Romanian expat pianist and composer Lucian Ban and American master violist Mat Maneri present a radical re-imagining of George Enesco’s magnum opera Oedipe. More than 80 years after its premiere in Paris, the two musicians, renowned for their work at the intersection of jazz, improvisation and chamber music, will present their take on the opera, Oedipe Redux, which features an international cast of jazz iconoclasts such as Ambrose Akinmusire, phenomenal singers Jen Shyu and Theo Bleckmann, bassist John Hebert, master drummer Nasheet Waits and French clarinet virtuoso Louis Sclavis.
Enescu’s monumental opera Oedipe is rarely performed today. In his discussion of the work, Lucian Ban says: “Its profound synthesis of ancient and modern, late romanticism and sheer individualism on the part of its composer, is unparalleled I think among 20th century operas.” This is why Ban and Maneri, after working on some of Enescu’s instrumental pieces, decided to bring their unique approach to Oedipe.
Mat Maneri: viola, arrangements/ Lucian Ban: piano, arrangements/ Louis Sclavis: clarinet, bass clarinet, soprano saxophone/ Ralph Alessi: trumpet/ Theo Bleckmann: vocals/ Jen Shyu: vocals/ John Hébert: double bass/ Tom Rainey: drums, percussion
Clarinettist Alex Simu creates music and compositions based on his vision and experience of his hometown, Bucharest, and its rich history. George Enescu’s orchestral compositions echo throughout the chamber music of Simu’s acoustic quintet. The internationally acclaimed clarinettist, saxophonist and composer has reworked the symphonic suites into contemporary jazz improvisations. The folkloric themes in Enescu’s work become modern conversations between musicians with a different cultural identity and artistic background. Impressionist harmonies in written scores become changing colour tones within new jazz structures. Due to the music’s instrumental versatility, the quintet manages to rework Enescu’s rich orchestrations into minimalist landscapes. Their cinematographic approach to musical language results in a lively soundtrack. Enescu’s symphonic suites are rarely performed by orchestras in Europe. Echoes of Enescu invites you to reconnect with forgotten musical masterpieces. Both classical music and jazz lovers will appreciate this unique modern deconstruction.
Alex Simu: clarinets & orchestrations/ Franz Von Chossy: piano/ George Dumitriu: viola/guitar/
Mattia Magatelli: double bass/ Kristijan Krajncan: cello/drums