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Neoclassical and November Blues

Neoclassical and November Blues

He enters the stage without a word, sits down at the grand piano, plays the simple keyboard, and conjures up poignant, melancholic tone sequences reminiscent of cornfields waving in the autumn wind. Classic improvisation on tracks from his latest eighth album, “Feld,” is accompanied by synthesized vocal textures from a Fender Rhodes piano. The smoke machine kicks in and transforms the stage, lit by dim lights and a laser projector, into a psychedelic landscape whose dark charm is difficult for the audience to escape. It’s November, German composer and neoclassical star Martin Kohlstedt tells his listeners after the first set. He doesn’t know yet what direction his mood will take today. It’s just his way of improvising quite freely with musical building blocks, always breaking new stylistic territory. Through humorous self-questions, Kohlstedt manages the program, which is created intuitively.

As a result, catchy piano chords alternate with surprisingly playable rhythms, and acoustic piano sequences and ambient and field recordings are processed into exciting bodies of sound. Kohlstedt has already made a big name for himself internationally with this genre of modular music, expanding classical composition through digital modules.

Intact cathedrals

The pianist also creates cathedrals of sound at Posthof, some of which begin as childlike piano miniatures and then merge with bombastic synthesizer sounds. Suddenly the duel with the electric monster is interrupted when the improvisation takes an unwanted direction. The shape resembles a captured Pokémon that has escaped from his arms, and Kohlstedt explains the sudden change in direction. And so, in the end, the seemingly torn wizard of sound leans back to the introspective, delicate piano tones and gentle digital sound images that brilliantly reproduce the wet, cold frost above Linz in this evening of music. The thunderous applause at the end makes you forget the November blues.

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Written by Barbara Dovschmidt