KNIGHTLY BORDER CROSSERS: Joyful musicianship from Bach to Reich

04.28.17
The Knights
Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung

They are young and highly motivated and not afraid to cross musical borders. They play classical and modern music, and their cross-over programs may well feature a Bod Dylan song. The Knights ("Die Ritter" in German) is what this unorthodox ensemble from New York calls itself, an ensemble that is a perfect fit for the Heidelberger Frühling Festival, where they now had an enthusiastically acclaimed appearance. The ensemble is the product of joint chamber music sessions among friends, founded by Eric Jacobsen and directed by him and his brother, concertmaster Colin Jacobsen. (...)

The evening began in meditation mood, with a string fantasy by Purcell, with instrumentalists placed across the hall creating some sort of 'Raummusik' (music in space). That suited perfectly, also in its direct transition, with the following Duet for two violins and strings by Steve Reich, closely interwoven, echoing phrases laid by the two solo violins over prisma-style opened harmonies. As a matter of principle, The Knights perform standing, which underlines and support their drive. Rythmically agile, clear and witty is their play, which was a blessing also for all other works of their program. Like in a caleidoscope did the wind colors and striking strings motives shine in Stravinsky's 'Dumbarton Oaks'. Joyful musicianship, most charming neo-classicist delight – the same pleasure could be derived from Bach's Brandeburg Concerto No. 3. With fun and delight did the musicians render these works – and you could clearly see and hear this. Not least because the two excellent horn players had the sounds melting in their mouths. The pure delight continued marvelously with Haydn's Symphony No. 80 Boccherini's famous 'Fandango'. An eminently likeable ensemble that the Heidelberg audience would love to hear again soon.

Translation from Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung