Thomas Demenga: Chonguri (ECM/Ode)

 |   |  <1 min read

Thomas Demenga: Chonguri (ECM/Ode)

This might seem an unusual choice for Music From Elsewhere -- classical music on violoncello with piano and accordion accompaniment.

But Demenga's catalogue is impressive and his '94 duet album with his brother Patrick, 12 Hommages a Paul Sacher, has never been far from my stereo on quiet nights.

His on-going series where he alternates historic (notably Bach) and contemporary composers has also been an ear-opener.

This album follows in that pattern, so here are pieces by Bach, Chopin, Faure and Liszt (the gloomy and melodramatic La lugubre gondola) juxtaposed with compositions by Cassado and Milhaud, a couple of originals, and two cycles of Webern miniatures. With piano (Thomas Larcher) and accordion (Teodoro Anzellotti) adding necessary gravitas or whimsy, this is a quietly passionate and somewhat addictive release which deserves a wider audience than those inside the classical compound.

There are familiar pieces here -- Chopin's Nocturne in E-flat major, some stately Bach -- but it is the other material which is the more appealing.

The unusual title track-opener was written by Georgian cellist Sulkhan Tsintsadze (1925-92) and the final piece is two slapstick-sounding minutes of Demenga's popular show stopper New York Honk.

Cello can be melancholy (and it sometimes is here) but in Demenga's hands it also sings and is full of life.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Jazz articles index

Manfred Schoof Quintet: Resonance (ECM)

Manfred Schoof Quintet: Resonance (ECM)

Here is further proof that the past is a different country: this double disc pulls together tracks from Schoof albums of the mid to late Seventies when the contract of jazz was very different.... > Read more

Joe Lovano: Symphonica (EMI)

Joe Lovano: Symphonica (EMI)

Those who were witness to the outstanding Auckland concert fronted by saxophonist Lovano and guitarist John Scofield might be right now looking for Joe albums: if so this maybe ain't the one you... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GUEST ARTISTS ROSS MURRAY and GREG STRAIGHT explore the golden summer mood

GUEST ARTISTS ROSS MURRAY and GREG STRAIGHT explore the golden summer mood

Elsewhere writes: Late last year artist Ross Murray contacted Elsewhere . . . something to do with the Rolling Stones' Blue and Lonesome album perhaps? But in passing he mentioned a comic... > Read more

BUBBA HO-TEP a film by DON COSCARELLI, 2002 (MAGNA PACIFIC DVD)

BUBBA HO-TEP a film by DON COSCARELLI, 2002 (MAGNA PACIFIC DVD)

Twentysomething years ago an amusing little book appeared, Elvis: The Novel. I don’t remember much of it, other than Elvis killing manager Tom Parker, and at one point an overweight Elvis is... > Read more