What happens when a classical clarinetist, a representative of new music on the accordion and a jazz bassist join forces? The result is called Firasso – the three musicians of this post-genre group have developed an earthy, gripping musical language, passionate, dynamic and rich in contrasts. The trio presents sophisticated original compositions that draw on the musical vocabulary of the tango and klezmer tradition, Balkan music and French musette. This sounds sometimes fiery and blazing, sometimes refreshing like a downpour in summer, sometimes intense like a strong ristretto.
For the musicians of Firasso, music has a lot to do with life. They tell stories of a walk through the autumn leaves, of chewing gum stuck under the heel, of uncertainty and fear in Corona times. Life is everything: exciting, sad, angry, cheerful, if you set your antennas to receive…
Nietzsche’s idea of the “eternal return” inspired pianist and PhD philosopher Kilian Kemmer to write his new album “Und Zarathustra tanzte.” “I find the idea that I have to live this life, as I live and have lived it now, once again and countless times, extremely fascinating,” Kemmer says. “Who can say that with complete conviction?”
In musical aphorisms, the trio takes up various facets and motifs of the idea. The pieces are called, for example, the “Eternal Return”, “Shepherd” or “On Blissful Islands”. The trio also sets a poem by Nietzsche to music: “The Other Dance Song”. And what many do not know: Nietzsche himself sat at the piano and composed. Kemmer interprets his piece “Das Fragment an sich” in a short solo fragment in his very own way.
The verdict of a man who not only helped shape the history of jazz on and off the stage, but also made Michael Jackson the “King of Pop” as a producer, should be trusted: “This young woman doesn’t need to worry about her career. She is outstanding, and you will all hear from her in the future” – says Quincy Jones about Laura. What was still a prophecy for the then 21-year-old singer Laura Kipp in 2017, when the two met at the Stuttgart Jazz Open, is now confirmed. She presents her debut album “Quiet Land” under the signum LAURA with a combination of attributes: Youthful freshness meets amazing maturity, charisma meets understatement, the freedom and intellectuality of jazz meets the immediate emotional power of pop, soul and chanson.
Johannes Brahms already considered it “one of the most wonderful, incomprehensible pieces of music”; Yehudi Menuhin called it “the greatest structure for solo violin that exists”, his successor Joshua Bell even “not only one of the greatest pieces of music ever written, but one of the greatest achievements of a human being in history”. We are referring to Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Ciaccona,” the fifth movement of Partita No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004, which was probably added later – perhaps under the impression of the death of his first wife Maria Barbara in 1720. These 64 free variations on a bass theme – more commonly known by the French term “chaconne” and originally a Spanish dance – are not only almost as long as the other four movements combined. They above all established the rank of Bach’s cycle of six partitas and sonatas for solo violin as a pinnacle of violin literature, both technically and musically.
This is also how violinist Doris Orsan titled her new solo album “Ciaccona”, although of course she plays not only this movement, but the complete first two partitas by Bach. In the tradition of many great predecessors, her interpretation makes clear anew what makes Bach’s music so unique: his form is so perfect that it gives rise to an incomparable freedom; his musical thoughts are so fundamental, essential and timeless that they rise above styles and fashions and are completely absorbed in the individual expression of the one who plays them. “Bach’s music leads the performer to himself, to his own expression, which at the same time finds its universality in the music,” Orsan says. “In this sense, there is no one true Bach interpretation; his work welcomes all who set out to find it.”