Annette Maiburg, artistic director of the Maiburg Ensemble, aspired in this CD to engage in a “dialogue” in which the music of disparate cultural traditions fuse, so to speak, to produce a music which is new and which did not exist before. Maiburg, a highly accomplished classically trained flutist, is joined in the project by pianist Pascal Schweren and double bass player Matthias Hacker, both also classically trained but with strong educational backgrounds in jazz, and percussionist, Fethi Ak, a renowned German-Turkish darbuka player.
Each musician makes great and unique contributions to the project. For example, Schweren’s solo, which brings Bartók’s Pê Loc to a surprise ending, is a delight; Ak has several wonderful solos in compositions as diverse as Bartók’s Mâruntel and Buciumeana and Mendelssohn’s Scherzo from A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Hacker, to my ears anyway, brings the most convincingly idiomatic jazz contribution throughout, connects beautifully with Ak’s solo in Mâruntel and plays a very effective bowed passage in Mahler’s Adagietto. Maiburg not only plays the challenging flute part from Mendelssohn’s Scherzo flawlessly but also brings wonderful lyricism to her solos in Ravel’s Kaddisch and Bartók’s Buciumeana.
The cultural fusion, however, just doesn’t seem to happen, despite the good intentions, until the last track on the CD, Hov Arek, an Armenian folk melody notated by the great Armenian composer and ethnomusicologist, Komitas. Here magic happens, musicians and music become one, and the dream becomes reality.