Albrecht Maurer: gothic fiddle, viola, voice; Norbert Rodenkirchen: transverse and alto flutes

In an era where laptops and preparations attempt to force audiences out of the realm of intellectual safety by modifying – or entirely removing – the essential grain of a source, it’s refreshing to listen to a program featuring a pair of virtuosos extracting a noble dignity from the actual nature that defines their acoustic materializations. Based on Max Ernst’s imaginary creature (Loplop, the “Superior of Birds”, was a hybrid symbolizing the coexistence of real life and dreamy states), the twelve compositions shaping this album are also outlined by multifaceted improvisational spirits and, in selected circumstances, by folk reminiscences.

Both blessed with impressive technique, Maurer and Rodenkirchen look to generate the missing link between the delight of artists willing and able to convey their immunity from platitude and a less intolerant version of a canonical classical environment. The latter is, notoriously, often replete with cosmetically charming flashes that do not manage to break the cocoon of ennui wrapping a listener hungry for wider horizons. In Loplop’s Call the instruments may dictate fast rules that can be obeyed or not; regular cadenzas and pleasingly polytonal counterpoints can be followed straight away by the uninhibited stimulus furnished by an impromptu double zigzag. Think two talented alumni fighting against the rhetorical aspects of vacuous complexness with alert wit and dancing tendencies; tracks that stand out in this regard are “Die Windsbraut” and “Kachinas”. In those moments, the duo certifies that making even inexpert people acknowledge challenging music with an eye wink, as in some sort of fairy tale, is accomplished through the unpretentious richness of the most beautiful gesture: playing an instrument – and singing along as Maurer does in the marvelous “Whatever Met My Ear” – with the same emotional transport of a love that could not be explicated otherwise.

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