Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Christopher Willibald Gluck, Werner Ehrhardt, Concerto Koln|
Dream of the Orient
Genres: Special Interest, Pop, Classical
Listen to Samples
East Meets Wow!
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This CD may well be the thinking man's and woman's crossover disc of the year, especially since the crossing-over is not from kitsch to classical and then back again, as in most of these joint-venture kinds of albums. Here, instead, we have a natural (well, in 18th-century terms, at least) pairing of forces-the classical orchestra and the Turkish battery of percussion. They really did get together, of course, in Mozart's and Haydn's day, as evidenced by The "Abduction from a Seraglio" and the "Military Symphony." And the fascinating historical backgrounds supplied in the notes to this recording (written by Werner Ehrhardt of Concerto Koln and Vladimir Ivanoff of Sarband) tell us that those batteries would often have been manned by Turkish musicians who had originally been assigned to ensembles sent as gifts by sultans to the courts of Europe. Though the ensembles were disbanded, the musicians stayed on, finding employment with European orchestras. Thus half the disc features sets in which the Sarband percussion players join Concerto Koln for the music of Mozart, Gluck, Kraus, and Sussmayr. Lovers of so-called "Turkish" or "Janissary" music (of which I count myself one) may never hear these works with the same ears again. Not only do the Turkish instruments impart a special saltiness to the proceedings, but the freer, to-heck-with-the-bar-lines thinking of the Sarband players (read the notes for more about this) brings an extra military swagger to the proceedings that is unstoppable. The overture to the "Abduction" has never been this much of a thrill ride, and you'll probably wonder, too, why Gluck's "La Rencontre imprevue isn't a concert-hall sugarplum. Move over, "Russlan und Ludmilla"! In fact, Sarband comes close to breaking the bank in the development section of the first movement of Sussmayr's delightful "Turkish Symphony," where the feverish cross rhythms and syncopations make you think Charles Ives has unleashed one of his orchestral battles of the bands! But not to worry: Improvisation here meets sound classical principles, and if this performance is speculative, it is not wildly speculative, given the highbred nature of 18th-century "Turkish" orchestras. And the results are exciting!As the notes to the recording also suggest, East-West musical influences in the 18th century were mostly a one-way street, so when the Concerto Koln players sit in with Sarband for sets of traditional Turkish music, we may be on more iffy ground interpretively, but to the untutored at least, the results are beguiling. One of the most enlightening features of the recording is the interpolation of traditional Turkish music with excerpts from Joseph Martin Kraus's Turkish opera "Soliman II." Here we get real Janissary music juxtaposed with Kraus's take on such music, real dervishes cheek-by-jowl with operatic dervishes. Fascinating. I certainly hope Concerto Koln and Sarband don't stop here."
Nobody's business but the Turks
Kevin Freeman | Pacifica, CA United States | 02/13/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Light-hearted and profound, this represents the best of the "what if?" concept compilations, taking "Eastern"-influenced 18th century European music and putting the Turkish instruments and musicians right back into the mix. As often happens in such cases, the synthesis is greater than the sum of its parts, and the result is a "Big Band Baroque" sound that will have you up on your feet and doing dervishlike spins around the living room in no time.Also, this album offers another view of the "musical alchemy" powers of Concerto Koln. If these fine folks can thrust Dall'abaco back into the spotlight after centuries of obscurity, there is no telling what other feats they may be able to pull off in the years ahead."
Punch, precision and panache
finem lauda | 07/08/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Dream of the Orient is a wonderful album that explores 18th century Europe's concept of Turkish music and the real thing. It combines the talents of Concerto Koln - THE period instrument band (remember Rene Jacobs' Cosi fan tutte?) and the neat little Turkish ensemble Sarband. What is amazing is hearing the two together on certain tracks, which is rather daring since we are combining East and West, jazzy cadences with precision and punch, but it all comes off with a certain panache. My fav is the perfect rendering of Mozart's Overture to Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail. It is incredible. That take properly displays the power and touch of Mozart's awesome entrance. This is a marvelous CD."