Forbidden Music Regained

Leo Smit Stichting
Search this site

Nuite phantastique 4 Proses de Louis Bertrand / pour ténor et quatuor à cordes

By Bob Hanf

Vocal music
Voice and instrument(s) (ten 2 vl vla vc)
location of manuscript archive registration number 0063/052-1
order full score here


Not dated. Words by Louis Bertrand. Includes piano reduction

I. Le clair de lune

II. La chambre gothique

III. Scarbo

IV. Fou


I. Moonshine: I listen to sounds of the medieval city. It goes quiet. The moon sticks its tongue out like a hanged man.

II. The earth is like a scented flower... I said and closed the window. In the illuminated windowpane the cross of Golgotha is burned in black. Ghosts start to haunt the room - all small matters. But then there is SCARBO, biting me in my nek and sticking his finger in the bleeding wound.

III. Your shroud will be a spider's web, Scarbo whispers, and I wil bury the spider with you. I would like to float on the lake on an aspen leaf, but the beetle would eat you, Scarbo says. Well then, I will wind you in snake skin like a mummy, and in the crypt of Saint Bénigne you will listen to the crying of the unborn babies.

IV. Still moonshine. Scarbo, on the roof, is sieving guilders and ducats; false money falls on the street. The fool, who wonders through the deserted city every night, eagerly picks up the coins. The moon sets. In my cellar, Scarbo mints coins. Am I awake? A lost snail slowly crawls on my illuminated window.


First performance

Mar 25, 1939 Concert of contemporary compositions in The Hague. Performed by Henk Borkent (tenor), Louis de Ruyter (first violin), Willem Boeken (second violin), Henk van Calsteren (viola) and Edvard Röntgen (cello)



About Bob Hanf

Bob Hanf

In his early years, Bob Hanf received drawing lessons from the legendary George Breitner. While studying in Delft he became friends with writers Hendrik Marsman and Simon Vestdijk. Hanf studied violin with Louis Zimmerman and played under the baton of conductor Martin Spanjaard. He later turned to composing. His varied oeuvre of unpublished works was discovered just a few years ago, rescued from oblivion.

by Eleonore Pameijer