Erika Rademacher

Im Innern das Zitat

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Im Innern das Zitat ("The quote at heart") presents a few qualities out of the ordinary, but they don't suffice to make it remarkable. First interesting point: Erika Rademacher and Katharina Weber form a teacher-and-student pair. Second of all, both are mainly active as classical pianists. Rademacher is a renowned interpreter of Beethoven and Morton Feldman. Weber has performed numerous contemporary works and has collaborated with improvisers on a regular basis since the 1980s. This album was recorded in concert in October 2000. The program is completely improvised. The pianists have a good level of communication and make good use of the innards of the instruments. Moreover, they occasionally send inside jokes through their open channel of communication, quoting bits of their repertoire, bits the audience can catch on the fly like the bass motif from Bizet's "L'Amour Est un Oiseau Rebelle" in the title piece or Chopin's "Nocturnes" and Beethoven's "Für Elise" in "Annäherung an Elisabeth." No matter how freely improvised these pieces are, they retain confining formal structures, remaining tonal for the most part, short (between two and six minutes), tamed, and behaved. The music is elegant -- enough for the classical music concert hall -- but not particularly imaginative by free improv standards. Yet, there are so few classical musicians willing to embrace improvisation that Im Innern das Zitat should still be recommended to students, if only to open their ears to possibilities. Sound quality is good, but the camera very distinctly heard taking a photograph at the beginning of "Tierces Alternées II" will make any music lover tick.

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