RC 9 Blij stond de zon

  • Alberdingk Thijm, J.A.
  • contralto, mixed choir and piano for four hands
  • August 1, 1884 - August 31, 1884
  • duration ca. 6:00

Diepenbrock composed Blij stond de zon (Joyfully Stood the Sun) for the wedding of one of his college friends, Jan Sterck (1859-1941). In 1877 Sterck enrolled at the Law department of the University of Amsterdam, where he also attended literature classes. His interest in Dutch literature was kindled by J.A. Alberdingk Thijm, a family friend who managed to pass on his love for both Bilderdijk and Vondel (Sterck was to dedicate much of his working life as a literary historian to the latter writer). Like Diepenbrock, he took a great interest in the history of Amsterdam.

Sterck got married on 21 August 1884. Nine days earlier Blij stond de zon was performed by Marie Diepenbrock and Cato Lans (soprano), Lidwina Diepenbrock and Marie Smits (alto), W. Hendriks (tenor), and Joseph Cuypers and Anton Smits (bass). They also sang the Vijftiende-eeuwsch bruyloftslied (Fifteenth-Century Wedding Song, RC 10), which was written for the same occasion. Copies of both works were bound together in one volume and presented to the young couple four months later, on 12 December 1884.

When Diepenbrock looked through this volume again more than twenty years later, he wrote to Jan Sterck in a letter dated 30 June 1905:

I was truly shocked when I saw the first product again. The only excuse for such a composition is the text; the good intention makes up for something like that. Just what a difference a doggerel or a true poem can make, one can tell from the second composition, for which I do not need to feel any shame, although the later revised version naturally sounds better. (BD IV:397)

Ton Braas