Classic Meets Cuba

Classic Meets Cuba

5.0 1
by Klazz Brothers
     
 

Classical music and jazz don't always make the best of companions -- but not for lack of trying. From the Swingle Singers to the Jacques Loussier Trio to more up-to-date experimenters like Regina Carter, such style mixing has proved an irresistible but subtle alchemySee more details below

Overview

Classical music and jazz don't always make the best of companions -- but not for lack of trying. From the Swingle Singers to the Jacques Loussier Trio to more up-to-date experimenters like Regina Carter, such style mixing has proved an irresistible but subtle alchemy. Along come this varied bunch -- three German classical musicians collectively called the Klazz Brothers (though none of them is actually named Klazz) and a pair of Cuban rhythmic whizzes dubbed Cuba Percussion -- and show us how it's done on the enormously entertaining Classic Meets Cuba. The idea is simple: Take famous classical tunes and dress them up with Latin swing. But the result is inspired: Rather than seeking "to squeeze the old masters into a jazzy straight-jacket," as the liner notes observe, their music "breathes Swing, Latin, and joie de vivre without ever denying the classical roots." Take a listen to the opening "Mambozart" -- a toe-tappingly syncopated version of Mozart's 40th Symphony -- and you'll see what they mean. Brahms, Schubert, Bach, Beethoven (including his entire "Pathetique" Sonata), and other canonic names also come under their smiling gaze, with highlights including a graceful reworking of Chopin's beautiful E Major Etude and a delightfully off-kilter adaptation of tunes from Bizet's Carmen. The classics have never sounded so cool -- or fun. Hooked on these classics? Try piano maestro Chucho Valdés's Fantasia Cubana for more.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Chris Nickson
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 Pathétique," 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 "Étude, 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.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/03/2004
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0827969309025
catalogNumber:
93090
Rank:
45659

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Mambozart (after Mozart's Symphony No. 40)  -  Cuba Percussion
  2. Cuban Dance (after Brahms' Hungarian Dance No. 5)  -  Cuba Percussion
  3. Danzon de la Trucha (after Schubert's Trout Quintet)  -  Cuba Percussion
  4. Preludio (after Bach's Cello Suite No. 1, BWV 1007)  -  Cuba Percussion
  5. Afrolise (after Beethoven's Für Elise)  -  Cuba Percussion
  6. Air (after Bach's BWV 991 in C minor)  -  Cuba Percussion
  7. I  -  Cuba Percussion
  8. II  -  Cuba Percussion
  9. III  -  Cuba Percussion
  10. Salsa No. V (after Beethoven's Symphony No. 5)  -  Cuba Percussion
  11. Czardas (after Monti's Czardas for violin & piano)  -  Cuba Percussion
  12. Étude (after Chopin's Etude Op. 10/3)  -  Cuba Percussion
  13. Carmen Cubana (after Bizet's Carmen Suite No. 2, Habenera)  -  Cuba Percussion
  14. Flight of the Bumblebee (after Rimsky-Korsakov)  -  Cuba Percussion
  15. Guten Abend (after Brahms' Guten Abend, Gute Nacht)  -  Cuba Percussion
  16. Anthem (after J. Haydn's Emperor Quartet)  -  Cuba Percussion

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Klazz Brothers   Primary Artist,Ensemble
Kilian Forster   Bass,Group Member
Tobias Forster   Piano,Group Member
Tim Hahn   Drums,Group Member
Cuba Percussion   Track Performer,Percussion Ensemble

Technical Credits

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart   Composer
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov   Composer
Johann Sebastian Bach   Composer
Frédéric Chopin   Composer
Johannes Wohlleben   Engineer,Mastering,Engineering
Klazz Brothers   Contributor
Katharina Coen   Artwork
Kilian Forster   Arranger
Tobias Forster   Arranger
Tim Hahn   Arranger
Cuba Percussion   Contributor
Mathias Suess   Illustrations
Konzertagentur Grandmontagne   Producer

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