CD: Libertango

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We have known for a long time that Doris Orsan and Johannes Tonio Kreusch harmonize excellently, and it is certainly not an exaggeration to consider this CD to be their best so far… Conclusion: a great production of high repertoire value for this cast.

Akustik Gitarre


Gerardo Matos RODRIGUEZ

El Choclo / Tango Criollo**


El Último Café**

Máximo Diego PUJOL
Autovía* (Dedicated to Johannes Tonio Kreusch)

Héctor AYALA

Ariel RAMÍREZ & Félix LUNA)
Alfonsina y el mar**


Roland DYENS
Tango en Skaï

Francisco CANARO / Manuel ROMERO
Tiempos Viejos**


Johannes Tonio KREUSCH

Béla BARTÓK (arr. Arthur Levering)
Romanian Folk Dances
     Bot tánc / Jocul cu bâtă (Stick Dance)
     Brâul (Sash Dance)
     Topogó / Pe loc (In One Spot)
     Bucsumí tánc / Buciumeana (Dance from Bucsum)
     Román polka / Poarga Românească (Romanian Polka)
     Aprózó / Mărunțel (Fast Dance)

Rhodope, Song & Dance* (Dedicated to Doris Orsan and Johannes Tonio Kreusch)
     I. Molto delicato
     II. Allegro ritmico


* World Premiere Recording
** Transcriptions by Máximo Diego Pujol (guitar parts) & Tulio Peramo (violin parts)
Transcription by Tulio Peramo


Doris Orsan – violin
Johannes Tonio Kreusch – guitar

All transcriptions written for Doris Orsan & Johannes Tonio Kreusch

about “Libertango”

With the CDs “Dialogues” and “Tangos & Canciones”, guitarist Johannes Tonio Kreusch and violinist Doris Orsan revived the rarely heard duo violin and guitar. While the spectrum on these productions ranged from classical romanticism to the Caribbean musical cosmos to modern music, in their new litter “Libertango” they initially concentrate on Argentinian sound worlds. For a good reason: the album not only celebrates their passion for this music, it is mainly based on the many friendships they maintain with musicians from this field.

One of the roots of “Libertango” is Kreusch’s musical partnership with Giora Feidman, which was founded a few years ago. Many know him as the “King of Klezmer”, but forget that he is Argentinian and is therefore influenced by tango and milonga, Tango Nuevo, but also Alberto Ginastera’s art music. Feidman advised Kreusch on the selection and interpretation of some pieces, such as the eponymous “Libertango” or the lesser-known “Zita”, both by Tango Nuevo founder Astor Piazzolla. Or the classical tango composer of the turn of the century, Ángel Villoldo, whose classic “El Choclo” is masterfully interpreted by Kreusch and Orsan.

Even older is Kreusch’s friendship with the Argentine guitarist Maximo Diego Pujol. The 65-year-old was also strongly influenced by Piazzolla and Argentine folklore and is now considered one of the most important Latin American composers of the 20th century. On “Libertango” you can hear the world premiere of the guitar solo piece “Autovía” composed for Kreusch. Moreover, Pujol arranged almost all the tracks on the album, for the first time in collaboration with another close friend of Kreusch and Orsan.

This is the Cuban composer Tulio Peramo, whom Kreusch met almost 30 years ago in Havana, who later appeared for the first time in Germany at festivals curated by Kreusch and has since also written several pieces for Kreusch. Like no other, Peramo knows how to merge the styles and colors of Cuban music with the forms and traditions of European classical music. This also permeates the masterful arrangements on “Libertango” in many places. Which, of course, requires not only technical excellence, but also musical intelligence and an artistic range.

Together, Doris Orsan and Johannes Tonio Kreusch have formed a successful chamber music duo for many years, which not only cultivates the standard repertoire, but also includes many contemporary compositions – often dedicated to them and premiered by them. And so on “Libertango” the two find their own way between “tristeza” and “allegria”, between melancholy and foaming joie de vivre, between the elements of classical tonality and Latin American rhythm and phrasing. Which turns classics that are sometimes heard too often into new “unheard-of” pieces, and at the same time makes world premieres sound like “standards”.

And the two would not be the groundbreaking, forward-looking artists they are if they did not finally establish a connection to the very own European tradition on “Libertango” and direct their gaze to the future. First with the six short Romanian folk dances by Béla Bartók, which build a transcontinental bridge to the art-musical processing of folk music. And finally with a final exclamation mark, another world premiere of a work written for Kreusch and Orsan by another friend. The Bulgarian guitarist and composer Atanas Ourkouzounov, who lives and teaches in Paris, dedicated the two-part “Rhodope” to them, divided into a song (Molto delicato) and a dance (Allegro ritmico). It is a modern hymn to the mountains in Ourkouzounov’s homeland, ingeniously working with the melismas and rhythms of Bulgarian music as well as a modern, but always accessible formal language, which demands everything from the two.

And so “Libertango” not only rounds off into a musical masterpiece, it is also an ode to friendship, an intercession for exchange across all borders, a celebration of common service to music and a resounding expression of humanity.

Oliver Hochkeppel

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