Kutschera, Ulrich (Piano and Keyboards) / Freiburg Minster Square
Album: Freiburg Minster Square   Collection:Classical
Artist:Kutschera, Ulrich (Piano and Keyboards)   Added:Feb 2023
Label:UVASONAR Media Production  

A-File Activity
Add Date: 2023-03-10 Pull Date: 2023-05-12 Charts: Classical/Experimental
Week Ending: May 7 Apr 2 Mar 26 Mar 12
Airplays: 1 1 1 1

Recent Airplay
1. Jun 27, 2023: Sound Wheels
Cathedral of Our Lady (6:24)
4. Jun 08, 2023: Totally A
Easy Conversations (4:16)
2. Jun 17, 2023: Music Casserole
Cathedral of Our Lady (6:24)
5. May 06, 2023: Music Casserole
The Red Bear (4:36)
3. Jun 09, 2023: Totally A
Easy Conversations (4:16)
6. Mar 28, 2023: Virtually Happy
Cathedral of Our Lady (6:24)

Album Review
Gary Lemco
Reviewed 2023-02-18
Ulrich Kutschera (b. 1955), a visiting scientist and evolutionary biologist, offers the fourth of his Piano Synth-music albums, ostensibly musical depictions of artwork by Alfred Kutschera, here 9 studies or scenes, 1928-2004, from Freiburg, Germany. Freiburg is the city in which Kutschera was born and educated, He calls these pieces “views” and “impressions,” performing the works himself on Grand Piano and Keyboards.

1, Cathedral of Our Lady (6:24)
Sounds of running water and church bells precede a martial chorale over pedal points in the manner of Franck or Messiaen, though the synthetic keyboard adds an eerie sense of vocal and percussive modernism. The picture itself features a sunny climate in which the church spire, topped by a cross, thrusts its Gothic power into space.

2. Castle Hill (4:24)
Is based on an Impressionistic portrait, a garden scene, here inspiring a major-key, modal response in synthetic, melodic periods. The idyll enjoys a glistening patina, with cymbal and jazz-percussion effects, much in the style of Morricone’s film scores. The melody dies away sonorously.

3. Small streams (5:37)
Presents a street scene in the manner of Utrillo, inhabited by a clock-tower and residences. The jazzy score rather pulsates a friendly energy with suspended harmonies, often liquid or aerial in character. A brassy sonority emerges late in the piece over the ostinato elements. The coda explodes in tones similar to those in the film Forbidden Planet.

4. The Red Bear (4:36)
Opens with the most obviously jazz context, almost a mediation from Herby Hancock or Keith Jarrett. It evolves out of a single, core rhythms and series of ringing improvisations, the arpeggios particularly luminous. The title refers to the view of the Cathedral of Our Lady from another perspective, reminiscent of a street in New Orleans, so the jazz medium feels appropriate.

5. Cathedral Square (4:10)
Places Our Lady in another context, rising above ivy-covered, municipal structures. Sharing the pictorial frame is an elongated lamppost. The sonority of this piece is singularly percussive on the Grand Piano, supported by a rich, halo texture. All the progressions advance upward, culminating in bell tones and brassy punctuations.

6. City Theatre (4:24)
Turns to a less “sacred” context, at least ostensibly. The bird calls and human narrative provide a kind of idyllic post-card quality, although the narrative has an environmental element. “You listen to people you believe in and people you’ve never heard of.” Do we detect both a didactic and pantheistic impulse in all these effects?

7. Trocheta intermedia (4:38)
Depicts a river-walk, like that in San Antonio, Texas, but more intimate in scale. Rich chords accompany our sunny tour, insistent and lyrical, at once. Somewhat sectionalized, the piece breaks off to introduce a high-register, synthetic melody rife with bell tones and splashy colors. A brief fade out then picks up once more with glistening effects; another caesura and a coda on the Grand Piano.

8. Easy conversations (4:16)
Plays like Kutschera’s concession to R&B. The club atmosphere has a persistent beat and synthetic overhead. We see another Utrillo foster-child, with Our Lady in bleached, sunlight colors. All these street scenes are devoid of human inhabitants, but the atmosphere is less threatening than we find in Chirico. This piece has a 1960s feel about it, like a film featuring Dean Martin, Richard Roundtree, or James Garner. Rather repetitious, the limited musical energy does not sustain well.

9. Freiburg Minster Square (6:42).
Provides the eponymous sound we have been waiting for. Running waters and aerial, chorale-like gymnastics abound in a series of scalar patterns and organ sonorities. The pictorial representation is especially rich in colors, Out Lady in a dense scenic perspective. The Grand Piano solo breaks out in a combination march and dance, in a style reminiscent of Edvard Grieg. The organ sound serves as a virile antiphon. Bach and Franck seem to hover over the musical means. The jazz drums pick up the modern take on our sense of piety, and the sonority invokes a heavenly choir apotheosis.

Track Listing
1. Cathedral of Our Lady (6:24)   5. Cathedral Square (4:10)
2. Castle Hill (4:24)   6. City Theatre (4:24)
3. Small Streams (5:37)   7. Trocheta Intermedia (4:38)
4. The Red Bear (4:36)   8. Easy Conversations (4:16)
  9. Freiburg Minster Square (6:42)