Otto Klemperer was very much a man of the theatre. “Here, opera and drama were truly united,” he said of his time at Berlin’s Kroll Theatre, a progressive and influential force in the heady years of the Weimar Republic. He was also a man with a sharp sense of humour: this performance of Mendelssohn’s incidental music to Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream both glows with enchantment and sparkles with wit.
"…This is what might be called big band Mozart, with none of the modern early music refinements coming into play as in the cycles of Pinnock or Hogwood. This is Mozart on modern instruments in a large-sized orchestra – not just 40 musicians like some so-called “authentic” recordings. On the other hand, Klemperer has a different approach to this music that he obviously adored and was fully familiar with. While cycles by Mackerras, Bohm, Karajan, Bruno Walter and others may compete in some ways, Klemperer’s efforts stand up amazingly well now that one can hear details in the recordings which were never exposed before except in the mastering studio." ~audiophile-audition
Otto Klemperer was born on 14th May 1885 in Breslau, Silesia (now Wroclaw, Poland) and died on 6th July 1973 in Zurich and hence next year we mark 40 years since his passing. Although disfigured by a stroke suffered whilst a brain tumour was being removed he became a world-renowned conductor whose recordings became and remain touchstones for the EMI catalogue.
After a much celebrated appearance by Adam Baldych at the 2011 Berlin Jazzfest, critic Ulrich Olshausen raved in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper: "He has, without doubt, the greatest technique of any jazz violinist alive today. We can expect everything of him". High praise for a musician of just 26 years of age, and at the same time only fitting for a man who has been considered a prodigy in his native Poland for many years already. He discovered the violin at the age of 11, and jazz at 13; the music gave him the freedom of expression he was looking for, and at 16 he started his international career. After completing his jazz studies at the Katowice Academy with distinction, he was awarded a scholarship to Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Launched ten years ago by the saxo player Pierre Bertrand and the trumpeteer Nicolas Folmer, the Paris Jazz Big Band is extremely famous on the French Jazz scene with many awards like the Victoires du Jazz and Django d’Or. It has been mostly recognized for its creative repertoire and the orchestra has performed with prestigious singers like Diana Krall; Johnny Griffin, Richard Galliano or Michel Legrand. The aim of this new repertoire « Source(s) » was to follow the tracks of culture an d music from Africa, South Mediterranea and Latin America.