This review appeared on 15 January in the Antillean Newspaper (Antilliaans Dagblad) in Curaçao.
Duo Kraayenhof and Dobal presents **** Hotel Victoria
By Giselle Ecury
They already know each other since his arrival in the Netherlands in 1989, when he was a member of the quartet in which also Carel Kraayenhof played. Argentinian Juan Pablo Dobal and Carel Kraayenhof now release as a duo a cd in connection with a new theatre program. That cannot go by unnoticed. How beautiful it is to feel practically in every sound that they communicate via the music, complement and are tuned to each other.
Only four months after presenting in Tivoli Vredenburg, Utrecht, the live album “In concert” by Carel Kraayenhof and harp player Lavinia Meijer, bandoneonist Carel Kraayenhof and pianist /composer Dobal accomplish this theatre program: “Hotel Victoria”. The mere title immediately stimulates my imagination. Because who doesn’t remember the legendary “Hotel California” by the Eagles in 1976 – you know: such a lovely place, such a lovely face… you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave. Hotel Victoria too is a tribute to an existing hotel and the title of a tango from 1906, composed by pianist Feliciano Latasa. The famous Gran Hotel Victoria in Buenos Aires was a meeting place for many musicians and artists for decades. In those days they tried to find their fortune in this metropolis, because exactly there the tango seemed to become a frenzy. History taught us that by now the tango has indeed conquered the world. The Duo Kraayenhof and Dobal presents this title item more or less as a tribute to every hotel, because after a concert a hotel is a halting place for the traveling musician, a light house at the sea, but also a meeting place with other musicians. The bar invites to take the bandoneon out of the bag again or to open the old piano that is standing in the corner. To wake up the next morning in a place you don’t really recognize anymore. “The musicians life is a life of a ‘loco lindo’”. ‘Hotel Victoria’, arranged by pianist Horacio Salgan for his duo with guitar player Ubaldo de Lio, now gets “a different flavour” with the sound of the bandoneón.
Behind every number hides a beautiful story, also behind the numbers written by Carel and Juan Pablo themselves. To stay in the hotel subject, the festive “Enny” is dedicated to Kraayenhof’s mother on the occasion of her 80th birthday. He often stays over her place, with pleasure, after concerts in the south of the country, “the best B&B of the south”.
But also in many other pieces a warm humanism appear, an eye for the abuses in the world which always exist, involvement. Thus originated “Frieda’s milonga” after a special meeting with Frieda Menco (90) who told Carel how she survived Auschwitz in the second world war and how she dedicated her long life to world peace, by speaking with young people all over the world about discrimination. “Charlotte” is dedicated to his sister in law who, in Groningen, stimulates the building of wheelchair friendly houses in the center of the city; and Juan Pablo describes in “Sudamérica” the continent where he was born and raised, a continent with rich natural resources, trapped between two oceans; prey of Spanish and Portuguese colonists by which two peoples, the Indians and the Africans, had to suffer.
Should you, by any chance, be in the Netherlands, check in for a night in this special Hotel. On February 6th the official cd presentation will take place during an afternoon concert at the Noorderkerk in Amsterdam. Tickets are for sale via: www.noorderkerkconcerten.nl. Via the website you can have a look in the agenda and read more information about the cd. But keep in mind: you can never leave…! https://www.carelkraayenhof.nl/duo-carel-kraayenhof-juan-pablo-dobal/