|FMP/FREE MUSIC PRODUCTION - An Edition of Improvised Music
FMP CD 87
Sounds, bundled into a collective force, and individual brass lines which, veering away, finally get back into correspondence with the others; processes of compaction and disentanglement right up to the limits of silence; clear sounds and every imaginable transition up to and including the area of noise; simple basic models, which make possible complex superimposition of composition and improvisation - these recordings from the years 1985/86 reveal the total spectrum of Manfred Schulze's music for brass quintet. The line-up of the group proved to be consistent despite the irregular playing possibilities. The musical climate within the group was stable. Manfred Schulze had put his first brass quintet together already in 1969. He remembers that before starting the rehearsals, he would sometimes put on a recording of one of Arnold Schönberg's compositions for brass quintet in order to get the colleagues into the right mood. These early attempts to gain acceptance proved to be fairly unsuccessful. Manfred Schulze found himself in a cleft stick. In his desire to improvise and in his means of expression, he was too heavily influenced by Jazz to be able to get near to New music while at the same time moving away from the imitation of American Jazz, long before the Free Jazz emancipation. This turned out to be even more tragic: Later, in the rising times of Free Jazz he was misunderstood, because Schulze's approach originated too much in composition, in order to be able to be associated unreservedly with totally free improvisation.
Despite all the differences in the pieces presented here, the power, the transparency and the clarity of the musical thinking is impressive - a kind of directness and accessibility often missed with works in the area of New Music. The musical language is right up to date, but, at the same time, shows lines of tradition reaching back to the Renaissance and the Middle Ages. Many have attempted to play Jazz with a European identity. Manfred Schulze never allowed such intentions to take precedence, he strove anyway to avoid all kinds of categorisation and finally moved away from Jazz just as far as from the circles of New Music, where he never was accepted. Despite all this, he managed to put the virtues of Jazz, and especially those of Improvisation, into an intense relationship with those of the European music tradition in a way only few have managed to do. As composer, his dual personality always functioned as that of co-musician. The compositions presented here give an authentic impression of their realisation accompanied and directed by Manfred Schulze. Whoever listens to recordings of a quintet influenced by Manfred Schulze, or attends concerts of live music, may discover that his Music has had a lasting effect going beyond his actual physical presence as a player. (Manfred Schulze Brass Quintet: Konzertino, FMP CD 70).
In hindsight, "Nummer 12", "Viertens" and "B-A-C-H" show something of a manifesto-like character: complicated and wonderfully simple at the same time, demanding and full of an unmistakable joy of playing, showing clarity of mind brought passionately into the realms of sound.
Translation: Isabel Seeberg & Paul Lytton