As a trumpet player, composer, arranger and conductor, Gast Waltzing started 2023 with numerous concerts and artistic encounters that show the diversity of his projects and musical interests: a collaboration with the jazz musician Kyle Eastwood, a new CD release with Myles Sanko and the Orchestre philharmonique du Luxembourg, concerts worldwide with his long-standing artistic partner Angélique Kidjo, but also Shiho, the mythical band Alphaville, as well as Morgane Ji. All these international collaborations, that Gast Waltzing had with many other musicians such as Gregory Porter, Dionne Warwick, were all steps that paved the way to a Grammy Award winning in 2016.
Gast Waltzing was indeed awarded this outstanding distinction with Angélique Kidjo in 2016 for the album “Sings” recorded with the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg (429 Records). This project started years before, when the conductor suggested the Beninese singer to arrange her most successful tracks for symphonic orchestra. A crazy project, according to Kidjo, which won over the audience and is still filling concert halls today. The duo has just returned from a series of concerts in the south of France with the Orchestre national Avignon-Provence in January, and then in Tromsø and Bodø (NO) with the Arctic Philharmonic Orchestra in February, showing how this project has managed to conquer the whole of Europe.
This collaboration with Angélique Kidjo, coupled with the Grammy, allowed Gast Waltzing to gain a certain notoriety and to be increasingly identified as a conductor of his own arrangements and compositions. This is how the project “Eastwood Symphonic” was able to grow. Developed with the renowned jazz bassist Kyle Eastwood, it is described as a “musical road-movie” giving a tribute to the music scores of Clint Eastwood’s best movies, orchestrated by Gast Waltzing. “Eastwood Symphonic” premiered at the Nancy Jazz Pulsation festival in 2022, and will start its tour in May with the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra (NO), the Czech national Symphony Orchestra (CZ), the Orchestre philharmonique du Luxembourg (LU), the Orchestre régional de Normandie (FR), and the Orchestre national d’Avignon-Provence (FR). Many other concerts are to be announced soon.
Gast Waltzing also reinforces his identification as conductor and orchestrator through an upcoming release on which he contributed under both hats: the singer Myles Sanko is indeed to publish a recording of his concert with the Orchestre philharmonique du Luxembourg in 2020.
Beyond the international collaborations and the Grammy Award, which he considers more as a “facilitator” than as an end in itself, Gast Waltzing’s great strength undoubtedly lies in his openness and his involvement in projects with diverse musical aesthetics. He will for instance conduct the German Film Orchestra Babelsberg with the German band Alphaville, who celebrate their 40th anniversary and look back on their greatest hits, for a tour across Germany and Switzerland. On the jazz side, 2023 will punctuated by concerts with the singer Morgane Ji, and the development of the project “Peace, Drugs and Love” with the violinist Jean-Jacques Mailliet and the contemporary music ensemble United Instruments of Lucilin.
All this eclectism reveals Gast Waltzing’s willingness to differentiate, something he considers a pillar of his career, and which he intends to cultivate for the projects he is developing for the years to come.
05.05: Eastwood Symphonic, Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, Stavanger, Norway
17.05: Eastwood Symphonic, Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra, Luxembourg, Luxembourg
20.05: Eastwood Symphonic, Orchestre Régional de Normandie, Coutances, France
27.05: German Film Orchestra Babelsberg & Alphaville, Konzerthaus, Freiburg, Germany
28.05: German Film Orchestra Babelsberg & Alphaville, Liederhalle, Stuttgart, Germany
29.05: German Film Orchestra Babelsberg & Alphaville, KKL, Luzern, Switzerland
16.06: German Film Orchestra Babelsberg & Alphaville, Isarphilharmonie, München, Germany
17.06: German Film Orchestra Babelsberg & Alphaville, Meistersinghalle, Nürnberg, Germany
21.06: Eastwood Symphonic, Czech national symphony orchestra, Prague, Czech Republic
08.07: Eastwood Symphonic, Umbria Jazz festival, Umbria, Italy
15.07: Eastwood Symphonic, Orchestre de Cannes, Cannes, France
18.07: Eastwood Symphonic, Orchestre d’Avignon-Provence, Avignon, France
19.10: German Film Orchestra Babelsberg & Alphaville, Laeiszhalle, Hamburg, Germany
06.11: German Film Orchestra Babelsberg & Alphaville, Tonhalle, Düsseldorf, Germany
13.11: German Film Orchestra Babelsberg & Alphaville, Laeiszhalle, Hamburg, Germany
14.11: German Film Orchestra Babelsberg & Alphaville, Theater am Aegi, Hannover, Germany
04.12: German Film Orchestra Babelsberg & Alphaville, Philharmonie, Essen, Germany
Bach Stage, Francesco Tristano and Leo Margue (Scala Music)
Release on March 3rd, 2023 on Scala Music.
“He used to play Bach concertos standing, with energy and vivacity! With this album, pianist Francesco Tristano shakes all our habits. Have we ever listened to these concertos with such an obsessive rhythmic, with 2022-composed cadences, and with such a young and committed ensemble? Without disavowing the interpretations from the past, it is a real slap in the face that awakens our vision of the cantor’s work.”
Johann Sebastian Bach, Concerto No. 1 in D minor BWV 1052
Johann Sebastian Bach, Concerto No. 4 in A major BWV 1055
Johann Sebastian Bach, Concerto No. 7 in G minor BWV 1058
Source: Scala Music
The Aquatic Museum, Claire Parsons & Laurent Peckels – Global Project Grant laureate 2022
Upcoming singles to come. Stay tuned.
A genre-breaking project, The Aquatic Museum skilfully combines the colour palettes of jazz harmony, the delicacy of a chamber ensemble, and the energy of a pop band. Carefully crafted compositions take us on a journey that reinvents the sound of pop delicately weaving moving lyrics with a spectrum falling between the poles of minimalism, the epic, and everything in between. This is chamber pop.
The collective – founded by singer-songwriter Claire Parsons (UK/LU), musician and app developer Laurent Peckels (LU) and in praise of folly violist Nicole Miller (US) – extends beyond European borders bringing together an arsenal of individually accomplished musicians and multimedia artists to bring the album, live concept and app to life striven by the determination to go beyond conventional ways of creating, releasing and performing music.
First single Large Pleasure Watercraft and Trash Tub are available on all platforms. To watch the videoclips directed by Jeanne Held, click here.
Source: The Aquatic Museum
Prismatica, Pascal Schumacher & Goldmund Quartet
Vinyl release on March 31, 2023 under Berlin Classics
“Last summer, I took some time to imagine how to translate the reflections and the different faces of a prism after a commission for string quartet by Goldmund Quartet cellist Raphael Paratore. It was quite a challenge. My new composition “Prismatica” comes as a result of these explorations, and is available on all streaming platforms. In spring, a physical release on vinyl is planned under Berlin Classics.”
Source: Pascal Schumacher
CTRL Variations, Pascal Schumacher, Michel Welfringer, Ian Monk & United Instruments of Lucilin
Vinyl release on April 28th, 2023. More info on the release concert here.
“Is it a love story? Undoubtedly. Is it a play about the strange relationship between people and their computers? Likewise (after all, among other things, quite a few annoying spam mails are given musical honours in it). Is it experimental literature? Certainly, at least in part, because one of the actors from the Oulipo circle of authors around Raymond Queneau and Georges Perec is involved in it. Is it film music for an abstract film with letters instead of actors? In a way, that too (as Pascal Schumacher says? “Film music is cooler to write than other music anyway.”).
When jazz musician and composer Pascal Schumacher, typographer Michel Welfringer and writer Ian Monk join forces to write variations on CTRL (control? the control key? the sounds C, T, R and L? the letters?) for the ensemble United Instruments of Lucilin, a kind of controlled loss of control is preprogrammed.”
Source: United Instruments of Lucilin for 33,7
Coming home, Mathieu Clément
Release on March 24th, 2023, Double Moon Records (Challenge Records) in the series JazzThing Next Generation.
In February 2022, the young drummer Mathieu Clément recorded his first album Coming Home, to be released on March 24th 2023 under Double Moon Records (Challenge Records) in the Jazz Thing Next Generation Series. The music he writes, which can be described as straight ahead/modern jazz, reminds of the compositions of Joe Henderson, Wayne Shorter or Thelonious Monk. A first tour (16-28 March) will bring him to Cologne, Luxembourg, Mainz, Dresden, Leipzig, Nürnberg, Vienna and Salzburg.
Source: Mathieu Clément
Mozart : Piano Sonatas Vol. 4, Jean Muller
Release on March 3rd on Hänssler Classic.
Jean Muller just published the fourth volume of Mozart’s complete piano sonatas, after the publication of the first three albums, which were widely praised by the press. This new album makes us discover sonatas no. 7, 13, and 15, and “place the pianist in the first rank of important Mozart interpreters” (Pizzicato.lu)
The production HEAR EYES MOVE. Dances with Ligeti by Elisabeth Schilling will be presented as part of the Festival ” On (y) danse aussi l’été ! “, at the invitation of Isabelle Martin-Bridot, director of Les Hivernales – CDCN d’Avignon and with the support of Kultur | lx, the TROIS C-L – Centre de Création Chorégraphique Luxembourgeois and the Ministry of Culture. This programme completes the Luxembourg selection for the 2023 Avignon Festival OFF.
Created in 2020, HEAR EYES MOVE. Dances with Ligeti choreographically interpretes all 18 Etudes pour Piano by renowned composer György Ligeti, which is unprecedented to date. Devised for 5 dancers and accompanied live on piano by Cathy Krier (ECHO Rising Star), HEAR EYES MOVE. Dances with Ligeti is envisioned as a dance-concert concert-dance full of captivating multi-sensorial imagery.
On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Ligeti’s death in 2023, the show will resume its international broadcast, and will be performed on the Hivernales stage from Sunday 9 to Wednesday 19 July in a version adapted to the conditions of the Festival, notably with an audio recording by Cathy Krier whose piano cannot be accommodated on the Hivernales stage.
Have ever two forms of art entered a closer and more intricate relationship than music and dance? But how does music actually move? How does dance sound? And where do these sounds and movements meet, once they are liberated from their purported duty to mimic or mirror, to illustrate, to produce an atmosphere, to provide a backdrop, or even to merely coexist, in neat separation?
The Hungarian composer György Ligeti said of his virtuosic Études pour piano that in the process of composition “tactile concepts were almost as important as acoustic ones”. The movements and developments of music, in other words, are not merely a matter of hearing but of sensation, they come to be felt “as a tactile form, as a succession of muscle tensions”. Through these forms and successions, Ligeti’s pieces thus behave like “growing organisms”, and it is following this line of thought that the choreographer Elisabeth Schilling has created an unprecedented take to choreographically interpret those Etudes pour piano. Treating dance and music as contiguous forms that grow alongside and into each other, Elisabeth has produced, together with five dancers and the pianist Cathy Krier, a dance-concert and a concert-dance full of captivating multi-sensorial imagery.
Elisabeth Schilling is a dancer and choreographer. In close collaboration with an international team and across various collaborations, she develops transdisciplinary projects between movement, design, visual arts and music, making the disciplines dance among themselves and with each other.
We have thus tasked ourselves with making contemporary dance happen in established dance spaces as well as in unusual places. Accordingly, our productions tour European metropolises as well as more rural areas, black box theaters as well as museums, galleries, concert halls, historic buildings and public spaces. Dance is thus, almost in passing, rendered accessible to a new public.
At the same time, an important part of our work consists in different formats of creative learning, audience engagement and development. For each production, we develop an accompanying framing programme for various audiences, ranging from specifically devised post-performance discussions with the audience to accompanying workshops, symposia and catalogues.
The year 2023 starts with a couple of releases in classical/contemporary music and jazz!
Naama Liany – Daydream (Origin Records)
Liany’s new album, Daydream, is a stunning example, bringing together works on the subject of dreams by Samuel Barber, Leonard Bernstein, Federico Mompou and Albena Petrovic. The album was developed with the support of the prestigious Philharmonie Luxembourg and recorded at their magnificent facilities with the help of an award from the country’s Ministry of Culture. Dreaming is an apt subject for Liany, whose parents recall her waking up at the age of four and recalling a dream where she sang in front of a crowd of joyful listeners. The repertoire is comprised of hand-picked, rarely performed pieces by 20th which are tied into one unifying theme. The repertoire speaks of the experiences one may go through the night, through dreams, and at dawn. The solitude of night resembles the solitude that was forced on the musicians, without their audiences. From this solitude came the great motivation of creating this exciting program. Some of the pieces are not always the easiest to digest musically and are challenging harmonically, lyrically, and conceptually, just like any other 20th-century art. However, it is Liany’s goal and knowledge from previous programs, to make it accessible and relevant to the broad public. Musically speaking, the repertoire presents clear playful melodies which are accompanied by somehow awkward, dissonant-colored piano chords. This constant dissonance is similar to dreams where the plot might make sense to the dreamer, but with displaced backgrounds and situations.
Release date: 13 January 2023
Source: Naama Liany
supported by Kultur | lx – promotion support
Raíz, Triana y Luca
Merging melancholic melodies inspired by folkloric music, Raíz is Triana y Luca’s first single original single from their upcoming debut EP. With powerful vocals, sublime guitar, and the accompaniment of a string ensemble, Raíz is a forceful yet delicate composition which tells of a compelling story on migration. Bringing listeners on a journey of blended cultural sonority, Raíz is intimate and emotive.
Raíz was composed by the duo with a string arrangement by Latin Grammy award winning arranger Gustavo Jaramillo Pimentel. Recorded at Tritone Studios (LU) and produced by Mike Butcher (producer of Black Sabbath, Rod Stewart, Jaco Pastorius), it is part of their 5 song debut EP which is set to be released in June 2023.
Release date: 13 January 2023
Phase O, Phase O (Badass Yogi Productions)
Recorded during the summer-heatwave of 2018 “Phase 0” is the result of a few sessions of improvised music at Rameldange’s famous “Ricording Studios”. Gathering musicians from different musical worlds the music on this album is a real journey, going from mysterious atmospheres over free-jazz to stoner rock.
Dedicated to the memory of Itaru Oki and Steve Kaspar who were masters of free-jazz and soundcollages themselves, this album is almost alchemistic in its trying to establish music within utter chaos.”
Release date: 29 November 2022
Renata van der Vyver , Viola
Pichel Pilz, Bass clarinet
Paul Gehl, Guitar
Vedran Mùtic, Bass
Benoît Martiny, Drums
Rico Querin, Soundcontrols
Auke Triesschijn, Coverdesign
Rico Querin, Mix and Mastering
12Also in 2022, classical music and jazz from Luxembourg made its way into the international press. Here are some impressions.
Maxime Bender Universal Sky, Fall & Rise, CamJazz
“At a time where self-written compositions are more a norm than a exception, the pieces distinguish themselves by their ability to not place the writing process at the forefront, but rather to convey a strong and accessible musical message. “Universal Sky” weaves an interlacing of sound colors going from intangible and air echoes with pure energy and jerky rythms, creating a perfect contrast between the four instruments. Maxime Bender turns out to be a goldmine of inspiration, sound and idea” – Fränkische Zeitung
“(…) so many references-reverences that only strengthen this dreamy odyssea, simoultaneously melancolic and solar”– Jazz Magazine
Zala & Val Kravos, Piano Duet, Ars Productions
“a beautiful and lively CD, full of vitality” – Rodolphe Bruneau-Boulmier, En pistes!, France Musique
“A brother and a sister, both pianists, present Piano Duet, a great record. Mozart and Schubert hold the most prominent position, but you can also discover Françoise Choveaux’s Fantaisies. These two rascals deserve an attentive ear!” – Frédérick Casadesus, Le Club de Mediapart
“With the duo Zala and Val Kravos, a double star has emerged that will continue to shine for a long time to come. This young duo has great potential, as their debut CD proves.” – klassiekcentral.be
Francesco Tristano, on early music, Sony
“For the most part of the album, the percussive is very much in the foreground, the groove and the rhythmic component that Francesco Tristano particularly appreciates in early music.”– Rainer Baumgärtner , rbbkultur
“The Juillard School-trained pianist presents the early music solidly: in the nimble fugue-like movements (Prélude from Bach’s English Suite No. 2 in A minor), the voices mesh like the cogs in clockwork.” – Thorsten Preuβ, BR Klassik
Sascha Ley, In Between, Jazzhaus Musik
“[Sascha Ley] creates a world with its own parameters, based primarily on reduction and pure accuracy of expression. “In Between” : One indeed lands in an in-between realm. It is an exciting place.” – Susanne Müller, Jazz Podium
“With her musical concept, Sascha Ley seems to me to be a personality who stands somewhat apart from the so-called jazz scene and is very interesting not only for that reason.” – Jazzfun.de
Pascal Schumacher, LUNA, Neue Meister
“Luna” is even more contemplative and tender, also because Schumacher used softer mallets than usual. The Luxembourger layers with great sensitivity vibraphone, synth surfaces and reduced beats, sometimes reminiscent of ambient pioneers such as Cluster” – Jan Paersch, JazzThing
Sabine Weyer & Dimitri Maslennikov, Brahms Connection, Quartz
“One of the very best albums for cello and piano that I’ve ever heard in four decades as a reviewer.” – Phil’s Classical Reviews
“Overall, despite many individual differences in detail, Dimitri Maslennikov and Sabine Weyer convincingly establish a common viewing height between these deeply romantic masterpieces” – Stefan Pieper, Orchester Graben
Gilles Grethen, State of mind, Double Moon
“An album filled with lyrical images, with beautiful and clear guitar and trumpet solos.” – Jazzfun.de
Albena Petrovic, Dreamlover
“There are beautiful things in this score by Albena Petrovic” – En Pistes contemporain!, France Musique
Zala & Val Kravos Piano Duet
This album follows Zala Kravos’ first album, recorded in 2017. This new project is based on the long-term collaboration between Zala Kravos and her brother Val as a piano duet. Since their youngest age, both pianists regularly perform together, also on the international scale. This album features a wide range of repertoires that reveal the technical and performing qualities of the duo, notably through Schubert’s Fantasia in F Minor, considered as a monument in the field of four-hands piano repertoire. The album ends with a contemporary piece by the French composer Françoise Choveaux, showing the taste of Zala and Val for the unexpected and the experimentation.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Sonata in D Minor KV 381 (123a)
Franz Schubert, Fantasia in F Minor D 940
Georges Bizet, Children’s Games Op. 22
Françoise Choveaux, Poem Op. 269
Available on Ars Production in November. Physical release on November 4th, Digital release on November 18th.
Daniel Migliosi : Left on scene – newcomer jazz
Daniel Migliosi, a trumpet player from Luxembourg’s new generation of jazz, will release his first album Left on scene, recorded with musicians he met during his studies in Cologne and which pays tribute to the hard-bop tradition: “The musicans who took part in this album are friends, Daniel explains “In 2020 we were still able to do a lot together despite Corona. We jammed, hung out a lot and got to know each other really well.”. The result of this artistic friendship is an album that includes some hidden pop elements. Indeed, what matters to Daniel is to attract the attention of jazz amateurs, but also those who might not be familiar with this type of music.
Release on November 4th on Mons Records.
As part of its mission to disseminate and promote the Luxembourgish creation, Kultur | lx – Arts Council Luxembourg was delighted to welcome a delegation of professionals from Germany, Switzerland, France, Hungary, Belgium, as well as the Netherlands on the occasion of a Focus dedicated to contemporary music.
These two days took place during the Festival 33,7, that was organised by the Kulturfabrik and United Instruments of Lucilin on last September 16th and 17th in the frame of Esch2022. During 2022 minutes of music, the musicians and performers involved in the project celebrated musically the European Capital of Culture, as well as its population.
It also was possible to discover works from Lucilin’s repertoire by Luxembourgish composers such as Claude Lenners, Marcel Reuter, Catherine Kontz, Alexander Müllenbach. Lucilin also commissioned numerous works to Luxembourg artists Tatsiana Zelianko, Camile Kerger, Roland Wiltgen, Gast Waltzing (Grammy Award winning composer), Nigji Sanges and Francesco Tristano. Last but not least, works by Albena Petrovic, Pascal Schumacher, Roby Steinmetzer and Marco Pütz were featured by the Ensemble. These works were performed along with those of Philippe Manoury, François Sarhan (FR), Fausto Romitelli (IT), Igor Silva (PT), and so many others, in order to form an extensive cartography of the population of Esch-sur-Alzette.
Kultur | lx organised a speedmeeting session, a central moment of the Focus enabeling Luxembourgish composers and musicians to meet the international delegation. This connection opportunity, as part of Kultur | lx’s networking missions, led to great exchanges that will certainly open opportunities for Luxembourg artists in the future.
These meeting made great sense as Kultur | lx took also advantage of the Focus to announce its entry in the Impuls neue Musik Fund from 2023. Luxembourg will therefore join France, Germany, and Switzerland, as an Impuls member.
Get to know Impuls neue Musik.
On Tuesday September 7th, Luxembourg cellist Benjamin Kruithof won the first prize at the Enescu International Competition, Bucarest, after performing Dvořák’s Cello Concerto op. 104 with George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Tito Muñoz.
This distinction will allow Benjamin Kruithof to perform at the George Enescu International Festival in 2023 and 2024, a major event for classical music in Europe.
About The George Enescu International Competition
The George Enescu International Competition serves as an international launching platform for future world-renowned musicians and aims to promote the compositions of the great Romanian musician among the new generation of artists around the world. It is thus a natural extension of the George Enescu International Festival, the most prestigious cultural event organized in Romania. The Competition has four sections – violin, cello, piano and composition – and ranks in top five worldwide in the landscape of classical music competitions.
About Benjamin Kruithof
Benjamin Kruithof (Luxembourg) began studying the cello at the age of 5 at the Conservatoire du Nord, with Raju Vidali. He currently is a student at the University of Arts in Berlin. Benjamin Kruithof performed with the Luxembourg Chamber Orchestra, the Herford Philharmonic, Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra, in concert halls such as Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Gasteig München, Kings Place in London, Cortot Hall in Paris. In February 2020 he recorded his first CD Russian Mood with the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie under the baton of Conrad van Alphen, which was praised in the press. In 2022, he was invited to attend the Seiji Ozawa Academy in Switzerland.
Maxime Bender « Universal Sky » – Fall & Rise (CamJazz)
Mixing contemporary post-bop with elements of soul-jazz (and a totally unexpected cover of a Bruce Springsteen tune), Maxime Bender’s Universal Sky make unashamedly contemporary music that majors on melody and flow. Individual, but recalling Wayne Shorter, the leader’s tenor and soprano saxophone works over beds of guitar, organ and drums that stay harmonically open, mobile and always graceful. In a period where self-written music is the norm rather than an exception, these tracks stand out in not drawing overdue attention to the writing process, preferring to deliver a strong, accessible musical message.
Under the supervision of music producer Ermanno Basso, Fall & Rise was recorded in September 2021 by Charles Stoltz at Holtz Sound Studio in Tuntange, Luxembourg, mixed in March 2022 by Stefano Amerio at Artesuono Recording Studio in Cavalicco (UD), Italy, and mastered by Danilo Rossi.
Release on September 16th 2022
Maxime Bender, tenor & soprano saxophone
Manu Codjia, guitar
Jean-Yves Jung, organ & piano
Jérôme Klein, drums
Source: Brian Morton, CamJazz
Maxime Bender was supported by Kultur | lx – promotion support
Gilles Grethen Quartet – State of mind (Double Moon Records/Challenge Records)
The sophomore album State of Mind of the quartet around guitarist and composer Gilles Grethen further develops the band’s sound situated between traditional and modern jazz. This time however, the 4 musicians are joined by 11 strings, which results in a constant dialogue: between the quartet and the string orchestra; between swing, modern jazz inspired by Mark Turner or Kurt Rosenwinkel, and experimental soundscapes; between composed parts and free improvisation. But Grethen not only explores new sounds in his compositions, but also – from contemplation to delirium and delusion to transcendental experiences – different states of mind.
The pairing of the quartet with an orchestra is the logical next step in Gilles Grethen’s artistic work, which focuses on composition and arrangement for a wide variety of ensembles, from jazz duos and big bands to symphonic orchestras and film music.
Release on October 21st 2022
Source: Stephanie Baustert Management
Gilles Grethen Quartet was supported by Kultur | lx – promotion support
Alena Baeva – Wieniawski, Dobrzynsky & Kurpinski: Orchestral Works (NIFC)
On the occasion of the Chopin and His Europe Festival in Warsaw on August 28th 2019, the Orchestra of the Eighteen’s Century and violinist Alena Baeva performed Wienawski Violin Concerto No. 2 in D minor under the baton of Jose Maria Florenci. The performance, that was actually recorded, has just been released on Fryderyk Chopin’s Institute label NIFC. Already praised, BBC Music Magazine named it “Recording of the month”.
“This [recording] was one of the most memorable experiences of my life”, Alena Baeva says, who had to adapt her musical technique to perform the Concerto. Discover all the details on the recording here.
“The sheer musical brilliance of Alena Baeva’s collaboration with the Orchestra of the 18th Century under the baton of José Maria Florêncio makes their performance of the [Wieniawski] Violin Concerto No. 2 in D minor essential listening.” – BBC Music Magazine
New Talent : Veda Bartringer – The Butterfly Effect
The result of Veda Bartringer’s personal research, the Veda Bartringer Quartet was born in 2021. After her jazz studies at the Conservatoire de Bruxelles, she gathered all the ideas she nurtured during this time in her self-written compositions. Thanks to her knowledge of classical and jazz guitar, lyrical chant and piano, she seeks to include her numerous points of view in her tracks and to play with these different elements. Veda plays a contemporary jazz featured by a strong feminine sensitivity, still not so well represented in this music style. Musicians Julien Cuvelier, Boris Schmidt and Maxime Magotteaux joined her in this sound journey and have been helping Veda to enter more deeply in these different worlds.
For her first EP called The Butterfly Effect, the musician took her impressions on the nature as a basis to create sound images out of them. As the guitarist grew up in a little town near the forest, she always felt a strong connection to the environment. The principal motive of the record is the image of the butterfly, which represents renewal and inspiration.
The quartet will present its EP on September 2022 at neimënster.
Sascha Ley, In Between (JazzHausMusik)
Way beyond her home country Luxembourgian vocalist and performer Sascha Ley is well-known for her original and undogmatic projects. As a renowned actress, multilingual singer, poet and improviser, she treads her musical paths in the field of jazz, free improvisation, imaginary folklore and contemporary music light-footedly and far away from any mainstream conventionality.
Sascha Ley describes the musical structure of her first solo album for JHM, “In Between”, as follows: “Here, using sonorous and textual collages in the manner of a personal notebook, I deal with present and nostalgia, dreams and wishes, free spaces and finiteness, intuition and change.” Her distinctive sound coloring enables Sascha Ley to present an immense vocal bandwidth in a multitude of sound variations: voice and small instrumentation being sometimes theatrical, sometimes minimalistic, always searching for musical and condensing solutions in the realm of experience; things between lines and times, beginning and end, of life and experience, emotions, intellect and opposites which allow to live, experience and grow.
Sascha Ley is not only a stupendous vocalist but also produces dreamlike, suggestive soundscapes within her sound experiments as an instrumentalist, performer and interpreter of extraordinary texts. The use of extended vocal and instrumental techniques, as well as her amazing narrative artistry, leavethe listener simply amazed at some points on “In Between”. She invited French musician Jean Pascal Boffo as a guest on some tracks; in his studio Amper he supervised the recordings and edited the improvised vocals live.
Sascha Ley has trained with Shelley Hirsch, Meredith Monk and Sainkho Namtchylak. Other current projects include her duo with double bassist Laurent Payfert (JHM 267) and collaborations with Georg Ruby, both as a duo and with his project VILLAGE ZONE (JHM 279).
CD release concert on October 9th at neimënster Abbey. (More information here)
Francesco Tristano is the laureate of the OPUS KLASSIK award in the category “Classic without limits” with his album on early music.
On Early Music is not merely a fitting homage to this repertoire; the works are given a fresh, contemporary twist thanks to Tristano’s production skills, studio mastery, and keen eye for detail. All the works featured are tonally and melodically complimentary, and while some have been faithfully reproduced, others have been extensively reworked and reinterpreted. “Early music has a reparative power, like a sunrise, and these works give me that uplifting feeling,” he says, “There’s something really primitive about them, but something rejuvenating too.” For Tristano, this repertoire remains as joyful and inspiring as when it was composed over 500 years ago; On Early Music proves it’s also thoroughly deserving of a contemporary audience.
Francesco Tristano is the laureate of the Global Project Grant 2022 (classical/contemporary music) with his project on early music.
About the OPUS KLASSIK Award
The OPUS KLASSIK is the prize for classical music in Germany. The promotion of classical music and in particular the awarding of prizes to the artists of this field is the aim of the Verein zur Förderung der Klassischen Musik e. V. (Foundation for the support of classical music), which shelters the prize. This year, up to 45 winners in 27 categories are awarded by a specialist jury, whose members are representatives from the music and media industry.
In 2022, many Luxembourgish musicians were nominated in some of the OPUS KLASSIK award categories.
Composer of the year:
Albena Petrovic – Dreamlover¨
Young Talent of the year – instrument:
Solo recording of the year:
Cathy Krier – György Ligeti, Etudes pour piano
Benjamin Kruihof – Russian Mood
Romain Nosbaum – Reflections
Francesco Tristano – on early music
Benjamin Kruithof/Conrad van Alphen, Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie, Russian Mood
Classic without limits:
Francesco Tristano – on early music
Francesco Tristano – Toccata
Pascal Schumacher – LUNA
Joan Marti Frasquier / Kebyart Ensemble – Dreamlover – Albena Petrovic : music for saxophone