Georg Breinschmid & Friends (11 players) – Wien bleibt Krk – Zappel Music

by | Jul 8, 2008 | Pop/Rock/World CD Reviews | 0 comments

Georg Breinschmid & Friends (11 players) – Wien bleibt Krk – Zappel Music ZM0009, 74:50 **** [Distr. by Allegro]:

This wild and woolly Austrian effort reminded me of some of the odd mixes of music coming out of Holland and Belgium, but with some particularly German humor.  The English notes are printed in red upside down at the bottom of each page of the German notes, so the English goes from right to left in sequence.  There is no actual translation of the CD’s title, but the title track (No. 1) refers to a popular Austrian saying that “The Balkans begin in Vienna.”  The tune begins with a quote from a well-known march by Schrammel, “Vienna Remains Vienna,” then goes off on a 7/8-meter Balkans folk music binge.

The music is a heady mix of European folk, polka, waltzes, tango, beer-garden songs, classical, just about everything except funk,  blues or rap. Bassist Breinschmid’s love of Vienna and his connections with it seem to be the main glue holding together the various tracks. The lyrics are partly in English but mostly German – often in the same tune.  And there are some tracks with a fantasy language made up by Breinschmid himself. I’ve been seeing some very odd song titles lately, but one on this CD takes the cake: “I pee a hedgehog with long-lasting waves.”  I think sitting around quite awhile and imbibing in a beer-garden is de rigeur for that one.

The final track, “For the Lost Daughters and Sons of Vienna,” is for two vocalists and piano and was composed by Breinschmid to tie in with a recent film, Vienna’s Lost Daughters, about eight Jewish women who had to leave their native city in 1939 and have lived in New York City ever since, but still feel very connected to their lost home town of Vienna.  This CD will probably be a bit more fun for those conversant in German, but it’s a good mix of sounds and feelings for those who are not as well.

Wien bleibt Krk
Klanes Wiener Basssolo
Stammersdorfer Ausdruckstänze
Musette pour Elisabeth
A klanes Brabitschek
I pee a hedgehog with long-lasting waves
Mussorgsky, mei oida Freind
An uns zwaa kummt kana foabei
Skubek`s Delight
Komisches Wienerlied
Midnight in Heanois
For the lost daughters and sons of Vienna

 — John Henry


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