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Christiane Klonz: “Mozart – Beethoven – Liszt – Klonz”

img  Tobias

This is the sixth CD that Christiane Klonz has published over the course of just one year and even discounting the fact that three of them were re-releases and one actually a pretty short EP, that is quite a lot of music for anyone to digest. For Klonz, of course, it must have felt like a valve opening, unleashing a wildwater stream of creativity. But the uninitiated listener might be tempted to ask: Do we really need all of this?

That temptation actually grows as one looks at the track listing of her latest album. Mozart, Beethoven, Liszt – it is the natural choice of composers for an artist who lives and breathes with the great masters of the piano repertoire, but it is also a pretty straightforward and unsurprising one. And opting to complement Beethoven’s “Sonata C-Major” with the easily ridiculed “Für Elise” may seem like an odd choice on the face of things as well. It is not even so much the fact some details seem out of place – the whole picture implies that this is just another CD by a Pianist who needs something to sell at her concerts.

Once again, the wisdom that one should listen first and judge afterwards, turns out to be true. For anyone who has followed the career of Christiane Klonz over the years, the simple fact that these are some of her most recent recordings is an obvious argument in favour of this collection. Four years of silence lay between her last „studio“ session and “Mozart – Beethoven – Liszt – Klonz” – a silence which left many questions with regards to her development and perspective open.

The album therefore does a great deal in reamphasising that Klonz has neither lost her touch, nor sought to reinvent herself. Instead, her strive for clarity has never been – ahum – clearer than on this occasion. In their unadorned state, the pieces regain a new meaning, a new potential. Christiane Klonz does not avoid overly romantic expressionism because of its aesthetic implications. She merely tones it down to keep the inner tension of the music simmering.

This why a short piece like “Das Butterbrot” no longer needs to remain a naive petitesse, but comes to new life as a pure miniature. “Für Elise”, meanwhile has rarely ever sounded this unexerted and void of pretentions. As on previous albums, it is a tightrope act, which sees Klonz perilously close to the point of leaving out too much. But that is the immanent danger of her art, which also renders it all the more exciting when things do work out.

With “Scherzo – Melodie – Inspiration”, Klonz also delivers on the compositional front and these three tracks ranging from a mere 56 seconds' length to three minutes, form a much more organic bond with her repertoire than the pop-allusions of “Ballads” in my opinion. They also help to turn this album into what probably amounts to the most vivid and up-to-date representation of Christiane Klonz in all her different facets.

Whether or not this is your cup of tea is one thing. But in the context of an artist gradually finding her unique voice, yes, we need this album.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Christiane Klonz
Homepage: ClaXL Records

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