Beethoven in the Style of Jazz” was a jewel of a concert that introduced a particularly bright note into the Beethoven Festival. Though not every piece was jazzified, those that were, were real cool and those that weren’t, were wonderfully luscious.

And Beethoven wasn’t the only composer the six talented musicians took on. Bach was invited to this jam session, too, and as far as we can tell neither composer complained as their iconic concertos and sonatas were recast in the American jazz groove. Rhythmically modified and lightly layered with percussion and bass punctuation, the familiar classical themes and cadences seamlessly morphed into something new and fun.

A special treat was the unexpected offering of Shchedrin’s “Russian Fragments” performed in the original form by the excellent cellist Boris Andrianov. Never heard before in San Antonio, the piece imparts to the cello at least ten different voices, creates unusual textures and invokes a complex narrative.

Jasmina Wellinghoff
Senior Writer and Arts Columnist- San Antonio Woman magazine

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