Claus Ogerman - MPS/BASF and MPS/Edel
[Above and below: covers and inside liner from the original MPS LP]
"Symbiosis", MPS/BASF [Germany] (red inner label) #21
Bill Evans, "Symbiosis", MPS [Germany] #15.402 (1974).[LP]
Bill Evans, "Symbiosis", MPS [Germany] #21 22094-3 (19__).[LP Reissue]
Bill Evans, "Symbiosis", MPS [Germany] #523 381-2 (year unknown).[CD]
Bill Evans, "Symbiosis", MPS / Edel [Germany] #CD 0211548MSW (2016).[CD]
Bill Evans, "Symbiosis", MPS / Edel [Germany] #LP 0211547MSW (2016).[LP Reissue]
Bill Evans, "Symbiosis", MPS / Edel [Germany] (no catalog number) (2016).[Digital release, link here:
1st Movement (A) (Moderato, Various Tempi)
1st Movement (B)
1st Movement (C)
2nd Movement (A) (Largo, Andante, Maestoso, Largo)
2nd Movement (B)
* * *
"'Symbiosis' is a
vastly overlooked album in Evans' prolific canon, yet one
that needs to be seriously reckoned with. Ogerman, who had
worked with Bill on two previous albums in 1963 and in 1965
(With Symphony Orchestra), composed an adventurous and often
hauntingly beautiful work in two parts. In the third section
of the first movement, working over a slow and gentle jazzy
swing, Bill plays long and fast-moving lines on electric
piano that catch your ear with their shimmering beauty and
complexity. Ogerman writes lush but never maudlin strings
(and a few flutes) here in dense, often whole-tone and
poly-chordal fashion underneath -- creating a perfect
cushion for the pianist's swirling right-hand lines. The
Rhodes fits in well here, as it does sparingly in and out
through Symbiosis' framework. It is often used as
punctuation at the end of a written ensemble phrase, or as
an ensemble texture. Evans' choices as to when to use the
Rhodes or the Steinway are wise indeed, and not without
great sensitivity, integrating seamlessly within the
composition. Claus Ogerman as composer-arranger succeeds
marvelously here with a work of great harmonic expression
and rhythmic interest that showcases Evans' lyrical
expression and his obviously inherent classical strengths,
yet within a composition that represents much of what jazz
is about. (Ogerman would later do the same for tenor sax
virtuoso Michael Brecker for his Cityscape album.) If we
consider the aural comparisons to the other albums Bill did
with orchestral accompaniment, it is far and away the most
superior achievement, and may represent his best use of the
electric keyboard in context. "Symbiosis" is far too
important to be neglected as often as it has when jazz
writers discuss Bill Evans albums. As biographer Keith
Shadwick noted: 'Evans brings to the work the consummate
artistry and sensitivity that occurs when he is stretched
and stimulated. His rubato playing in the opening and second
movement sometimes alone, sometimes in unison with the
strings, is both moving and immensely accomplished in a way
that few jazz or classical pianists could have
--Excerpted from the article "Rhodes Less Travelled" by Jan Stevens. Used by exclusive permission of the author, and The Bill Evans Webpages [http://www.billevanswebpages.com/rhodespiece.html]. © Jan Stevens 2002. All rights reserved.
arranger, conductor, pianist and coach for the album
'Classical Barbra' was the German musician Claus Ogerman
and, when not advising Streisand on the care and feeding of
Handelian appoggiaturas, Ogerman dabbles in several other
musical areas as well. In 1973 he composed a forty-minute
work for piano and orchestra called Symbiosis, with the
piano part being written for and, in its premiere recording,
played by the American, Bill Evans. I'm not really what you
might call a jazz buff and I've never been able to get
interested in what the Americans would call "third stream,"
which roughly describes the territory explored by Symbiosis,
but I think that in many respects this is a rather
remarkable work. Much of it is what we classical types
insist on calling through-composed - music in which every
note is written out; other segments provide for only the
harmonic outline, plus a generous helping of figured-bass,
and the soloist is expected to embroider accordingly. These
sections are, to my ears, somewhat underwhelming - there's
just too great a discrepancy between the spontaneous (or
supposedly spontaneous) noodlings of even so gifted an
artist as Bill Evans and the very sophisticated structural
scaffolding which Ogerman has erected. But the
through-composed sections are really quite marvelous;
Ogerman has a staggeringly inventive harmonic imagination
and the first of Symbiosis's two movements, in particular,
is possessed of enormous sweep and drive."
--Commentary by Glenn Gould, August 26, 1977 on a Canadian radio broadcast, whose remarks were made after playing some of the "Symbiosis" album to the audience.
* * *
LINER NOTES and
Symbiosis-mps-liner1.JPG - Liner notes from the back cover of the MPS LP
by Bill Evans (German/English text).
Symbiosis-mps-liner2.JPG - Liner notes from the inside cover of the MPS LP
by Claus Ogerman (German/English text, with handwritten
music notation examples).
Symbiosis-mps-liner3.JPG - Continuation of liner notes from the inside
cover of the MPS LP by Claus Ogerman (German/English text).
Symbiosis-credits.JPG - All the text from the MPS LP back cover.
Recorded at Columbia
Recording Studios, New York, New York on February 11, 12 &
14, 1974. Includes liner notes by Claus Ogermann and
Hanns E. Petrik.
Unlimited, "Eventide", MPS [Germany] #14.324 (1979).[LP]
The Singers Unlimited, "Magic Voices", MPS [Germany] #539 130-2 (1997).[7 CD boxed set].
Boxed set listed also contains the complete contents of the "Eventide" album, along with others.
composition included is "I Loved You" (vocal arrangement by
Gene Puerling, orchestral arrangement by Robert Farnon).
The Singers Unlimited: Bonnie Herman, Don
Shelton, Len Dresslar, Gene Puerling. Musical
Director: Willi Fruth.
Ogerman composition included is "Look
Around". Track is also included in "Claus Ogerman: The Man
Behind The Music" compilation boxed set which appears in
the "Claus Ogerman: His Own Discography" section of site.
Four-of-us-liners.JPG - Original LP liner notes by Baldhard G. Falk.
Musician personnel: The Singers
Unlimited: Gene Puerling (also vocal arranger), Don Shelton,
Len Dresslar, Bonnie Herman. Rhythm section: Don Shelton
(as, afl, fl); Bobby Lewis (fl, h); Pat Ferreri (guit.,
e-guit.); Jim Atlas (b, e-b); Jerry Coleman (dr).
Orchestrations by Les Hooper.
"Snowflakes", MPS [Germany] #565.794-2 (1999).[2 CD
Nelson Riddle Orchestra performing My Life (Ogerman)
and Uptown Dance (Ogerman); Art Van Damme performing
How Will I Forget (Ogerman); and Oscar Peterson
performing Sunny, arranged by Claus Ogerman.
Both Nelson Riddle tracks were co-produced by Claus.
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