CD: panta rhei
Release date: 2003
The sound magician Johannes Tonio Kreusch, together with his congenial partner, the trumpeter Markus Stockhausen, embarks on a sound journey between jazz and classical music and proves once again with this unique recording that his virtuoso playing art and imagination are almost limitless.Süddeutsche Zeitung
Markus Stockhausen: Trumpet
Johannes Tonio Kreusch: guitar
01: Vinyl Intro
04: En Route
05: Fly !
10: Virtual Union
12: Prelude to Silence
Applaus: “Together with the trumpeter Markus Stockhausen, Kreusch re-energises the silence in front of us with “Panta Rhei”…”
JAZZTHING: “Johannes Tonio Kreusch is an exceptional musical phenomenon. In his early 30s, the classically trained guitarist recorded bach and villa lobos with the same professionalism and persuasiveness as well as classical flamenco, contemporary and Indian-inspired music. Now he is turning to unfamiliar terrain again. “Panta Rhei” spans a picture arc of painting full of warmth, intimacy and expressiveness. Kreusch’s dense, percussive playing and Markus Stockhausen’s improvisations on trumpet, piccolo trumpet and flugelhorn complement each other to form dialogues that, despite their virtuosity and richness of tension, radiate expressive power and meditative calm. Due to the discreet use of groomed guitar and other effects, the sound spaces are additionally expanded without breaking through the clarity and purity of the two voices. An album of purist beauty, a remarkable musical taste and great magical power.”
Süddeutsche Zeitung:“Even a classical musician must remain agile and open to new things if he wants his game to remain alive. One who certainly cannot be accused of solidifying in routine and solid repertoire is the guitarist Johannes Tonio Kreusch… Even Kreusch’s earlier recording with mostly foreign compositions were quiet, introverted jewels of the market-screaming music landscape. Now he uncompromisingly puts his flawless technique at the service of intense, philosophical music. “Panta Rhei”… has become a little jewel… Compulsory music for quiet hours.”
Gitarre Konkret: What do you expect from a classical guitarist, who is unanimously celebrated by the international press and has presented a number of excellent performances with compositions by Villa-Lobos, Ginastera, Bach, Peramo and others in recent years? Critics and the fan base are all too happy to be served with what corresponds to their listening habits and what is committed to the image into which a musician has been secretly pressed. With “panta rhei” Johannes Tonio Kreusch refreshingly evades any expectation and makes the music that is particularly close to his heart his own.
Even the instruments used on “panta rhei” do not allow a clear way way to a certain stylistic drawer. In addition to his classical instrument, Kreusch also uses a steel string guitar and a twelve-string instrument on this CD. The performer thus opens up a whole new variety of sounds, which he knows how to use masterfully. With Markus Stockhausen, Kreusch also has a congenial musical partner at his side, who knows how to complement this sound spectrum virtuosically with trumpet, piccolo trumpet and flugelhorn.
The phrase “panta rhei” (everything flows) attributed to the Greek philosopher Heraclitus (ca. 550-480 BC) stands for the eternal becoming and passing in the world. All enduring being is therefore based on deception. The symbol of this is the river, whose water constantly changes and which always remains the same for the viewer. According to Heraclitus, the world is the scene of an eternal struggle of opposing principles, which keep each other in balance and from whose tension harmony arises.
Two conflicting principles could also be seen in the instruments used on this phonogram. Here is the melody instrument, which obeys human breath, there the string instrument capable of spatial sound formations, whose artful operation requires more tactile sensitivity. On the one hand Johannes Tonio Kreusch, who creates wide sound spaces with his instrument, on the other Markus Stockhausen, who knows how to fill them with melodic inventiveness and high expressiveness. Out of this apparent contrast, extremely tense dialogues develop, in which both musicians repeatedly abandon or even exchange their instrument-specific roles.
Of course, “panta rhei” also stands for the fluent character that underlies the 12 compositions of this CD. The compositions of Johannes Tonio Kreusch, Markus Stockhausen and the renowned jazz pianist Cornelius Claudio Kreusch are wonderfully affectionate klan paintings, defined by dense moments full of calm and intimacy that leave wide space for improvisation.
Even if “panta rhei” is not a CD with driving beats, the rhythmic element is not neglected. Especially titles like “En Route”, “Highlands” or “Tender”, in which Kreusch layers ostinate figures on top of each other, have a pulsating groove. All tracks that you can hear on the CD can also be realized on stage, because these are not consecutive overdubs, but loops recorded in a sequencer. By preparing his instrument, Kreusch adds further facets and a wealth of percussive effects to the already fascinating variety of sounds. In some moments you feel reminded of the minimal music of a Steve Reich. With ananalytical listening, however, one can also convince oneself that even very calm and freely interpreted pieces have an always present metric pulse. All agogics do not lead to any rubato here, but amplifies the tension of the lecture.
“panta rhei” is a very exciting project with which Johannes Tonio Kreusch underpins his reputation as a competent and experimental cross-border commuter between styles and with which he presents another declaration of love for the most beautiful and “most stringed” of all musical instruments. Fingertylers can also convince themselves, Johannes Tonio Kreusch uses a Lakewood just as artfully as his classical master instrument.