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Around The World / Daniel Schnyder, Stefan Schulz

Schnyder / Schulz / Sawano / Rsb / Helmrath
Release Date: 09/27/2011 
Label:  Bis   Catalog #: 1774  
Composer:  Daniel SchnyderAntonio VivaldiJohann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Esko LaineUlrike HofmannStefan SchulzKrzysztof Polonek,   ... 
Conductor:  Michael SanderlingMichael Helmrath
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Length: 1 Hours 12 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



SCHNYDER The Island (2 versions 1 ). Shourouk. 2 Bass Trombone Suite 3. Donne Variations 4. Around the World. 5 Bass Trombone Concerto, “Subzero 6.” Schuhmacher March 7 Read more class="EXTRAS12">& Stefan Schulz (b tbn); 2,5,7 Daniel Schnyder (ssax); 1 Michael Häger, 4,5 Tomoko Sawano (pn); et al; 2,3 Michael Sanderling, 6 Michael Helmrath, cond; 2,3,6 Berlin RSO BIS 1774 (73:13)


k VIVALDI Flute Sonatas, “Il pastor Fido”: No. 5 in C: Giga; No. 6 in g: Fuga da Capella. BACH Fughetta in c, BWV 961


I dare say this is not like anything that most readers of Fanfare will have heard before. Daniel Schnyder is primarily a composer of jazz/classical crossover works, though his music also incorporates the related music styles of Africa, Cuba, and the Middle East. His innovative, eclectic, and often witty compositions are best known in Europe and among the followers of new music in New York, where the Swiss composer now makes his home. Stefan Schulz, the bass trombonist of the Berlin Philharmonic, is committed to gaining acceptance of the bass trombone as a solo instrument. To that end, he has joined Schnyder, a frequent collaborator, to produce this recital, embracing, as Schulz notes in his booklet annotations, “new music, classical music, ancient music, ethnic music, jazz, [and] big band.” All feature Schulz with either orchestra or chamber ensembles and solo artists.


Of Schnyder’s many works in a variety of forms, I previously knew only the David Taylor/Paavo Järvi recording of the major work on this disc, the Concerto for Bass Trombone and Orchestra, “Subzero.” The 2002 recording of the work with Järvi’s Absolute Ensemble garnered a Grammy nomination, but frankly, in their more aggressively hard-edged approach, it failed to engage me. Their version still doesn’t, even reissued in the more congenial company of a Schnyder compilation on the Marsyas label titled Brass , though the playing per se is impressive. The warmer, more symphonic performance of this work by Schulz, Michael Helmrath, and the Berlin Radio Symphony is more persuasive for a listener coming from the classical tradition. The tempos are less driven, allowing Schulz and the orchestra to find nuance and sonority missed by the more propulsive Järvi traversal. It is still a severe test of the artists’ virtuosity, but there are subtle beauties here, for instance in the ethereal solo violin over the growing polyrhythmic intricacy of trombone and orchestra in the central movement, which are only hinted at in the earlier recording.


The other major work on the disc is the Suite for Trombone and Orchestra written especially for Schulz to show off the capabilities of the bass trombone. It manages, in five movements, to encompass all of the composer’s variety of idiom. The CD’s opening work is The Island , a Cuban rumba originally part of Zoom In , a suite for jazz ensemble, and here arranged by the composer for string quintet, bass trombone, and no percussion. In this guise, the opening is almost Haydnesque. The same work, improvised during a break by percussionist Michael Häger on piano and Schulz, ends the program quite differently. Shourouk: Arabian Overture marries Middle Eastern melodies and rhythms to Western orchestral sonorities, sounding a bit like a hyperactive 1960s spy movie score, though one could not expect this technical prowess in a studio orchestra. Around the World , a Berlin Philharmonic commission, is a tongue-in-cheek ethnic musical tour with a 12-tone canon in inversion for fun. It is played in an arrangement for the unusual trio of Schulz, the composer on soprano saxophone, and the amazing Tomoko Sawano, a regular pianist in Schnyder’s ensembles. She makes easy work of the many challenges of both this and the Latin-tinged Donne Variations , to which Schulz joins in with some pleasantly droll ad libs. The Schuhmacher March , written for a Swiss guild band and found to be too challenging, finds new life in this arrangement for soprano sax and bass trombone. Also included are some fascinating, some might say provocative, Schnyder jazz arrangements of works by Vivaldi and Bach for the same trio of soprano saxophone, bass trombone, and piano.


Throughout, Schulz exhibits a warm focused tone and great technical facility, including an easy top and a remarkable legato. As called for by the shifting styles, he plays with elegance and a reasonable swing, and even some nice bluesy note bending. The orchestra, with which Schnyder was resident composer from 2008 to 2009, seems quite comfortable in the jazz style. The engineering is up to usual BIS standards for clarity and wide dynamics, though the soloist is perhaps a bit too close in the orchestral works, and the improvised version of The Island has some audible breathing. Still, this is a first-class production; classical collectors, especially those who fancy works for trombone or in a jazz fusion idiom, will want to experience this release and the new directions it explores. Against expectation, I was hooked.


FANFARE: Ronald E. Grames
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Works on This Recording

1.
The Island by Daniel Schnyder
Performer:  Esko Laine (Double Bass), Ulrike Hofmann (Cello), Stefan Schulz (Bass Trombone),
Krzysztof Polonek (Violin), Anna Puig (Viola), Yuki Kasai (Violin)
2.
Shourouk by Daniel Schnyder
Performer:  Stefan Schulz (Bass Trombone), Daniel Schnyder (Soprano Saxophone), Georg Breinschmid (Double Bass),
Bachar Khalife (Percussion), Marcio Doctor (Percussion)
Conductor:  Michael Sanderling
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
3.
Suite for Bass Trombone and Orchestra by Daniel Schnyder
Performer:  Stefan Schulz (Bass Trombone), Daniel Schnyder (Soprano Saxophone), Georg Breinschmid (Double Bass),
Bachar Khalife (Percussion), Marcio Doctor (Percussion)
Conductor:  Michael Sanderling
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
4.
Concerto for Bass Trombone "subZero" by Daniel Schnyder
Performer:  Stefan Schulz (Bass Trombone)
Conductor:  Michael Helmrath
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1999; USA 
5.
Donne Variations by Daniel Schnyder
Performer:  Stefan Schulz (Bass Trombone), Tomoko Sawano (Piano)
6.
Sonata for Flute and Basso Continuo in G minor, RV 58: 2nd movement, Fuga da Capella by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Stefan Schulz (Bass Trombone), Tomoko Sawano (Piano), Daniel Schnyder (Soprano Saxophone)
Period: Baroque 
Notes: Arrangement: Daniel Schnyder 
7.
Around the World by Daniel Schnyder
Performer:  Stefan Schulz (Bass Trombone), Tomoko Sawano (Piano), Daniel Schnyder (Soprano Saxophone)
8.
Fughetta in C minor, BWV 961 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Daniel Schnyder (Soprano Saxophone), Stefan Schulz (Bass Trombone)
Period: Baroque 
Notes: Arrangement: Daniel Schnyder  
9.
Sonata for Recorder and Basso Continuo in C major, Op. 13 no 5/RV 55: Allegro by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Stefan Schulz (Bass Trombone), Tomoko Sawano (Piano), Daniel Schnyder (Soprano Saxophone)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1737; Venice, Italy 
Notes: Arrangement: Daniel Schnyder  
10.
Schumacher March by Daniel Schnyder
Performer:  Daniel Schnyder (Soprano Saxophone), Stefan Schulz (Bass Trombone)
11.
The Island by Daniel Schnyder
Performer:  Stefan Schulz (Bass Trombone), Tomoko Sawano (Piano)

Sound Samples

The Island (version for bass trombone and string quartet)
Shourouk
Suite for Bass Trombone and Orchestra: I. Kislev
Suite for Bass Trombone and Orchestra: II. Pegasus
Suite for Bass Trombone and Orchestra: III. Paladin
Suite for Bass Trombone and Orchestra: IV. roTor
Suite for Bass Trombone and Orchestra: V. Dakar
Donne Variations (version with bass trombone ad libitum in Variation 5)
Sonata No. 6 in G minor, Op. 13, RV 58, "Il pastor fido": II. Fuga da Capella (arr. D. Schnyder)
Around the World (version for saxophone, bass trombone and piano)
Fugue in C minor, BWV 961 (arr. D. Schnyder)
Sonata No. 5 in C major, Op. 13, RV 55, "Il pastor fido": IV. Giga: Allegro (arr. D. Schnyder)
subZERO, "Bass Trombone Concerto": I. subZERO
subZERO, "Bass Trombone Concerto": II. Sama'i Thaqil
subZERO, "Bass Trombone Concerto": III. ZOOM OUT
Schumacher Marsch (version for soprano saxophone and bass trombone)
The Island (version for bass trombone and piano)

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