Concert Review – ‘clair-obscur’ at Watergate Club – Irritatingly banal and Steve Reich composition cannot stop successful Concert!
Jan Schulte -Bunert / Soprano Sax
Maike Krullmann / Alt Sax
Christoph Enzel / Tenor Sax
Kathi Wagner / Bariton Sax
Every so often one goes to a concert and thinks – what am I doing here!?
So this evening when a fabulously talented saxophone quartet decided to play perhaps the worst/wurst and irritatingly most stupid piece of music I have had the misfortune to have to listen to in a long time, this question did arise – but just briefly.
The offending piece by Steve Reich was a waste of space and a complete waste of time. It was even worse than compositions of some modern English pretentious composers who are so full of themselves - and that is saying a great deal – yes indeed it was that bad .
The opening piece was a Bach composition from the Art of the Fugue transcribed for a saxophone quartet. This is not one of Bach’s more popular works – not a great dancing or rollicking piece to be sure – one of the last contemplative compositions he wrote actually and certainly not one of my favourites – however it still is Bach and hence there is some magic there, you just have to find it.
However the complete piece of crap by Steve Reich – ‘New York Counterpoint for Saxophone quartet’ – was sandwiched between two Bach transcriptions and one has to ask about the mis-placed musical sensitivity to present these pieces together.
Actually one could ask – and I am indeed asking it – why this piece by Steve Reich –a complete waste of space – is played at all!
Anyways enough of that negativity – while the Reich was crap – it was very well played crap!
The next set of the evening presented some really good music – the highlight of the night - in the form of composers - the great living Amercian Philip Glass and the deceased Hungarian/Austrian Gyorgy Ligeti. [see his modern minimalist grave-stone below - foto from Wikipedia by Jacques Bon email@example.com]
Again they were transcriptions for saxophone quartets and were compositions by serious 20th century composers – great music performed with great virtuosity, feeling and élan..especially by the Soprano sax player – Jan Schulte -Bunert.
The idea of playing one piece by Philip Glass and then followed by a piece by Ligeti -and then again repeating this sequence, interspersing the two together – is a coy one and perhaps trying to be cute or different for its own sake.
In any case it is a liberty that this very good group of musicians feel they can afford to make – and in the end it is there call.
For more info on ‘clair-obscure’ http://www.clair-obscur.de/data/pages-e/vita.html?la=en
and the best Radio Station in Berlin’s web site – Kultur Radio RBB who sponsored the concert -
The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of OTA-Berlin but of the contributor – in this case Mr Filip v d Plas.
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Concert Review – ‘clair-obscur’ at Watergate Club – Irritatingly banal & annoying Steve Reich composition cannot stop successfull evening – by OTA-Berlin Constituency Blog music critic Mr Filip van der Plas from OTA Berlin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Germany License. If you use this article or parts of it, please refer to http://www.ota-berlin.de.
Tags: 'clair-obscur', Christoph Enzel / Tenor Sax, complete piece of crap by Steve Reich, Concert Review - 'clair-obscur' at Watergate Club, György Ligeti, Irritatingly banal & annoying Steve Reich, Irritatingly banal Steve Reich composition, Jan Schulte-Bunert, JS Bach, Kathi Wagner / Bariton Sax, kultur radio RBB, Maike Krullmann - Altsaxophon, philip glass, Steve Reich waste of space, Watergate club berlin