Thursday, November 11, 2010

Klazz Brothers & Cuba Percussion: Classic Meets Cuba (2004)

Well, it's certainly a novel idea: three German classical and jazz musicians collaborate with a pair of Cuban percussionist/vocalists to put the classics in a Cuban style. That's fine -- there's really no need to be precious about Beethoven, Mozart, et al. after all this time. And there's a certain kitsch value about the disc -- good for a bit of a laugh at parties. However, look past that and there's actually something good and remarkably skillful happening here. Brahms' Hungarian Dance becomes "Cuban Dance" quite convincingly, and Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 is reborn as "Salsa No. V," which may be taking things a bit too far over the top, but in a way that brings smiles instead of weariness. Bizet's Carmen Suite is a natural for this kind of adaptation, and "Carmen Cubana" works perfectly. The centerpiece, however, is the three movements of Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 8 "Pathetique," which become totally transformed by some staggering arranging into a Cuban epic, grand and romantic, and the quieter Bach Air, where subtlety is the key. "Flight of the Bumble Bee" features some truly virtuosic bass playing from Kilian Forster, while his pianist brother, Tobias, shows his delicacy of touch on the Chopin Etude, Op. 10, No. 3. But when front and center, every single person here is vital and creative. So come for the kitsch, and stay for the music. Cuba and the classics do make good bedfellows. ~ Chris Nickson, Rovi
01. Symphony No. 40 in G Minor
02.Hungarian Dance No. 5 in G Minor Allegro; Vivace
03.Quintet D 667 in A Major (Trout Quintet) for Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello and Double Bass Op. 114
04.Suite No.1 for Cello solo in G Major, Prelude (BWV 1007)
05.“Albumblatt fur Elise” in A Minor
06.Air BWV 991 in C Minor
07.Piano Sonata, No. 8 Op. 13 in C Minor (Pathetique)
08.Piano Sonata, No. 8 Op. 13 in C Minor (Pathetique)
09.Piano Sonata, No. 8 Op. 13 in C Minor (Pathetique)
10.Symphony No. 5 Op. 67 in C Minor (Destiny)
11.Czardas for Violin and Piano
12.Etude Op. 10 No. 3 in E Major (Tristesse)
13.Carmen – Suite II, No. 2 Habanera
14.Zar Saltan Op. 57 (1900) – Flight of the Bumble Bee
15.Guten Abend – Gute Nacht
16.String Quartet No. 77 in C Major Op. 76,3 – “Emperor” Quartet
Classic Meets Cuba
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