Around Prague (2013)

Ponc, Schimmerling, Burian, Haba, Ullmann

Ebony Band

Werner Herbers

Barbara Kozelj

The city of Prague was a cultural hotspot in the 1920s and 30s. From 1918 to 1935 the country’s president was the European-minded and remarkably liberal philosopher Tomáš Masaryk, and his successor Edvard Beneš was a kindred spirit. The three population groups, enriched by emigrants from Russia, the Ukraine, Germany and Austria, competed with one another but also inspired each other.

This was the Prague in which the composers on this CD were involved. In their music we hear the old and the new, tradition and renewal, but above all, imagination and talent. When the border between East and West opened up in 1989, their music had hardly been heard in the West for some fifty years, having been suppressed first by the Nazis and then by suffocating communist rule. With the exception of Ullmann, even today these composers have hardly reached our concert halls.

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Werner Herbers

Werner Herbers studied oboe at theAmsterdam Muzieklyceum (with Jaap and Haakon Stotijn) as well as piano and conducting. Herbers was appointed principal oboe of the Royal Concertgebouworchestra in 1970.As a soloist he played with conducturs such as Haitink, Harnoncourt, Berio,Leitner, Van Otterloo, Albrecht, DeWaart and Vonk.  Until the group disbanded in 1988,Herbers was co-leader and oboist of the famous Netherlands WindEnsemble, touring all over Europe,Australia, Japan and the U.S.In 1990 Herbers founded a new group, the Ebony Band. Under his direction the group made its international appearance in Germany and Belgium, as well as Vienna, Prague, Paris, Toronto and New York.As a guest-conductor Herbers appeared in Berlin (Ensemble Oriol), Freiburg (Ensemble Recherche) and NewYork (music of Stefan Wolpe and his contemporaries with the Capriccio Players).

Ebony Band

The Ebony Band was founded in 1990 by Werner Herbers. Its core is made up of musicians from the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. The ensemble specializes in modern, adventurous music primarily from the first half of the 20th century. Special attention is focused on the (frequently unjustly) forgotten music of lesser known composers, deemed to be worthy of revival. The Ebony Band devoted many programs to German and Czech music at the time of the Weimar Republic, which the nazis called ‘degenerated music’. Other programs focused on composers involved in the Spanish Civil War, Mexican composer Silvestre Revueltas and unknown Russians from the twenties. Several concerts have been given in collaboration with actors, dancers and writers, or with the addition of slide or film projection. The Ebony Band has also performed short operas, semi-staged (Wolpe, Gronostay, Grosz) and radioplays (Seiber, Gronostay, Kahn, Goehr). Many of the ensembles recordings have been awarded prizes: Edisons, Gramophone’s Editors Choice, Diapason d’Or. The extended Ebony Big Band played and recorded jazz influenced music by cool-jazz composers (Carisi, Russo, Russell) and repertoire of the legendary Innovations Orchestra of Stan Kenton (Graettinger, Rugolo, Marks). After 17 years of performing in Europe (Berlin, Paris, Vienna, Warsaw, Prague and all over the Netherlands) and North America (New York, Toronto), the group stopped regular concert giving. The goal of the group now is the registration of detailed information about the music of the interbellum on record and the internet (www.ebonyband.nl).

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Around Prague (2013)

Ponc, Schimmerling, Burian, Haba, Ullmann

Ebony Band

    Musicweb

As is common with the Ebony Band’s releases, live performances are mixed with studio recordings, but each work is produced with care and the quality of each is consistently high. Nicely packaged and well documented as usual by Channel Classics, this will go very well alongside all of the other Ebony Band releases which, as an inquisitive and open minded collector, you must surely already have acquired.

Musicweb

    Musicframes.nl

(...) high quality music, daring and surprising: varied pieces with adventure.(...)

Musicframes.nl

    ND

(...) een interessante cd met onbekende muziek

ND

    Audiophile Audition

I greatly admire and appreciate the work of the Ebony Band for both its performing prowess as well as for the important historical aspects of this music. The main thought I carried away from this recording is that, in general, the music itself is a bit esoteric and may not have wide appeal. These are all good works that deserve to be heard, however, and the surround sound recording is superb.

Audiophile Audition

Around Prague (2013)

Ponc, Schimmerling, Burian, Haba, Ullmann

Ebony Band

Cables:Van de Hul
Digital Converters:Grimm DSD AD
Mastering Engineer:Jared SAcks
Mastering Equipment:B+W 803 diamond series
Microphones:Bruel & Kjaer, Schoeps
Mixing Board:Rens Heijnis custom made
Producer:Jared Sacks
Recording Engineer:Jared Sacks
Recording location:Amsterdam Holland
Recording Software:Pyramix
Recording Type & Bit Rate:DSD64
Speakers:Audiolab Holland

Quality & Channel Selection Digitized at DSD64
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34813: Around Prague
01:18:03   Select quality & channels above
Tracks
1.
Svatebcane na Eiffelce - The Wedding Party on the Eiffel Tower op.11 - Overture
Ponc
00:01:11   Select quality & channels above
2.
Six Miniatures for Chamber Orchestra - Sehr Langsam
Schimmerling
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3.
Six Miniatures for Chamber Orchestra - Ruhig bewegt
Schimmerling
00:01:42   Select quality & channels above
4.
Six Miniatures for Chamber Orchestra - Ziemlich Breit
Schimmerling
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5.
Six Miniatures for Chamber Orchestra - Schnell
Schimmerling
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6.
Six Miniatures for Chamber Orchestra - Sehr Langsam
Schimmerling
00:02:07   Select quality & channels above
7.
Six Miniatures for Chamber Orchestra - Tempo moderato
Schimmerling
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8.
The Wedding Party on the Eiffel Tower op.11 - Speech From The General
Ponc
00:01:27   Select quality & channels above
9.
Small Overture Op. 42 - -
Burian
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10.
About Children - Moderato
Burian
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11.
About Children - Rubato
Burian
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12.
About Children - Moderato Leggiero
Burian
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13.
The Wedding Party on the Eiffel Tower op.11 - Intermezzo I
Ponc
00:00:58   Select quality & channels above
14.
Nonett II - Nonet No. 2 Op. 41
Haba
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15.
The Wedding Party on the Eiffel Tower op.11 - Intermezzo II
Ponc
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16.
Five small pieces op. 9 - Andante
Ponc
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17.
Five small pieces op. 9 - Allegro risoluto
Ponc
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18.
Five small pieces op. 9 - Moderato
Ponc
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19.
Five small pieces op. 9 - Adagio, Presto
Ponc
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20.
Five small pieces op. 9 - Allegro vivace
Ponc
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21.
Five Polydynamic Pieces op. 3 - No. 1
Ponc
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22.
Five Polydynamic Pieces op. 3 - No. 2
Ponc
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23.
Five Polydynamic Pieces op. 3 - No. 3
Ponc
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24.
Five Polydynamic Pieces op. 3 - No. 4
Ponc
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25.
Five Polydynamic Pieces op. 3 - No. 5
Ponc
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26.
Cheerful Acrostic Op. 12 - A. Haba
Ponc
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27.
Cheerful Acrostic Op. 12 - V. Helfert
Ponc
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28.
Cheerful Acrostic Op. 12 - J. Mahen
Ponc
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29.
Cheerful Acrostic Op. 12 - G. Forster
Ponc
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30.
Cheerful Acrostic Op. 12 - C. Hoffmann
Ponc
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31.
Cheerful Acrostic Op. 12 - K. Balling
Ponc
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32.
Cheerful Acrostic Op. 12 - A. Schulhoff
Ponc
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33.
The Wedding Party on the Eiffel Tower op.11 - Polka
Ponc
00:01:22   Select quality & channels above
34.
Six Songs Op. 17 - An Himmelfahrt
Ullmann
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35.
Six Songs Op. 17 - Drei Blumen
Ullmann
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36.
Six Songs Op. 17 - Dreierlei Schutzgeister
Ullmann
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37.
Six Songs Op. 17 - Es Schleppt mein Schuh
Ullmann
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38.
Six Songs Op. 17 - Wie ist die Nacht
Ullmann
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39.
Six Songs Op. 17 - Aus dem Hauschen in den Garten
Ullmann
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40.
The Wedding Party on the Eiffel Tower op.11 - Walt Of The Telegrams
Ponc
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