On Monday, February 29th, the record label Edel:Records invited several modern classical composers to a concert in the fancy halls of Volkswagen’s showroom DRIVE in Berlin’s Mitte, featuring a cycle called ‘Neue Meister.’ Nothing atonal or experimental was to be played, but instead innovative, fresh and up-to-date music. Max Richter, quite an authority and a name in this field, made the start with his recomposition of Vivaldi’s spring.
What a piece to start with! It definitely raised the bar for all that was coming afterwards. Richter’s new Album called SLEEP, which is an eight-hour lullaby, deserves some serious attention as well. Next piece, Paul Frick’s composition, ‘Metal Zone,’ went straight to the guts. Rhythmical strings accentuated by a trombone and a bassclarinette. Probably the most classical piece of the evening, as Frick did not use any electronic samples. The contrary was true with Fabian Russ‘ recomposition of the Scottish-American folk song ‘black is the color of my true love’s hair.’ Russ ingeniously combines live electronics with the crystal voice of a soprano and the warm sound of the chamber orchestra.
Most of the pieces played that evening and the two upcoming concerts were world premieres. What a privilege to be among the first people to hear and experience this new format. And which city would be better than the free-spirited and open-minded Berlin? This is also the city where composer Henrick Schwarz, also member of Neue Meister, just recently wrote the music for a co-production with the state ballet Berlin and Berghain.
The whole concert continuously surprised, then soothed, but stayed exciting until the end. The German Chamber Orchestra Berlin played under the lead of Gabriel Adorján. Confirmed classic lovers might have heard some difficulties in the orchestra’s intonation, but perfectionism was not the key word of the evening. As Christian Kellersmann, founder of the world wide successful format ‘yellow lounge‘ and manager of Neue Meister, said about the evening: ‘Neue Neister is not about perfectionism, it is about something completely new, which has never been done before, that brings classical music to another level and reaches a completely new audience.’
Neue Meister manages to combine 6 different composers in one concert and it made perfect sense. Impressive for a concert which has a touch of classical music, was the audience. The big majority were young people. The atmosphere was inspiring and relaxed. Congratulations to Neue Meister for a successful start to this promising project.
To find out more about Neue Meister, have a look here.