Passo Avanti – Finest Blend

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Sergey Didorenko violin
Alexander von Hagke clarinet, bass clarinet, flute and piccolo
Alex Jung guitar
Eugen Bazijan cello
special guest: Mario Korunic violin (5), viola (12)

Release Date: 25.09.2015

“Bach certainly would have loved Passo Avanti,” says BR Klassik (Bavarian public classical radio) and NDR (North German public radio) reports: “The quartet Passo Avanti renegotiates the musical parameters of existing pieces this results in an exciting mixture of classical music and jazz. The metamorphoses are humorous and brim with ideas. The joy of arranging and improvising is a key element, which immmediately infects the listeners.“

Passo Avanti brings classics to new life with tremendous joy and virtuosity; classics that were outrageously modern at their time. The so-called old masters, composers like Bach, Brahms and Verdi, were all musical pioneers, who loved to experiment and were open for new approaches. What kind of music would they make today? Passo Avanti lets us catch a glimpse of that. The quartet translates well-known works to a modern musical language and reshapes them without compromising their original spirit. On the contrary, the unique arrangements make the pieces as exciting as they were back then. In doing so, they never sound artificial or forced, but with inherent naturalness.

When playing, the four musicians createa vivid dialogue between the individual voices, that brings out wonderful new nuances of the originals – they shine with new splendour.

This splendour also reflects in the album title: it relates to the pieces, the musical styles and to the musicians. Finest Blend, yes indeed.

The Ensemble Finest Blend is the second album of the exciting quartet. Already Delikatessen (FM 181-2, 2013) was received with enthusiasm. Since its founding in 2011, the ensemble has been drawing wider and wider circles. The continuously growing tour plan covers festivals and concerts throughout Germany and beyond.

„Joy of beautiful tone- Passo Avanti excites the audience in the Emperor Hall with an emotional mixture of classical music and jazz. (…) Those four excellent musicians live, breathe- they are music. (…) One can hardly experience a more intense and emotional concert. The excited audience insisted on three encores, standing ovations included.“ – Concert review Kaisersaal Ottobeuren, Memminger Zeitung

„Besides all the curiosity and love for experiments, the arrangements from the quartet were very sensitive regarding musical styles. Subtle Playing and a love for details made the concert a sophisticated special treat for music lovers.“ – Concert review Zweibrücker Festhalle, Die Rheinpfalz
„The concert, which had been announced as a „new symbiosis of classical music and jazz“ turned out as an innovative evening of a very special kind: Passo Avanti (…) performed a magical music experience that opened up new horizons to the thrilled audience. They offered no superficial mix of styles or arbitrary combinations of bits and pieces from different periods, but a vital and loving synthesis, a new creation out of the equally mastered idioms from classical and jazz styles. The phenomenal blending of these different instruments should also be mentioned.“ – Concert review Bürgerhaus Gräfelfing, Münchner Merkur

About the Musicians

Sergey Didorenko (violin) studied at Moscow’s legendary Tchaikovsky Conservatory. He worked as a soloist with several chamber orchestras in Moscow before becoming Principal Violinist with the Russian Radio and Film Orchestra in 1996. Three years later he moved to Germany to study jazz violin at Munich’s University of Music. Besides international performances as a soloist in both classical and jazz styles, his greatest passion is philosophy.

Alexander von Hagke (clarinet) performs internationally with a great variety of top-notch emsembles (e.g. Martin Grubinger, Panzerballett), ranging from classical music to contemporary jazz. He released three CDs under his own name. Alexander studied music at New York’s City College and at the University of Music in Munich. In 2011 he received the Bavarian State Award for Music.

Alex Jung (guitar), who graduaded with honors from Munich’s Richard Strauss Conservatory, loves the music of Jim Hall and Kenny Burell. He released three CDs as a leader and teaches at the University of Music in Munich.

Eugen Bazijan (cello) went to a music school for highly talented children in his native country Ukraine. After moving to Germany, he studied classical cello at the Richard Strauss Conservatory with H.Cenariu and jazz with G. Hubner at the University of Music, both in Munich. He performed with internationally with many orchestras and chamber ensembles. As a jazz soloist, he played and recorded with stars like Abdullah Ibrahim and Guy Clayton.


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