Four musicians with successful solo and ensemble careers in the field of the classical music decide in the fall of 2005 to present a concert far off the beaten path of a typical concert program. The concert is intended to reflect the tastes of the individual members of the ensemble, and showcase the joy they feel in playing their instruments. Piano, harp, vibraphone and double bass combine classical roots with elements of jazz into an exitingly different new sound.
The Blue Chamber Quartet blue notes and chamber music of the 20th century melt into a highly virtuoso and varied mixture. The traditional mixes with the unknown - familiar sounds blend with the exotic.The Blue Chamber Quartet takes the listener on a journey of discovery through a surprising world of seemingly familiar works. The four musicians prove once again, that it is possible to combine classical music with jazz, because the have found the right bridge between the two genres.
Stockfisch-Shop Please note: There are still some parts to be translated into English.
Blue Chamber Quartet
- music for piano, harp, vibraphone & double bass.
They should be simple and beautiful – that’s what Chick Corea wrote about his 20 Children’s Songs; the reason being that just this very simplicity and beauty of children‘s minds was what he wanted to express in his musical miniatures.
It was in the early seventies when jazz piano virtuoso and composer Chick Corea started to work on those precious pieces and it took as long as 1984 for the Children’s Songs to be published. Later Chick Corea commented on his work that each melody was singular and it was for everybody to receive these beautiful little works of art, try them and appreciate them.
It was with joy that Blue Chamber Quartet did like Chick Corea told us. They were fascinated by these poetic musical mircrocosms Chick Corea has created. It was only two years they needed to make their vision reality and record all of the Children’s Songs and have Thomas Schindl transform the arrangements in the artistic concept of Blue Chamber Quartet. Again music "that deliberately blurred distinctions between classical and jazz."
"The arrangements are subtle and tasteful in expanding the simple but lovely melodies of each of the songs into quartet or quintet form." John Sunier: www.audaud.com
Super-Audio-CD Hybrid: SACD Stereo + 5.1 Surround + CD-Layer
SFR 357.4067.2 • total time 43:26
This recording was accompanied by the thought of adding words to the music in order to let the children – whose imaginary voices are to be heard here – are also able to tell their stories. Journalist Cathrin Kahlweit therefore has created 20 short texts for the 20 songs. 20 times the clock moves forward, 20 times the view goes to another country and 20 times the view focuses for one moment on a child with all its happiness, fear, hopes and worries.
Stockfisch Records not only has been releasing artists from the European and American guitar scene, the 70's Folk revival and has paid special attention to the singer/songwriter scene, but is always interested in special projects outside the „mainstream“.
Stockfisch Records not only has been releasing artists from the European and American guitar scene, the 70's Folk revival and has paid special attention to the singer/songwriter scene, but is always interested in special projects outside the „Mainstream“. These productions have a high artistic standard and are challenging from a sound engineer´s view. Thus Stockfisch released such awarded and critically acclaimed SACDs like „Sinistre“ with piano virtuoso Péter Tóth from Hungary, „surrounded by horns“ featuring the american saxophone quartet „The Tiptons“ or the recordings of the dutch early-baroque specialists „The Spirit of Gambo“. Now Stockfisch introduces another Hybrid-SACD (incl. 5.1 multichannel mix), which will prick up the listeners´ears:
First Impressions - music for piano, harp, vibraphone & double bass.
Super-Audio-CD Hybrid: SACD Stereo + 5.1 Surround + CD-Layer
SFR 357.4046.2 • total time 54:37
The Blue Chamber Quartet creates a sound impression far beyond the formal strictness of classical music and the improvisation characteristic of jazz. It goes full circle from quiet moments of contemplation to rhythmically driving, minimalist musical patterns. A sound impression covering Sergei Prokofiev and Astor Piazzolla as well as Chick Corea.
Julia Bartha - piano / Angelika Siman - concert harp / Thomas Schindl - vibraphone, percussion / Holger Michalski - double bass
Das Blue Chamber Quartet schlägt "in fünfzehn Titeln einen Bogen von Sergej Prokofjews Toccata zu Chick Coreas La Fiesta, dessen spanischen Charakter in der Eingangspassage, in einem Solo und in der Schlusspassage kunstvoll geschlagene Kastagnetten unterstreichen ... Das Quartett unternimmt keine Anstrengungen, Spielhaltung und Gestus des Jazzensembles zu übernehmen. Es bleibt authentisch, indem es sich auf seine Stärke konzentriert: das Interpretieren.
Dabei zeigen die vier ein feines Gefühl für Stimmungen und Nuancen. Dies bekommt auch ihren zu einer Suite konzentrierten Bearbeitungen von fünf Songs aus Chick Coreas Zyklus Children’s Songs hervorragend, zumal schon Chick Coreas Einspielung von 1983 den Charakter zurückhaltend interpretierter Etüden trug. Die Pianistin Julia Bartha unterstreicht im 19. Song noch etwas stärker als Coreas Original den Bezug des Stücks auf Erik Saties konzentrierte Klanggestaltung – eine rundum schlüssige Fassung, die sich in den Ensembleversionen der anderen vier Songs fortsetzt. Selbst der 18. Children’s Song, in dem die vier kraftvoller als Corea in seiner Soloversion agieren, bleibt im Rahmen konzentrierter Kammermusik. Dem entsprechen auch ihre Versionen von Astor Piazzollas Tanti Anni Prima und Kicho, wobei die Prägnanz und Schärfe, die Piazzollas Ensembles ausgezeichnet hatten, durch ein gefälligeres Herangehen ersetzt wurden." Werner Stiefele, in: Das Orchester 2/2008
"Four classically trained musician friends decided to combine the sounds of their instruments - piano, harp, vibraphone, and double bass - to create music that deliberately blurred distinctions between classical and jazz. As vehicles for exploration on First Impressions, the foursome chose pieces that offer hauntingly gorgeous melodic lines, strong rhythmic frameworks, and spaciousness ties everything together. Driven forward by Holger Michalski´s impossibly beautiful arco bass phrases and Julia Bartha´s precise, passionate piano accompaniment, the quartet´s arrangement of Piazolla´s KICHO is a showstopper. Harpist Angelika Siman might begin a musical thought, only to have vibraphonist Thomas Schindl complete it.
Sonically, producer Günter Pauler captures the exquisite tonal colors in a natural way full of vitality and dynamic energy. The multichannel recording presents the ensemble in an intimate setting, placing listeners two rows back from center stage." Chris Martens, in: The Absolute Sound, Jan.2008
Blue Chamber Quartet - performing live at IMAX, Speyer, Germany, Sept 22, 2008 - arrangements for vibes, harp, piano and double bass. Watch this video on YouTube.