Netherlands Radio Choir

Biography

Active: Hilversum, The Netherlands -
The Netherlands Radio Choir is one of the best known large permanent professional choral organizations in the world, known for having command of virtually any choral style of any era in musical history. Its existence arises from the unusual organization and history of Dutch radio broadcastings.

The Netherlands has one of the longest records of radio broadcasting on a worldwide scale. For its internal radio broadcasting the country steered
Read more a middle course between the American system of a myriad local commercial stations (some organized into networks) and the European tendency to establish a single government-funded broadcasting organization. Instead, programming was placed into a number of independent radio organizations who share broadcasting facilities, including musical staff.

Holland was the first European country to initiate regularly scheduled short-wave radio broadcasting of news and entertainment programs. This was not a government program, but an initiative of the large electronics firm Philips, whose initial interest was to stimulate a world market for its radio receiving sets. The first broadcasts, in 1927, were to the Netherlands' East Indies, the country's primary overseas possession (now the nation of Indonesia). Although Indonesia has been independent for over half a century, Radio Netherland's broadcasts remain popular in Indonesia as the main independent source of news in that country of many languages spread over thousands of islands.

In 1928, Philips started a second foreign language service, PCJJ, making an international personality of announcer Edward Startz, who established the channel's image as the "Happy Station," and said the call sign stood for "Peace, Cheer, and Joy."

PCJJ's transmitters were captured undamaged by the Nazi troops when they invaded Holland in May 1940. They made the powerful transmitters into their primary voice beamed to Asia, under the control of Propaganda Minister Josef Goebbels. Countering it was the Dutch exile government in London, using the BBC's facilities, which initiated "Radio Oranje" to bring truthful news to the Dutch populace. This war of truth versus propaganda instilled in the Dutch a strong appreciation for broadcasting that is factually and politically impartial and accurate. Henk van den Broek, head of Radio Oranje, was asked to create a new multi-language radio service. The result was the Radio Netherlands Foundation, which began broadcasting on April 15, 1947.

Music for Netherlands radio operations is provided by the MCO (Musikcentrum von de Omroep), which means Broadcasting Music Center. Among the several musical ensembles it maintains is the Netherlands Radio Choir.

The Choir is a very busy fully professional choir of seventy-nine permanent members. This makes it one of the largest professional choirs in the world. It therefore affords steady work that attracts some of the finest choral singers in the world, who work in the MCO Building in Hilversum. Ninety percent of their work is for concerts for the various broadcasting organizations, including Radio Netherlands. Most of this work is live; there is very little broadcasting of studio recordings.

Netherlands Radio Choir often sings with the various radio orchestras (Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Radio Symphony Orchestra, and Radio Chamber Orchestra) and ensembles (Netherlands Radio Boys Choir, Metropole Orchestra) also maintained by the MCO and is frequently invited to perform with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. It rarely tours abroad, due to its heavy schedule of work at the Hilversum studios. It has a unique reputation for being able to sing virtually anything written for large choral forces. Read less
Browse 1-14 of 14 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    Rachmaninov: Vespers / Kaspars Putnins, Netherlands Radio Choir
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 2039 Release Date: 04/29/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Conductor:  Kaspars Putnins
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Radio Choir
    SuperAudio CD: $21.49
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  • 2.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 8 / Jansons, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra  [includes Blu-ray]
    Label: Rco Live   Catalog: 13002 Release Date: 07/09/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Robert Dean Smith,  Christine Brewer,  Camilla Nylund,  Stephanie Blythe  ... 
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Netherlands Radio Choir,  Latvian State Choir  ... 
    SuperAudio CD: $44.49
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  • 3.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 8 / Jansons, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra [includes DVD] Hybrid SuperAudio, DSD
    Label: Rco Live   Catalog: 13003 Release Date: 07/09/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Stefan Kocán,  Tommi Hakala,  Camilla Nylund,  Stephanie Blythe  ... 
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Chorus,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Netherlands Radio Choir  ... 
    Recommendation
    SuperAudio CD: $58.99
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  • 4.
    Beethoven: Missa Solemnis / Petersen, Kulman, Gura, Finley, Harnoncourt
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 712608 Release Date: 05/28/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Marlis Petersen,  Werner Güra,  Elisabeth Kulman,  Gerald Finley
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Netherlands Radio Choir
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  • 5.
    Beethoven: Missa Solemnis / Petersen, Kulman, Gura, Finley, Harnoncourt [blu-ray]
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 712704 Release Date: 05/28/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Gerald Finley,  Elisabeth Kulman,  Werner Güra,  Marlis Petersen
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Netherlands Radio Choir
    Blu-ray Video: $39.99
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  • 6.
    Bach: St. Matthew Passion / Padmore, Harvey, Fischer
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 101676 Release Date: 03/26/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Maria Espada,  Ingeborg Danz,  Mark Padmore,  Peter Harvey  ... 
    Conductor:  Iván Fischer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Netherlands Radio Choir
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    DVD: $39.99
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  • 7.
    Bach: St. Matthew Passion / Padmore, Harvey, Fischer [blu-ray]
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 108075 Release Date: 03/26/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Renate Arends,  Henk Neven,  Barbara Kozelj,  Mark Padmore  ... 
    Conductor:  Iván Fischer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Netherlands Radio Choir
    Blu-ray Video: $39.99
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  • 8.
    Mahler: Symphonies No 1-10, Das Lied Von Der Erde / Royal Concertgebouw
    Label: Rco Live   Catalog: 12101 Release Date: 01/08/2013   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Bernarda Fink,  Ricarda Merbeth,  Miah Persson,  Camilla Nylund  ... 
    Conductor:  Daniel Harding,  Mariss Jansons,  Iván Fischer,  Daniele Gatti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Netherlands Radio Choir,  Boys of the Breda Sacrament Choir  ... 
    On sale! $149.98
    DVD: $114.99
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  • 9.
    Britten: War Requiem / Jaap Van Zweden, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: Challenge   Catalog: 72388 Release Date: 09/11/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Benjamin Britten
    Performer:  Evelina Dobraceva,  Anthony Dean Griffey,  Mark Stone
    Conductor:  Reinbert De Leeuw,  Jaap Van Zweden
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra,  Netherlands Radio Choir
    Recommendation
    On sale! $42.98
    SuperAudio CD: $37.99
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  • 10.
    Kathleen Ferrier - The Complete Decca Recordings [14 CDs + DVD]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001654200 Release Date: 03/20/2012   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Christoph W. Gluck,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Franz Schubert,  Franz Xaver Gruber  ... 
    Performer:  Zoe Vlachopoulos,  Ann Ayars,  Kathleen Ferrier,  Thornton Lofthouse  ... 
    Conductor:  Fritz Stiedry,  Reginald Jacques,  Boyd Neel,  Sir John Barbirolli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Glyndebourne Festival Chorus,  Southern Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bach Choir  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $97.49
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  • 11.
    Mahler: Symphony No 3 / Fink, Jansons, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
    Label: Rco Live   Catalog: 10004 Release Date: 07/12/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Bernarda Fink
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Netherlands Radio Choir,  Boys of the Breda Sacrament Choir  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 12.
    Wagner: Parsifal / Jaap Van Zweden, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: Challenge   Catalog: 72519 Release Date: 06/01/2011   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Krister St. Hill,  Falk Struckmann,  Katarina Dalayman,  Robert Holl  ... 
    Conductor:  Jaap Van Zweden
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra,  Netherlands Radio Choir,  Netherlands State Male Choir
    Recommendation
    On sale! $77.98
    SuperAudio CD: $75.49
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  • 13.
    Macmillan: Visitatio Sepulchri / Antunes, Macmillan
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1719 Release Date: 05/25/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  James MacMillan
    Conductor:  James MacMillan,  Celso Antunes
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra,  Netherlands Radio Choir
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    SuperAudio CD: $21.49
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  • 14.
    Britten: Spring Symphony, Etc / Van Beinum, Ferrier, Pears
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 440063 Release Date: 12/10/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Benjamin Britten
    Performer:  Kathleen Ferrier,  Jo Vincent,  Peter Pears
    Conductor:  Eduard Van Beinum
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Willibrod Boy's Choir,  Netherlands Radio Choir,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
    ArkivCD $16.99
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