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Waidhofen/Ybbs (AT) - Premiere 'The Blue Piano' at Klangraum

It was our very first concert of The Blue Piano, mathias’ last production, that at the same marks the end of our collaboration making connections between genres, between lied & song – and The Blue Piano was quite the challenge to be born to be honest – many, many recording sessions spread out from August til mid October and a heated crazyness for mathias in the end to make the final deadline for the production but you could say that his unshakeable perseverance made it happen and now it’s here – the whole album CD I & II filled with lieder, songs and pieces for piano written and arranged by rüegg performed by many many musicians some coming from classical, some from jazz backgrounds.

We had our dress rehearsal in Vienna at mathias’ place and it was the only rehearsal with the whole team 😅: the wonderful pianist Sabina Hasanova and baritone Benjamin Harasko and then of course the core rhythm section including Ingrid Oberkanins on percussion, Hans Strasser on bass and mathias rüegg on piano. On the album many,many amazing soloists played over the songs like Roman Janoška, Juraj Bartoš, Joris Roelofs, Mario Rom and for the premiere we had amazing Stano Palùch with us once more! After a long and intense rehearsal followed by a run-through, we were excited and curious how the audience would react to hearing the classical version of mathias’ compositions followed by the arranged quintett version. We figured out a couple of spots in some songs, where Benjamin and I could sing together and even one where Sabina joined in : ). We ended our rehearsal day with a listening party of the whole album and yesss with a toast and some beer and sparkling wine! It was the first time hearing the whole album for me!

Waidhofen is approximately an hour from Vienna, so there was no rush in the morning the next day and we all met at the beautiful castle ‘Rothschild’ round 4 in the afternoon. Mr. T – Thomas Egger who also recorded, mixed and mastered the whole production also took care of our live sound – oh T what would we do without you!!! We’ve played at the beautiful Kristallsaal inside the castle two times before, once with gone too far, in the very beginning of our journey and then in 2019 with our Brahms Song Book and now we got to return for the premiere of The Blue Piano. It is a very special place for me and Thomas Bieber, the artistic director, and Wolfgang Lamprecht supported our musical journey from the very beginning and I can’t begin to tell you how grateful we were to be back for this programme - that in my opinion might be mathias’ crown jewel of composing carrying the essence of his decades of musical adventures between classical music and jazz. We started the evening with a Brahms’ song ‘Faith in love’ to make the connection to the last time we got to play within those beautiful blue-shimmering halls. We were blessed with an incredibly attentive audience who listenend to our melodies changing from one colour to another and back from the first note to the last. And some of them heard us for the third time! A heartfelt thank you to everyone coming out to listen to our premiere and to everyone who kept coming back throughout the years and programmes. We all felt excited and inspired sharing the stage together drifting between lied and song and sometimes meeting in-between. We kept playing from 'Ein kleines Lied' - ‘A little song’ til the infamous ‘Lydian cow, that we recorded and practiced I guess a thousand times and still it’s the biggest challenge of the night to sing and clap this poem by Bilhelm Wusch ; ) – I think you know who that is and if you don’t I will tell you on December 1st in Dübendorf and December 8th at Porgy & Bess : )!

When you get to play at Klangraum one of the best things about this evenings (next to the incredible crew behind the stage, the beautiful castle, hall and wonderful audience : ) ) is the hospitality of the team led by Thomas and Wolfgang and I guess it’s fair to say Amy : ). We were invited to an incredible dinner with wonderful company sharing tasty wine, beer and early Christmas cookies while having discussions turning from heated to inspiring – what a night!

The Blue Piano live for the very first time at Klangraum – the beginning of an end ✨💙✨

Yours Lia

P.S.: Check out the beautiful programme that was made for our concert 💙 Thank you again to the whole team of Klangraum!!!

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