Classic Meets Cuba

( 1 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - EJ Johnson
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...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - EJ Johnson
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.
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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/3/2004
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 827969309025
  • Catalog Number: 93090
  • Sales rank: 42,265

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Mambozart (after Mozart's Symphony No. 40) - Cuba Percussion (5:03)
  2. 2 Cuban Dance (after Brahms' Hungarian Dance No. 5) - Cuba Percussion (5:24)
  3. 3 Danzon de la Trucha (after Schubert's Trout Quintet) - Cuba Percussion (3:54)
  4. 4 Preludio (after Bach's Cello Suite No. 1, BWV 1007) - Cuba Percussion (1:58)
  5. 5 Afrolise (after Beethoven's Für Elise) - Cuba Percussion (4:53)
  6. 6 Air (after Bach's BWV 991 in C minor) - Cuba Percussion (5:48)
  7. 7 I - Cuba Percussion (3:20)
  8. 8 II - Cuba Percussion (5:05)
  9. 9 III - Cuba Percussion (3:38)
  10. 10 Salsa No. V (after Beethoven's Symphony No. 5) - Cuba Percussion (5:11)
  11. 11 Czardas (after Monti's Czardas for violin & piano) - Cuba Percussion (6:51)
  12. 12 Étude (after Chopin's Etude Op. 10/3) - Cuba Percussion (4:58)
  13. 13 Carmen Cubana (after Bizet's Carmen Suite No. 2, Habenera) - Cuba Percussion (3:33)
  14. 14 Flight of the Bumblebee (after Rimsky-Korsakov) - Cuba Percussion (1:49)
  15. 15 Guten Abend (after Brahms' Guten Abend, Gute Nacht) - Cuba Percussion (3:51)
  16. 16 Anthem (after J. Haydn's Emperor Quartet) - Cuba Percussion (5:06)
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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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Amazing amazing album!!!

    I definitely fell in love with this album. I happened to know this artist (Forster; the arranger) watching the movie "Hitch" (2005). I heard a background music arranged from Habanera in Carmen by Bizet, and desperately wanted to know where I could get that track. It was not on the soundtrack album so I had to google, imdb... and finally, I found this album. It was surely worth every sweat.

    You can see how intriguing and fascinating the piece was to me. Well, the entire album is as much amazing as the Habanera. As I put in my rating on this album, arrangement, performance, sound, swing... and the overall quality is just great! It is very defined, interesting, comfortable, yet danceable... so I am very pleased. I strongly recommend this album!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews