I’m enjoying the benefits of the free wi-fi the Dutch National Railway Company provides us with and using my last hours in The Netherlands to post some musical actuality. Unico Wilhelm van Wassenaer was a Dutch diplomat and composer of the first half of the 18th century, who lived in The Hague. His family name originates from the city of Wassenaar, that is now part of The Hague (actually, that’s the district The Really Rich People live). Since in his society circles composing music was sort of uncool*, he didn’t want to publish his works under his own name but anonymously, so his main work, the Concerti Armonici was attributed first to Carlo Ricciotti, a violin player of the The Hague Court Orchestra and later to Giovanni Battista Pergolesi. Wassenaer remained “the mystery composer” until 1980 when a letter was found at his birthplace (well, actually birthcastle) that reveals his identity as the composer of named concerti.
* you would think that those times are already passed and being a composer is really cool nowadays, but I have to warn you that there still are society circles obeying the same rules. Just look at my father, for example. He, being a mathematician himself, holds the strong opinion that musicians are “no worthy people”. That’s why I studied nursing first before I went bohemian, haha.