Wim Huisjes - in Memoriam
Aya Itoi wrote (January 31, 2000):
Hello everyone, as I see that the week for discussing "Ich habe genug" has rolled out, I feel compelled to write; to bring - however painful it is for me - a very sad news.
I am a list member (also on the BRML) from Tokyo, and a personal friend of Wim Huisjes, a Dutch member who has contributed so many intelligent, thought-out, well-researched, and witty postings to both the Cantata and the Recordings Lists.
Wim died on Wednesday, 26 January, unexpectedly of a stroke, suddenly, of apoplexy. He had just turned 55 last December. Terrible thing to happen to his young daughters, Flor and Yachaira.
I went to visit Europe last October. Wim was very kind; we attended a Koopman cantata concert together in Utrecht, he showed us around Naarden, a beautiful old Dutch town and took us to have a traditional Dutch dinner at his friends' in Alkmaar, where we enjoyed meeting his family and friends.
I sent Wim CD's of BWV 82 by Peter Kooy (he told me it couldn't be 'Kooji' and must be 'Kooy') and Klaus Mertens, because he was having trouble finding them in The Netherlands. After hearing Mertens in live in October, Wim and I called him 'our favourite baritone'. I am certain Wim would have written a very good posting about this cantata, from which all of us could have learned so much.
I know he was enjoying his life, but he must have had a lot of things he was still looking forward to doing. He had walls of Bach CD's in his house that he hadn't heard.
I try hard to think Wim is in a peaceful place somewhere up there, maybe even enjoying 'guten Scheps' with J.S. Bach himself (Wim and I both loved the Quodlibet), and I really hope he is hearing "Ich habe genug".
I realise this might be slightly off topic, but I just feel I ought to tell you all.
Harry J. Steinman wrote (January 31, 2000):
Let me join in remembering Wim Huisjes...I struck up a correspondence with Wim when I was about to visit Amsterdam last November. He took an afternoon off from work to show me around the city...and was kind enough to run all over Amsterdam helping me find some of the Brilliant Classic (Kruidvat) Bach Edition volumes-and I do mean *all* over as we had to travel around the city to several Kruidvat to find the recordings. He also purchased and mailed a few volumes to me. He was soft-spoken and sweet. A mathematician and Bach lover. I shall miss him. If there is an afterlife, Wim has the time to listen to all of the cantatas and other recordings....
I think I shall play the HM cantata collection, "Mit Fried and Freud" (sorry, I'm travelling and don't have the disc in front of me) which is a collection of cantatas relating to death...and the accompanying booklet discusses the attitude that people in Bach's era had towards death: That it was a final mystery, embraceable and a deliverance into something joyous.
Marie Jensen wrote (January 31, 2000):
I read on the Cantata List that Wim Huisjes is no longer among us. I did not know him personally, but he was always very helpful on the lists and did even write to me privately to make sure I got the help I needed. I am going to miss him very much as a kind person with an enormous knowledge, he always was willing to share with us. This is indeed very sad especially for his family. Wim, I hope you are at the place, Bach always longed for and meet him there.
Kirk McElhearn wrote (January 31, 2000):
This is indeed very sad. I only know Wim briefly, through the list, and had a few private exchanges with him. I appreciated his interest for the music, and his frank opinions.
He will be missed. My heart goes out to his family...
Jane Newble wrote (January 31, 2000):
It was a shock to hear of Wim's death. As I too am Dutch, although living in England, I corresponded with him in Dutch. Although I did not get to know him in person, I shall always remember him for his helpfulness, kindness and quiet reassurance. When I still lived in Holland, my college tutor used to say: "When God wants to hear music, he listens to Bach". All I can wish for Wim is that, not needing to hear recordings anymore, he is now listening to the real thing. But I shall miss him....
Kirk McElhearn.com wrote (January 31, 2000):
To those who knew Wim more personally, is there any way we can electronically share our condolences with his family?
Aryeh Oron wrote (January 31, 2000):
Very Vary Sad News!
I have not had the opportunity to know Wim personally, but I felt very close to him, because we shared love to same world of music - the Bach Cantatas. It was a shock when the sad news from the real world entered into the abstract world of listening and writing to each other about our common love. It was more shocking to me, because this morning, before going to work, I sent to the list the message about 'Ich habe genug'. I felt so sad because when I heard it yesterday night, I realised that I am mortal, like all of us. And the first message that I saw this morning, after sending my message, was this terrible news about Wim's death.
Ryan Michero wrote (February 1, 2000):
This is a terrible tragedy. Thanks for telling us, though, Aya.
It was always a pleasure to read his posts, always informed, intelligent, and opinionated. And he obviously knew and loved his Bach. He will be sorely missed.
Here's hoping that Wim, like Simeon, had seen the Saviour in his arms, had had enough.
"Schlummert ein, ihr matten Augen, fallet sanft und selig zu"
Aya Itoi wrote (February 1, 2000):
Hello everyone, I don't think either of Wim's daughters is connected electronically.
What I can do - which I will; I have saved and printed out all the postings about Wim, and will mail them to a close friends of Wim's in Alkmaar, The Netherlands. I'll ask them to forward the postings to Wim's daughters. I don't know how much they knew of Wim's involvement in these Lists, but I think it would be important for them to know how their father was admired and will be missed.
Steven Langley Guy wrote (February 1, 2000):
To Marie and my comrades on the Bach Recordings List, I am very sorry to hear about Wim. I only knew him from his emails on the List. I just looked through some of his recent emails and it is obvious that he was a true friend of the musical arts and he always responded with polite and helpful emails. I wish his family and personal friends well for now and the future. I too hope that Wim might find something very special beyond this life.
I never cease to be amazed at the power of the Internet to bring like-minded souls together. I hope that this will lead to a more unified, peaceful and friendlier world. People like Wim Huisjes have been part of the birth of this global community.
I once mentioned to Wim that I thought that Holland and its people seem to be a very sane and civilised place. He told me that if ever I brought my family over...
Rien Pranger wrote (February 1, 2000):
Although I never met Wim personally I am very sad that he died. I had to listen today to the final chorus in the St. Matthew Passion: "wir setzen uns mit Tranen nieder". I strongly believe that Wim is in a place now where Bach so often wrote about in his cantatas.
I wish Wim's family and friends well now and in the future. Wim, you surely will be missed!
Billy Kitson wrote (February 1, 2000):
Please add my name to the list for this? Wim was a "Gentleman par excellence" on these lists.
Richard Goodman wrote (February 2, 2000):
I would like to add my condolences to Wim's daughters. Several months ago, when certain Bach recordings became available in the Netherlands which were unavailable in the U.S., I e-mailed him, asking if he could help me get them. He responded graciously and in my one telephone conversation with him, it became clear that he was a very special person. How many other people would offer to go out of their way for a complete stranger? He is one person I truly wish I could have known personally.
Luis Villalba wrote (February 2, 2000):
It goes without saying that I also will sorely miss Wim's contribution. It difficult not to perceive his kindness through his messages.
Cor Knops wrote (February 2, 2000):
Hello friends, I have been reading a few messages about the passing away of our fellow-listmember Wim Huisjes the past few days. I didn't know Wim personally (just like most of you) but I had some off-list correspondence. Wim was indeed a gentleman, and a gentle man as well. When I missed one of the issues of the meanwhile "illustrious" Kruidvat-CD's he offered to fetch it from his local Kruidvat-store and send it to me...just because he was so excited about the music which was on it....
I have the following plan: as a little tribute to Wim (and as a collective condolence to his family) I would like to invite you to send me a message. The message can be anything; something about Wim, something about his or our admiration for Bach, or maybe something philosophical about the Internet (and how it can bring people together with the same interest). In fact anything that comes up in your mind is suitable. When I have all your messages I will assemble them into a book or a book-object with Bach, cantatas etc in my mind (as some of you might know I'm a book- and paper-restorer who makes an "artist-book" once in a while) and send it to Wim's relatives.
I think it might be a good idea to show his family that the Internet is not just a jumble of impersonal mechanical bit and bytes.
Here's the plan:
-Go to this (temporary) internet-page: http://www.xs4all.nl/~knops/wim.htm
-Fill in your full name (e-mail & home-address is not required)
-Unfold your thoughts
A few rules:
-Please join this; I need a minimum of 12 (no maximum) messages to construct something that looks like a book
-Your privacy is respected; none of the information will be used or published in any form but for making this (one-time-one-edition) project
-Please condense your thoughts a little (I have built in a maximum of 244 words (which is about the size of this message just until "Here's the plan" and "by accident" the BWV-number of...)
-I want to finish this book a.s.a.p. So there is a deadline. I think 3 days is enough to get this message through to most of you. So on this web-page a counter tell's you if you still can join this effort...
To clarify who I am (or to confuse) there is a quite long signature-file at the end of this message.
Hope you will join this.
Kirk McElhearn wrote (February 2, 2000):
Thanks, Cor, I think that is a beautiful idea.
Jane Newble wrote (February 2, 2000):
What a wonderful idea. I have sent something, and I hope it will comfort his family to know that there are quite a few people who will miss him. Wim knew that I was looking for a Bach bust, and he wandered around several places looking for one, because he enjoyed it, and enjoyed being helpful. Only a few days before his death he wrote that he would quite like one for himself as well, but that they were all so ugly. Now he doesn't need one anymore. Thank you for doing this, and I hope you get lots of responses for your book.
Jaime Jean wrote (February 3, 2000):
This is a great idea. Like many others in this list, I never met Wim personally but corresponded with him via e-mail for a while. Even more impressive than his deep knowledge of Bach's music - especially the religious works - was how eager he was to share with others what he had learned.
His passing is indeed very sad news.
Ehud Shiloni wrote (February 3, 2000):
Finally, about Wim: As one of the unschooled "civilians" on the List, I was always especially thankful for his generous contributions. It was heart-warming to realise, again and again, the willingness to share knowledge and analytic powers with people across the world, simply out of pure camaraderie. Wim Huisjes was high on my "formidable" list, and I will miss this special person. The first aria - "Ich Habe Genug" - will from now on for me be associated with Wim, the departed "virtual" friend. R.I.P.
Ryan Michero wrote (February 3, 2000):
Too bad Wim can't participate in this discussion, as I'm sure he would've had a lot to share.
F. Oreja wrote (February 3, 2000):
As for Wim. As so many of you, I had recently a little private interchange with him. I was impressed for his 'Aufmerksamkeit' (as I said to him), his good disposition and for his willingness for making researching efforts for me. The common fascination to Bach's music seemed to be for Wim enough reason for considering someone as belonging to the same universe and, yes, to the same family.
Aryeh Oron wrote (February 4, 2000):
If I was forced to remain with only one recording of BWV 82 (fortunately, I am not), it would be Hans Hotter. He brings tears to my eyes every time I am listening to him. The conductor and the oboe do also very fine job. And the memory of Wim even strengthens the sadness I feel while listening to this performance of 'Ich Habe Genug'.
< Ehud Shiloni wrote: Finally, about Wim: As one of the unschooled "civilians" on the List, I was always especially thankful for his generous contributions. It was heart-warming to realise, again and again, the willingness to share knowledge and analytic powers with people across the world, simply out of pure camaraderie. Wim Huisjes was high on my "formidable" list, and I will miss this special person. The first aria - "Ich Habe Genug" - will from now on for me be associated with Wim, the departed "virtual" friend. R.I.P. >
I feel the same.
Aryeh Oron wrote (February 4, 2000):
We all miss him a lot and his memory will always be connected to 'Ich Habe Genug'.
Josiah Armes wrote (February 5, 2000):
Indeed, he seems to have had quite a knowledge of Bach and the recordings that were going around. I indeed the list will be much less active due to his passing. I am sorry to hear of his passing.
Simon Crouch wrote (February 5, 2000):
Hi all, Been away for a few days and come back to find Wim gone. There's something about the Internet that seems to suggest the immortality of youth - but then the reality comes back to remind us of our limitations. I hope the words of cantata BWV 82 were true for him.
Jane Newble wrote (February 2, 2000):
When read about Wim on Monday-morning I was in tears, and I felt so sad all day. I played a lot of Bach, and also in the evening. JS is a great comforter, a good shoulder to cry on. Of course it is a lot worse for Wim's family. I too had never met him, but from when I was new on the list (last year), he was always so helpful and kind, and we soon started writing in Dutch. I do miss Holland a lot, and he was almost a sort of anchor. I was looking for a Bach bust, and he went to lots of flea-markets etc. looking for one for me. In his last e-mail, only 3 days before he died, he said that he would like one for himself as well, but that they were all so ugly. Now he doesn't need one anymore. I shall miss him very much, and from what you and others have said, I am not the only one.
Harry J. Steinman wrote (January 2, 2001):
Aryeh...I was going through some old photos and came across this one of Wim Huisjes, taken just before he died. I was travelling through Amsterdam and he made it a point to come down to meet me and we spent an afternoon together. Among other things, he uncomplainingly schlepped me all around Amsterdam till I could find some of the Brilliant Classics Bach compilations at the local Kruidvat stores.