Raphaella SMITS

RECORDINGS -CD ACR -CD Walter-Brouwer-Henderickx -CD Mertz-Giuliani2 -CD Spanish Folksongs -CD Legnani-Sor -CD Manjon -CD Vila-Lobos a.o. -CD Weiss-Bach -CD Sor-Coste -CD 20th Century -CD Mertz-Giuliani -LP Tedesco -LP Coste -LP Sor-Kaufmann -LP Dowland -LP Blauwe Steen









press kit






Owe WALTER (1946)
La Guitarra (1993-1995):
1. Raphaella
2. Maria
3. Michaella

Leo BROUWER (1939)
Tres Apuntes (1959):
4. El “Homenaje a Falla”
5. De unfragmento instrumental
6. Sobre un canto de Bulgaria

7. Hika, in memoriam Toru Takemitsu (1996)

8. In deep silence I (1998)

Saeta (2004)
9. Christ condemned to death
10. The way of the cross of Jesus
11. Lamentation of Mary < audio sample >
12. The crucifixion of Jesus
13. His death on the cross
14. The resurrection of Jesus
15. Meditation


artist: Raphaella Smits
titel: In Deep Silence
composers: Owe Walter (b. 1946, Sweden), Leo Brouwer (b. 1939, Cuba) and Wim Henderickx (b. 1962, Belgium).
label: Accent Records, BE
CD number: ACC 24177
recorded: at the 'Vereenigde Doopsgezinde Kerk', Haarlem, NL, September 2005
instrument : John Gilbert (1980)
total duration: 68'27"
illustration: The sleeping gypsy by Henri Rousseau

Leo Brouwer and Raphaella Smits (1985)

Raphaella Smits plays contemporary guitar music of Owe Walter, Leo Brouwer and Wim Henderickx



Two of these pieces were written for me ('La Guitarra' & 'In deep silence I'); hence the close collaboration between the composer and the performing musician.

The three composers, fundamentally different, have at least one quality in common. In essence, in their method of composing, they remain faithful to combining the musical elements into a bouquet full of expression and colour. They make new music, not imitating earlier creations but based on respect for them.
Thus Owe Walter occasionally reminds us of Tedesco, Leo Brouwer of de Falla, Stravinsky and Takemitsu, while Wim Henderickx, reminds us of the East, with controlled improvisation. He is also associated with Takemitsu and with Bartók.
Thus, from such contrasts, this programme creates a beautiful whole. It is designed to re-ignite people's curiosity in discovering new repertoire.Ē
RaphaŽlla Smits

The complete insert notes.
More information about Wim Henderickx.


JOHN GILBERT #46 was the fourth eight-string instrument built by this Californian guitar maker.
Some of the particulars are 654mm string length: the first in this length. The design incorporates basic brace layouts similar to both Spanish and other European makers with standard fan struts with transverse braces just below the soundhole.
The face is Sitka Spruce, the back and sides are Indian rosewood, the neck is Spanish cedar.

More about luthier John Gilbert.


Wim Henderickx says "I am very grateful and proud because Raphaella likes to perform my music on stage as well as on recordings. It is really not obvious that a musician dares to take the risk of contemporary repertoire next to classical and romantic music.
Besides that I can assure you that this CD with compositions by Owe Walter, Leo Brouwer and myself, is a recording worth listening to, to really enjoy: the works fit together perfectly, thanks to a well thought-out compilation.
I know Raphaella since many years as a great pedagogue, a great guitarist and a great human being. And I will gladly compose more pieces for her in the near future."

Hein Sanderink in <El Maestro, EGTA-NL> wrote:
"Most companies don't dare, but cd-label Accent has published without fear a number of contemporary composers for guitar. In Deep Silence is the name of the recording with works by Walter, Brouwer and Henderickx. With this CD the Belgian guitarist RaphaŽlla Smits adds a masterwork to her oeuvre. "

Javier Suárez-Pajares, Profesor Titular de Historia y Ciencias de la Música, Universidad Complutense Madrid, Spain:
"Too few guitarists can permit oneself to realize a project as personal as this 'In Deep Silence' of Raphaëlla Smits. A CD that enriches the discographical space with music encouraged by or written for this Belgian guitarist. (...) A whim. A discovery. A revelation. " (See complete review in Spanish.)

Danielle Ribouillaut in <Classical Guitar> wrote:
"Raphaella Smits is not a common artist at all. Extremely deep in her interpretations, she knows how to catch the essence of the works she offers to us –many times original scores.
She let us discover Wim Henderickx’s 'Saeta' in seven parts dedicated to a religious meditation on Jesus’s last day: a long mystical development which ends with the resurrection all in harmonics on the guitar. This is the first time we hear a programatic music in the faith topic on the guitar!"

François Nicolas in <Guitare Classique (FR)> wrote:
"With a superb sonority and a remarkable sense for respiration and phrasing, Raphaella Smits invites us to a program with great importance regarding the personal relationship with the composers. Although very different in form and writing, the choosen works show a metaphysical iterrogation, like in 'In Deep Silence I' and in the very poignant 'Saeta' of Wim Henderickx, in which extreme intensities alternate with meditative calms inspired by the Passion of Christ.
One can only admire the great palette of nuances and the dynamics of Leo Brouwers' 'Tres Apuntes' as well as the subtleties of timbre in 'Hika'. A magnificent interpretation with intense emotion!"

Irma Wassall of Witchita, KS wrote:
"There are not enough words adequate to describe the wonder of Raphaella Smits. There are a few exceptional people who radiate a light of their own. Raphaella is one of them.
About 'Saeta', a work by Wim Henderickx: one could visualize the Holy Week processions in the streets, most famous, perhaps, in Seville, Spain: the statues and stained glass windows of the churches; the candles and incense; the arrows of grief; the unbelievable depth of emotion; and of course, the bells, the music."

Danielle Ribouillaut again in a personal note:
"Intelligent, sensible et original comme toujours. Je te dis toute ma très grande estime pour ton vrai grand talent artistique!
Je suis chaque fois émue par 'Saeta' ... et ta version des 'Tres Apuntes' est magistrale!"

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