The young German musicians in Trio Elego give fine presentations of music by Daniel Schnyder and Mikhail Glinka on their new CD Cosmopolitan. The unusual combination of clarinet, bassoon, and piano provides our ears with a fresh perspective on these two different and very individual composers.
So-called “crossover” between jazz and classical often results in the worst of both worlds: cheesy jazz devoid of the right feel or rhythmic propulsion, and third-rate classical music lacking the sense of nuance and detail that makes it art. Daniel Schnyder’s music is a rare exception. His compositions do not feel like forced attempts to meld disparate styles, but rather the creations of an individual who just happens to be conversant with different idioms. Schnyder seeks to make music that is functional in today’s world rather than re-creating the past or treating composition as a cerebral head-game. While perhaps lacking in the emotional depth of Romanticism, the result is full of energy, spontaneity, and stylistic cohesion.