Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Kruger Brothers in Zurich, 14 Dec. 2011

Thanks to Lilly Pavlak, who sends this report and photos from Switzerland:

The incredible Kruger Brothers, originally from Switzerland, now living in North Carolina, came to Europe for four concerts between 10 Dec. and 17 Dec. to present Jens’s newest composition 'Appalachian Concerto' - a work for banjo, bass, guitar, and string quartet, in three movements.

Jens Kruger introduces the ensemble and the composition

Jens told us he was asked to compose music on the theme of emigration by the Ashe County Arts Council for a new work based on the musical culture of the Appalachian region. This was his romantic idea of the Appalachian and in particular the discovery of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Appalachians by settlers to the region. The piece celebrated Appalachia – the history, the landscape, and the culture influenced by German, Irish, Scots, Jewish, Cherokee, among many others…

The Kruger Brothers are Jens Kruger (banjo), Uwe Kruger (guitar), and Joel Landsberg (bass). The UNI String Quartet [above, with Lilly in centre] from the National Theatre in Prague are Andréa Burianova (1st violin), Alexandra Kacafirkova (2nd violin), Mikolas Cech (viola), and Karel Urban (cello). The first concert was in Prague, Czech Republic, where the Brothers met the string quartet. As Uwe said, the concert there was phenomenal.

Ensemble and audience

I attended the one in Zurich [in the Kammermusiksaal, Tonhalle, 14 Dec.], their hometown. It was such a experience to see two German bluegrass/country musicians, raised in Switzerland, talking in Swiss German, with a Jewish musician from New York and four Czech musicians playing self-composed American music - I have no words to describe it! It was just unforgettable, beautiful experience that night. It made me think about the Czech composer Antonín Dvořák and his New World Symphony (1893).

Standing ovation

I hope for you all, you will have the opportunity to see them live one day, or at least to listen to this wonderful CD.

... acknowledged by the musicians