Live recording (VPRO, Dutch national radio)

Van Paassen plays his own compositions on a recital in Amsterdam with a live audience.


1 Should a wise man pray? 5’28

2 Winter 9’30

Sonatine for a happy goat 13’30:

3 Allegretto 4’22 (1)

4 andante 4’42 (2)

5 allegretto furioso 4’26(3)

6 adagio 6.37

7 Who’s afraid of red, blues and D minor? 5’43

8 taddaa 7’11

9 Yet 6’51

10 to touch 8’57 

From an interview in NRC Handelsblad (the ‘Times' of the Netherlands) 14th, April, 1998

"When I compose, I write, so to speak, a letter to humanity. Of course in the past many letters have been written already. Nevertheless I am not somebody, who thinks: it has all been written. You don’t want to receive only letters from the past, but also letters from this age?"

"The practising of my own piano pieces was quite a job. It is awkward to combine the two parts, composer and pianist. I have a strong inclination to play my pieces with extreme precision. Like: I have written it all down very precisely, so I will have to play them now very precisely. Not to much feeling in it, play the notes objectively! After some time I came in a new phase in which the pianist in me liberated it self and I dared to interpret.

About ‘winter’ from the piano composition 'Ellipse’:

Ellipse is a composition with little melody, like processes in nature, where people don’t play any part. With exception of the last movement, the winter. Here we find melody, but the melody is having a hard time between cracking ice.

About ‘Should a wise man pray?’

Although I am not a ‘New Age’-man, I do think it’s a pity that praying hardly exists anymore in modern people. For centuries people have prayed and praying has an undeniable beauty. To direct ones soul towards the good and to be involved in that for some time. I hope people will think about the disappearance of praying in those few minutes, they are listening to this composition.

From a interview with Dutch radio (VPRO, radio 4, 17th, June, 1998):

About the ‘sonatine for a happy goat’:

"Sometimes people say of somebody: he is sort of a happy goat. That is intended negatively. I myself am in favour of happy goats, because consider it a clever act to be happy all the time. This sonatine is about trying to keep ones positivity, happiness, even if that is not always so easy." 

From a recital program (Singermuseum, Laren, The Netherlands):

About ‘Who is afraid of red, blues and d minor’:

"The title is referring to Barnet Newmans painting ‘Who’s afraid of red, yellow and blue’, which was attacked by a museum visitor in the ‘Stedelijk Museum’ in Amsterdam. It is not a humorous piece of music, neither a swing piece. The music starts out in a sombre Sunday afternoon mood that in some museum visitors causes apparently aggression. Afterwards the music develops a better mood. The listener will surely not attack a painting after listening to this music."