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5 star review CD Liberación – Noord-Hollands Dagblad

NHD 7 .11.14 CD recensi Liberaci

Today, November 7th, this 5 star review came out about the new CD Liberación at the Noord-Hollands Dagblad newspaper!

Translation:
Classic
Carel Kraayenhof, ‘Liberación’
(Bando Dreams)

One of the reasons why the work of bandoneon player Carel Kraayenhof always intrigues, is that his music is never a given. His new CD ‘Liberación’, a tribute to freedom, anticipates a theatre production in which he, together with his magnificent ensemble, combines music and film around the significant theme: men fleeing from violence. The roots of his work are in the tango: exceptionally engaged music, brought to the concert halls by master such as Piazzolla and Pugliese. With beautiful melodies and arrangements he certainly does not renounce that basis.
This is Kraayenhof at his best, moving, comforting and involved in reality.

Hans Visser

CD Liberación review – tango magazine La Cadena

La Cadena nov. 2014

We are happy to read another positive review on the Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble’s new CD Liberación. This one was published on the Dutch tango magazine ‘La Cadena’ (issued on early November 2014)

Translation:

CD REVIEW
By COR GLORIE

Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble

When the bandoneón starts to play in So Long Island, the first track of Liberación, you immediately hear that it is Carel Kraayenhof who touches the buttons. Is it the timbre of his instrument, his playing idiom, his way of composing, or a combination of these factors? I can’t figure it out, but striking it is.
On this CD Carel takes us on a trip around the world. Of course there are also tangos such as Revirado, El Corte and La Muerte del Angel, but the ensemble is not afraid of travelling to other continents or showing other intentions. What touched me most were the socially inspired numbers such as Cry for Freedom, dedicated to the fighters for equal rights between white and black. In this song a true tormented fight can be heard between bandoneon, piano and strings. Also in Lampedusa a threatening beat visualizes expressively the hardships of the boat fugitives during their struggle for life at sea. But yet Carel’s tango roots appear again in a new arrangement of Libertango. A dynamic ‘yumba’ piano twist pours a delicious “Pugliese sauce” over this Piazzolla classic. If there ever was a struggle between these two celebrities it has now been decided in favor of the tango.

A beautiful review for the CD Liberación at the ‘Antiliaans Dagblad’

ADCuracao 31.10.14 cd Liberacion

This review was posted on the newspaper of 31st of October.

Translation:
Kraayenhof: tribute to freedom
By Giselle Ecury
On 28 October I attended, in Amsterdam, to the official presentation of the new album of bandoneonist Carel Kraayenhof and his ensemble. A month ago I met him during Millicent Smeets-Muskus’, better known as ‘Dudi’, book presentation. ‘Curacao is deep in our heart’ he confided to the audience at that time. He confirmed that now as well, by playing ‘Cry for freedom’.
He dedicated this number to Nelson Mandela and Tula, the leader of the slave uprising of 1795 on plantation Knip. Right there the tone was set for the afternoon: Kraayenhof and his ensemble want to stand for equal rights and freedom to everyone. And they do that by making music that touches straight to the heart.
This music comes straight from their hearts, and that you can feel. ‘Liberacion’ lives. Between the lines and the notes I start to understand the message: let’s be grateful for all the good we have in our life and for those who fought for that for us. Once back home I notice a very tender song in the klezmer ‘doina’-tradition, it is a tribute to the mother of violinist Bert Vos. The writer Ida Vos (1931-2006) survived the German occupation, but lost many school friends. This song is called ‘Rumeniher Volekh – Ida y vuelta’.
As a traveling musician Carel lets himself be inspired by the music and the people he encounters. He is deeply touched by the multitudes of refugees, which appear to be unstoppable. By their ways and becoming immigrants in another country, world music arises. When the Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble started making this album, two years ago, they didn’t even suspect that the release of it would take place at a moment when the refugee issue is more relevant than ever. The intense number ‘Lampedusa’ – the Italian island which is flooded by refugees from Africa searching for safety – is a proof of this. Just like ‘Aleppo’, a cry out against the warriors who, 100 years after the break out of the First Worldwar, still use chemical weapons causing devastation to the population and entire cities. At the same time it is a tribute to the man in Aleppo who places his piano, every day, among the debris and performs with a little choir. “Because this is the only positive thing we can do in our destroyed city: make music”. So hope prevails; and that you can also hear.
The attentive listening audience was treated with eleven of the eighteen tracks, under which ‘Libertango’, the ‘freedom tango’ (1973), arranged by Kraayenhof in the style of Osvaldo Pugliese; musician, politician and one of the great peacemakers of Argentina.
I think this album is a jewel, a variation of melancholy, nostalgia, tragedy, power and hope. Several times I was carried away, felt like dancing, I wanted to show that nobody can oppress the power of the human spirit. We always recover, especially when we feel united with each other by means of music. Every goodbye is the birth of something new. Carel Kraayenhof (1958) clearly enjoys what he is doing.
This goes for all his musicians: Bert Vos, 1st violinist and partner of also violinist (2nd) Iefke Wang; Juan Pablo Dobal, pianist; Jaap Branderhorst, double bass; and Jan Willem Troost, cello. They all have worked together, frequently and intensively, rehearsing in the Beemster. The result is magnificent. Music is a universal language, which everybody understands and senses. They show that they can spread that language as no one else.
And after coming home, while writing this column, the number ‘So many partings’ touches my soul. It is the number right before ‘Sabrosita’, the Aruban tumba by Rufo Wever, arranged by pianist/composer Randell Corsen. These sounds I can and want to literally take home with me. The next track is ‘Atardi Korsou ta bunita’ by Rudy Plaate, dedicated to Millicent Smeets-Muskus, who the ensemble remembers with bliss and gratitude. It isn’t spelled quite correctly on the cover, but I think that’s actually a bit charming. After all it is the work of men, mistakes are allowed. Like in quilting, not all stitches need to be perfect, because ‘only God makes no mistakes’.
As of the 1st of January this music will be performed in the new theatre show by Carel Kraayenhof and his ensemble: ‘Liberación’. As of the 31st of October the album is for sale. For more information you can visit, and enjoy, the website www.carelkraayenhof.com.

CD Liberación is now available!

CD

The Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble’s new CD Liberación is now available! You can purchase it at your favourite shop, online or download it. It is also available at our own webshop!!!
Enjoy!

CD review – de Telegraaf

Telegraaf 28.10.14 cd Liberacion

On the 28th of October this great review was published at the Dutch newspaper de Telegraaf.

Translation:
LITTLE MOMENT OF HAPPINESS
Carel Kraayenhof lets himself be inspired by everything he feels, hears and experiences around him. It stimulates our curiosity.
Where would he have been with his thoughts during the creation of So Long, Island? Romantic, melancholic… it must have been a goodbye which, deep in his heart, did not make him happy.
And what did the bandoneon player feel by Libertango, that sounds like an intense march for peace?
Eighteen titles appear on Liberación, the album that will be officially presented tonight. With, among others, Ida y Vuelta (an homage to the Jewish writer Ida Vos) and Aleppo, from which hope as well as tragedy burst out of; the amount of emotion is high.
Kraayenhof precisely introduces the right moments for something light and cheerful. With this variation the bandoneon player reveals another angle of himself.
With Revirado he lifts the listener over the dark winter and brings the spring.
Celebration, happiness, but also fear and sorrow alternate in a high tempo in Liberación.
The Argentine tango may be the home base for Kraayenhof, but this time he dares to let go of his beloved Buenos Aires.
He takes the listener on a world trip.

Lonneke van der Genugten.

Carel Kraayenhof talks to the Refugee assistance of The Netherlands

On the new CD Liberación, in which Carel worked on for over two years and was released at the end of October, there are many new compositions related to the theme ‘Freedom’. Two of these compositions are ‘Cry for Freedom’ and ‘Aleppo’.
Currently there are important talks being held between Carel Kraayenhof and the refugee assistance in The Netherlands looking into the possibility of Carel and his ensemble giving a concert, in november, to the Syrian refugees which are sheltered at the IJsselhallen in Zwolle. Carel did not have any idea that this could be a possibility two years ago when he started this project. He feels deeply with these people who had to leave everything behind (at times even their own families), fleeing from so much violence in their own country. Carel hopes that his music can bring some healing and distraction to the people.
But the main idea is not just to play a concert, pack up and leave. His dream is to “add something” to the refugees which will remain with them for the long run. Completing the dream is to gather music instruments and distribute them at the refugee camps, so that people who used to play music at home can go on bringing a bit of happiness to the their situation. Should you wish to know more about this, please follow Carel on Facebook or Twitter. You can also send us an email to: liberacion@carelkraayenhof.nl
Vluchtelingenwerk Nederland

Press release – Liberación album release

10.10.2014
Bandoneón player/composer Carel Kraayenhof has invested most of the past two years on his new album:
‘Liberación’
Liberación
Freedom
Carel Kraayenhof is a traveling musician. His inspiration comes from the richness from local music, which he encounters during his tours. Music from people who leave everything behind hoping to find a better future somewhere else. Music from slaves who are forced to move to a new continent. Music that brings comfort to a new and strange place. Music without borders, where a call for freedom shines through; may this music be called a tango, tumba or klezmer.
Once again our world lives through a turbulent period; so many people fleeing, running away from hunger, poverty and war. And once again the entire world is watching. How have we become so indifferent, as Pope Francis says, to others? Are musicians able to bring this indifference to the surface, and maybe even soften it?

Sailors
Musicians are similar to sailors: when they are home, they dream of the sea, of concerts in far away countries; but when they are travelling, they wish they were home, their hearts warm from thoughts about their loved ones. In this process of dreaming and hoping, but also from the pain of saying goodbye and being away, new music comes to life; straight from the heart. Carel Kraayenhof lets himself be inspired by all he feels, hears and experiences. In this way he wrote ‘Lampedusa’ and ‘Aleppo’ and made a new arrangement for Astor Piazzolla’s “freedom tango” ‘Libertango’. But Carel is also inspired by his direct environment, one of the results is ‘Ida y Vuelta’: a song in honor of the first violin player Bert Vos’ mother, the Jewish writer Ida Vos. Who, as a young girl, was forced to go into hiding during the Second World War. Even though the theme is at times dramatic, the new album Liberación brings particularly hope and joy, freedom is broadly celebrated! Carel does this together with the musicians of the Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble. In addition to Carel’s new compositions, in this album you will find some of his special tangos, such as ‘El Corte’, ‘Un Tornillo’ and the milonga ‘El Fuego del Fueye’.

Biography Carel Kraayenhof:
Carel Kraayenhof (1958) started his musical career as a piano player and started to play the bandoneón when he was 26 years old. After playing folk music for several years together with his brother Jaap, he discovered the Argentine tango. Soon enough he became a master of the traditional tango as well as the tango nuevo. Carel often collaborates with nationally and internationally renowned orchestras. He has worked together with world wide famous artists such as Sting, Joshua Bell, Yo-Yo Ma and Ennio Morricone; in the Netherlands his talent was shared with musicians such as Bløf, Andre Hazes, Trijntje Oosthuis, Paul de Leeuw and Janine Jansen
kraayenhof
Release: 31 October 2014 – Label: Bando Dreams – Distribution cd: Pias/Rough Trade

Theater tour Liberación premiers: 13 January 2015 Stadsschouwburg Utrecht, The Netherlands
Contact information : Thirza Lourens- management@carelkraayenhof.nl
T. 0299.690821 M. 06.51400899 www.carelkraayenhof.nl

Cd recording Liberacion started! Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble

BqU0zJYIEAAH8y2We have started to record Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble’s new CD, Liberación. The Kerkzaal (“church room”) at Beauforthuis in Austerlitz has been transformed into a studio and will be our home for the next three days. With Studio Engineer Hans Bedeker is in charge of the sound table and our Sound Engineer Rimmert van Lummel working hard at the moment, our CD release in October is looking certain!

Carel Kraayenhof Newsletter June. On vacation to Porugal?

Dear friends and colleagues,

18The Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble is back from a great tour in Indonesia. Next to the successful concerts at the Theater Salihara and at the Erasmus Huis, both in Jakarta, the Ensemble also gave a beautiful concert in the Kraton in Yogyakarta. The Sultan and his family live in this “Kraton” and during the concert we were honored by the presence of his oldest daughter, the crown princess. It was a pleasant surprise to see that many of the visitors who were present in our last concert, two years ago, were once again present during these concerts. At the Erasmus Huis we were able to give an entire concert with the collaboration of local musicians, two dancers and to play a song with the enormously popular Indonesian pop idol Calvin Jeremy. The workshop and master class in Argentine Tango in Jakarta and Yogyakarta were a lot of fun. In Yogyakarta we had some challenges to get enough musicians to join, considering that the strings and piano players had they main exams on that same day! For that reason we had an interesting mix musicians in the classroom, even drummers and electrical guitar students. Luckily they jumped right in, with Juan Pablo’s first rhythmic notes and enjoyed the Argentine tango and folklore. Full of enthusiasm they watched on the following day our concert at the Kraton.
For the Ensemble it was great to be able to play the new repertoire, this not only for the new theater show ‘Liberación’, but also as preparation for the CD recording on the 17th, 18th and 19th of June.
The rest of the month we will be working on mixing and assembling the music recorded. This new album will also be released under our own label. The official release will take place on the 28th of October.

Repertoire CD ‘Liberación’
After more than one and half year of preparation we are proud to confirm that this new album will have even more own compositions than our last one. We are also glad to share with you the titles of songs that will be present in the album. Carel’s own compositions: So Long, Island, Cry for freedom, Ida y vuelta, Lampedusa, Bamestra, Aleppo, El fuego del fueye, Charlotte, Lament, Un tornillo en la maquina tanguera, El Corte.
Juan Pablo’s compositions: Candombe sin esclavos, Andes.
The dates for the theater tour are already known, please visit our website for the dates and you may also contact the theaters for tickets purchase.

Portugal
If you are planning a vacation to Portugal this summer, maybe an option is to visit Espinho on the 25th of July. On this date, at 22:00hrs Carel will give a concert at the main square, together with the Classical Orchestra of Espinho. Carel will join the orchestra as bandoneon soloist playing the first three parts of “Aconcagua” – Concerto for bandoneón and Orchestra and Adios Nonino from Astor Piazzolla.
This concert will take place as part of the 40th International Music Festival of Espinho.
Summer vacation
From the 7th to the 16th of July our office will be closed for a summer vacation.

Warm regards,
Carel and Thirza

“LIBERACION” A theater production where image and music become one based on the theme ‘freedom’.

Carel Kraayenhof has been busy for more than a year and even rehearsals have taken place. Now the entire world may know: together with his ensemble and two filmmakers he is creating a new theater show: ‘Liberación’. A theater production where image and music become one based on the theme ‘freedom’.
It is actually pretty logical, as the bandoneón player and composer Kraayenhof says: “At home we had an “LP” with the song ‘Ouverture 1812’. This song told the story of how Napoleon’s army were defeated by the Russian army in 1812. On the cover you could see a painting from that time period showing a battlefield. That painting showed exactly what the music was about; that made the music live. You could see what you were hearing.”
“We live in a visual time. Everyone matches music and image on their daily lives. I believe that video and music can bring extra excitement to the theater. At times the music will lead and at times the images will guide you on.”
The Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble works together with direction Jos Groenier and filmmaker Joost Gulien. Some pieces have already been worked on. For example images of the Italian island Lampedusa were already edited, here Kraayenhof wrote a powerful composition for. “The fishermen of that island are forbidden to help the African refugees who come ashore in that area of the Mediterranean Sea. ‘Not helping’ goes against their instincts and against their tradition. Long time ago, their grandparents walked on the same shoes as these refugees.”
The images fit the theme, because Kraayenhof does not make music without a meaning. “We have been a little bit around the world and everywhere you can see that the need for freedom ignites the creation of new music. In the past you could see that with the Irish, but now also with the Cubans. Liberación is about the musical freedom. Music with a fancy touch, wanting to reach higher levels.
“That is why I composed a song inspired by Tula, the leader of the slave revolution in Curaçao in 1795. This man held himself to the French Revolution’s ideal: freedom, equality and brotherhood. Based on this ideal the Haitian slaves had already gained freedom. If you travel a lot, just like we do, you gain knowledge and impressions; inspiration.”
Kraayenhof plays a short piece of music. Alex North’s slow theme for the film about the Roman slave Spartacus, who he compares to Tula. It was a milonga, melancholically colored by strings and the bandoneón. Seamlessly, and almost unnoticed, the musical mood turns Irish, when the sounds of the ‘pipes’, bagpipes, play along. “This sound is also generated by the vibration of ‘tongues’. You are influenced by people and the landscapes, you feel how it is to be there.”
All that remains the base of the tango language. That is one of the reasons why he added a piece of music from his mentor Astor Piazzolla in his song ‘Libertango’; but Kraayenhof adapted it to the style of his other musical father: Osvaldo Pugliese.

“Don’t expect an extremely serious evening. Humor and optimism are a great part of it. Just think of how people with big problems, in many different countries, are great in improvising. Argentineans are masters in that, and also in Indonesia they have a good hand in it.
At the end of this year the try-outs will take place and in the beginning of 2015 ‘Liberación’ will have its premiere. Until then a lot of investments have to be done. Challenging, because subsidies are pretty hard to get, or unexciting and because it is such a new concept theaters are somewhat hesitant to book the show. In order to manage to put all that money together we have started a crowdfunding campaign. That means that whoever supports this project financially will receive a special something in return; from an hour at the gym with Carel to a new composition written by Carel dedicated to the supporter/sponsor. How are you going to do that? “This summer I won’t be bored, writing on request is not that crazy, I may even say that it is nice. Composers such as Mozart and Beethoven lived of it.
Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble #