-) discover the beauty of Guido Tononi’s vibrandoneon. Thanks, Guido, for an instrument that sings and weeps as it expresses the feelings of the soul!

The cover was made by kinetic painter Norman Perryman, the graphic work was done by Christine Simonis and Replifact Media BV manufactured the CD.

Cees Hamelink, Amsterdam, Summer 2020.


  • 1. Old Friend
  • 2. Bist Du Bei Mir
  • 3. Aase’s Death
  • 4. Ave Maria Schubert
  • 5. Klage
  • 6. Theme From Schindler’s List
  • 7. Speak Softly, Love
  • 8. Main Umet
  • 9. Reverie
  • 10. Traumerei
  • 11. Gymnopedie No. !
  • 12. Canon in D
  • 13. Ave Maria Bach/Gounod
  • 14. Aimons-Nous
  • 15. Old Friend (final)



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Cees Hamelink


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