DREAMS OF FREEDOM

György Ligeti   Six Bagatelles
W.A. Mozart    Serenade Es-Dur, KV 375
Pēteris Vasks Music for the Fleeting Birds
Igor Stravinski    Suite for Woodwinds No. 2
Paul Hindemith  Kleine Kammermusik op. 24, No. 2
Arian Borderless

The story of this album begins back in 2015 with a young Syrian musician playing in the streets of Istanbul just to scrape buy. Denied access to Europe, Moutaz Abass sat on a small stool and casually played Beethoven’s Ode to Joy without attracting much attention from the passers by – a tune we know too well and meaning of which we often forget. The irony of this was startling – a war refugee, abandoned to his own devices, stringing along a melody that symbolizes the humanitarian values we cherish so much – brotherhood, equality and acceptance of all.

Arian, as Moutaz calls himself now, is dreaming to live freely without the fear of being drafted in the army of Asad’s oppressive regime, and to be able to write for a full symphony orchestra. In essence, his story is nothing new.  Would we know of Mozart’s musical genius if he hadn’t left the mundane service of the Archbishop of Salzburg for cultural riches of Vienna? Would Igor Stravinsky had become such an influential figure of 20th century western music if he had remained in Soviet Russia? Composers with Jewish ancestry like Paul Hindemith and Alexander von Zemlinsky would probably had simply not even survived if they had remained in Germany and Austria during the WWII, but Arvo Pärt’s traumatic exile from Estonia eventually lead to this deeply religious man becoming one of the greatests living composers – something unthinkable under Soviet rule.

Arian found his way out eventually and now is living in China of all the places. He was kind enough to dedicate a composition for this album titled Borderless. It’s a story of immigrants encountering obstacles on their way to freedom – a work full of yearning and sadness. And, just as Arian’s personal story, it has a happy ending. Many of men, women and children however are still suffering in the middle East. Who are we to judge, if the young Pārt, Stravinski or even Mozart is not among them? Who are we to judge whether they have the right to freedom just the way we do. After all – these humanitarian values embedded in our culture and so strikingly manifested in European anthem are only thing that separates the man from the beast.

Dance with the Devil

Mephisto!

Jacques Ibert Trois pièces brèves
Eurico Carrapatoso        Five Elegies op. 11
 Franz Liszt Mephisto Waltz No. 1

 

Dmitri Shostakovich  Suite for the Woodwind Quintet
(Galop from Limpid Stream, Romance from Gadfly, Waltz No. 2 from “The First Echelon”)
Ferenc Farkas  Early Hungarian Dances
Bela Bartók  Romanian Folk Dances
Franz Liszt  Grandes Études de Paganini, No. 6
  

The audience fainted at concerts of the „devil violinist“ Niccolò Paganini. Some even claim he has sold his soul to the devil to play masterly as he did.

Virtuosity is also the characteristic feature of the woodwind quintet CARION: The perfect mastery of the instruments in connection with the sophisticated stage performance makes the musicians masters of their profession.

It’s the Mephistophelian seduction that runs like a red thread through this programme. The numerous Transylvanian folk songs in the works of Bartók und Farkas lend wings to the idea Count Dracula himself shakes a leg while hearing these witty melodies.

Even the often depressive-acting Shostakovich could not resist the  ease and humor while writing his dance music. And then there is Liszt with his Paganini variations and his Mephisto Waltz … mesmerizing, demanding, colorful and devilishly virtuosic! It can’t get better than this!

Inspired by Mozart and the Nature

Northwind

Herman D. Koppel      Sonatina
Carl Nielsen      Quintet op. 43

 

Pēteris Vasks    Music for the Fleeting Birds
Wolfgang A. Mozart   Serenade No. 11 in E-flat major

“What is this wonderful music? Can I come over and listen?”, said Carl Nielsen to his friend Christian Christiansen during a phone conversation back in 1921 when he heard members of the Copenhagen woodwind quintet rehearsing Mozart’s Quintet for Piano and Winds in the background.

Inspired by Mozart’s composition he soon decided to write his own work for the five winds, his famous Quintet op. 43. CARION moves between these two poles: Nielsen’s Quintet in the first part of the programme and Mozart’s inspiring Serenade KV 375 wonderfully arranged by the CARION-hornist David M.A.P Palmquist in the second half.

Even the best well-know Latvian composer, Pēteris Vasks, finds the approach for his woodwind quintet Music for Fleeting Birds in Mozart while the worth exploring Danish composer Herman D. Koppel was influenced by Nielsen. Moreover the nordic composers Nielsen, Vasks und Koppel are connected by their love and inspiration for the huge and vast landscape around the Baltic Sea as the source of their musical fantasy.