Saturday, March 25, 2017

French Connection - Duo Ultima (ODRADEK RECORDS 2017)

"My focus has always been on an even and a warm tone, known as égalité du son, regardless of what register is played or what music I play"

Guido Bäumer

duo ultima

Boasting a breathtaking array of French music – and music inspired by France – for saxophone and piano, this two-disc set takes listeners on a tour of Gallic repertoire composed or adapted for this most versatile and seductive of combinations. The breadth of styles showcased in French Connection is unified by saxophonist Guido Bäumer’s even and a warm tone.

Many of the works on this collection belong to or are related to impressionism, including stunning pieces by Debussy, Schmitt and Jolivet, although there is also music from composers such as Milhaud, who rejected and moved beyond impressionism, alongside works of the earlier, more Romantic French school. Some of these Romantic pieces have been adapted from their original incarnations for flute and piano; Guido Bäumer’s first instrument was the flute, so he is uniquely placed to interpret this material with fluency and finesse. The collection is rounded off by Argentine composer Piazzolla, whose Tango-Études combine the discipline of the French instrumental study with the unmistakeable rhythmic pulse of the tango.

The first saxophone record owned by Guido Bäumer was a collection of French music. He became so enthralled by it that he decided to become a classical saxophonist. Now, this process comes full circle as, with pianist Aladár Rácz, he pays tribute to the repertoire which so caught his imagination – and changed the course of his life.