Vollton Musikverlag, Biber Records, Studio f

The Concert

Artist: Friedemann
Title: The Concert
Catalog-Nr.: 76787
Format: DVD Video (NTSC)
Sound Format: Stereo / Dolby Digital 5.1
Video Format: 16:9 (anamorphic)
Running Time »The Concert« : 115 Minutes
Running Time »The Story so far«
(Friedemann’s illustrated Biography): 23 Minutes
Release Date: March 2005
Label: Biber Records
Distribution: Inakustik, Germany

Since 1966 he has been performing on stage: not constantly of course, because over the years he has also amply demonstrated his skills as music producer, publisher and composer. Friedemann, the world traveller, born in Freiburg im Breisgau in the south-west corner of Germany, now tends to spend more time in the muted atmosphere of his recording studio than under bright stage lights. Since 1987 he has brought out eight superb solo albums. In view of the total sales of over 500,000 albums, you might well wonder why none of them ever made it into the charts. That’s because Friedemann’s creation does not follow the logic of the bestsellers which are often here today and gone tomorrow. His success is based on continuity and has blessed him with a faithful and loving international audience. His fans, many of whom happily travel hundreds of kilometres just to attend a concert given by Friedemann and his German-French ensemble, have been waiting since the beginning of the age of DVDs to take home one of those performances and experience it in multi-channel sound right in their own homes.

Since 1998 Friedemann's ensemble has matured and grown together; and the live show has gained so much visual excitement, thanks to some acoustic and theatrical additions, that he felt it was time to produce a version for (home) cinema. And as a special bonus, the fans can enjoy the short movie »The Story So Far« which in twenty-three minutes portrays the artist’s history since 1966.

Naturally the DVD includes Friedemann’s very own, subtle instrumental music, with the very best from folk, jazz and pop and a touch of chamber music, recorded live at Stuttgart Theaterhaus. There are, however, also moments which refer to experiments by the new composer John Cage, such as »Sparks«, a composition for six gas lighters, or the stick fight by the two percussionists Markus Faller and Emmanuel Séjourné (»Venin«) which receives frenzied applause every time. The ensemble plays with intensity and improvises in the best jazz style. Saxophonist Philipp Geiss makes his electrifying appearances, whilst keyboarder Kurt Eisfeld prefers to remain in the background, forming the musical framework.

This highly precise and concentrated performance by the ensemble still allows plenty of space for all sorts of humour and fooling around, and the cheerfulness which runs through the whole evening gives the concert a light-hearted note which did not escape the critics’ notice: »The atmosphere was cosy, almost family-like, and the way the musicians addressed the audience was incredibly relaxed.« (Mainzer Zeitung). This is a good example of the likeable professionalism of the ensemble. Because the truth is that Friedemann gets just as nervous before each performance as he did back in 1966, when he first stood up before an audience.

Friedemann: guitar
Philippe Geiss: soprano and alto sax, percussion
Emmanuel Séjourné: marimba, vibes, percussion
Kurt Eisfeld: keyboards
Markus Faller: drums, percussion

Recorded at Theaterhaus Stuttgart, July 2004
Producer: Friedemann Witecka
DVD Producer: Die Basis Medien GmbH, Esslingen
Video Director: Konstantin Schenk
Camera: Thomas Weber, Dirk Morgenstern, Peter Felder
Lighting: Frank Rother
Recording Engineer: Gibbs Platen
Mixing Engineer: Johannes Wohlleben at Bauer Studios, Ludwigsburg

01 The Rusty Knight (F. Witecka)        
02 Once In The Black Forest (F. Witecka)
03 The Samurai Who Decided To Die (F. Witecka)
04 Six Baguettes     (E. Séjourné)
05 The Stallion’s Dream (F. Witecka)
06 Memories Of Lugnasad (F. Witecka)
07 Venin (D. Dionne / E. Séjourné)
08 Blow With The Wind (F. Witecka)
09 The Lady From Yonder Hill (Ph. Geiss / F. Witecka)
10 One Summer Eve (F. Witecka)
11 Sparks (E. Séjourné)
12 Sunshower (F. Witecka)
13 He Who Walks Alone (F. Witecka)
14 Sourdos (E. Séjourné / Ph. Geiss)
15 The Eye Of The Dragonfly (F. Witecka)
16 Toledo IV (F. Witecka)
17 Passion And Pride (F. Witecka / P. Largounez)
18 Jungle Tune (F. Witecka)
19 Lament Of Tthe White Goddess (F. Witecka)

Special Feature: »The Story so far«
(Friedemann’s illustrated Biography)

Friedemann - The Concert