FAME Review: Thomas Gansch & Georg Breinschmid - Live at Weiner Konzerthaus
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Thomas Gansch & Georg Breinschmid - Live at Weiner Konzerthaus

Live at Weiner Konzerthaus

Thomas Gansch & Georg Breinschmid

Preiser Records - PR91239

Available from Amazon.com.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker
(progdawg@hotmail.com)

Well, Georg Breinschmid has concentrated on fellow traveler trumpet playing Thomas Gansch this time around—more properly: 'yet another fellow traveler', as Georg is far from unaccompanied in musical wit and acumen over there in Europe. Live is an offering completely of ear and funny-bone tickling duets from the two, and, right from the very first track, Unter Donner und Lee—a combination of Strauss' Unter Donner und Blitz (Thunder & Lightning) and Charlie Parker's Donna Lee—they're cutting up, catting around, and righteously collaborating in subversively intelligent sonic jackanapery. It goes without saying that the virtuosity of the duet is of a very high order, even above the grin-inducing brainworks, so what you're getting in this release is a very satisfying carnival that will drop your jaw and make you titter or howl in laughter simultaneously (and you can hear the audience doing the same).

It happened to me. A wreath of teeth appeared in my face, guffawing like a monkey as I read the title Low n Green and just knew it had to be a take on Wagner's Lohengrin. Sure enough, it is, and of course, the cover photo of the two post-beatniks standing in coffins while waiting for a train kinda gives a signpost to the smirks and japery contained within, the disc a Bonzo Dog-ish smorgasbord of many many influences, steals, borrowings, bastardizations, interpretations, and originalities. These cut-ups even have a sense of humor about themselves (and about academic fakirs), as shown in their own Klassik Gstanzln:

Once I studied music and got my degree
Since then I've decided: Retirement's for me
When playing, I play hooky—man, what can I say?
Thank goodness you can't hear me play anyway

But then they get Monty Pythonish as the song progresses:

The viola soloist's really a rotter
Our relationship's always been dead in the water
And the Slovak who is sharing my music stand
Should take care I don't kick him in the prostate gland!

However, it's all encanted in German, so ya gotta read the 16-page insert booklet to let yourself in on the shenanigans. Doesn't matter if you do or don't, however, as the Wagner cut alone will have you rolling in the aisles, harking back to PDQ Bach, Anna Russell, and that tiny, tiny, TINY role call of musicians who can perpetrate this kind of delightful gambol without ever becoming slapstick or even faintly cliché. Yes, there's a TON of trad, outside, and even Arcturian jazz here, but the real treasure is that it's a non-stop exposition of exceedingly rare celerity inseparable from all the exquisite lampooning, satire, chicanery, and pure love of music no matter what form it takes.

Track List:

  • Unter Donner und Lee (Strauss / Parker)
  • Geilomat (Gansch / Breinschmid)
  • 5/4 (Georg Breinschmid)
  • Klassik Gstanzln (Gansch / Breinschmid)
  • Jabistdudenndeppat (Gansch / Breinschmid)
  • Der Tod (Gansch / Breinschmid)
  • Sombrero (Gansch / Breinschmid)
  • Ansage / Announcement (Gansch / Breinschmid)
  • Low N Green (Richard Wagner)
  • Irgendwas (Gansch / Breinschmid)
  • Kurt (Gansch / Breinschmid)
  • Herbert Schnitzler (Gansch / Breinschmid)
  • Blue Danube / Can't buy me love / Something Stupid / Tea for two (Strauss / Lennon & McCartney / Parks / Youmans / Caesar)

Edited by: David N. Pyles
(dnpyles@acousticmusic.com)

Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
 
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