The concert in Kazakhstan was a huge success. Together with Berlin’s instrumental ensemble Lautten Compagney, Maurice Steger played at the EXPO 2017 in Astana and delighted the world’s ninth largest country with the first concert of baroque music featuring period instruments. From there he travelled straight to London. Listeners in the wonderful and very atmospheric Wigmore Hall had the pleasure of hearing Jean Rondeau and Maurice Steger play.
A three-day program of high-quality recorder and chamber music in a variety of combinations, assembled by the long-standing musical director, Wilhelm Becker, will be on offer. The impressive exhibition, one of the largest in the world and held in the adjoining large sports hall is a popular destination before and after the concerts.
“Maurice Steger ist nicht nur für sein phänomenales Blockflötenspiel zu rühmen (das hiesse, Eulen nach Athen zu tragen), sondern ebenso sehr für seine instrumentalen Einrichtungen all dieser handschriftlich überlieferten Werke, die allesamt durch eine fein differenzierte Klangfarbenvielfalt für sich einnehmen.”
Dr. Werner Pfister in Musik und Theater
“Ohrwurmqualität meets zirzensische Virtuosität… Wie sich solche lupenreine Technik auch in tieferen Lagen entfaltet, demonstriert Maurice Steger in der tosenden viersätzigen “Sonata” von Nicola Fiorenza (1700-1764), die sich nach einem melancholischen Largo-Intro zu übermütiger Freude und reinem Jubel aufschwingt.”
“Mit Witz und Verve in vielen schnellen, aber ebenso mit geradezu erotisch besetzten Klangfarben in manch langsamen Sätzen entsteht solcherart ein musikalischer Kosmos, dem man sich als Zuhörer nicht entziehen kann. Dabei trifft sich der Solist mit den Spielern seines Ensembles kaum je einmal bloss in der gefälligen Mitte, sondern hält mit ihnen einen stets lebendigen, oft auch kontrastreichen Dialog, in welchem sich das Hin und Her in schillernden Komplementärfarben ergänzt.”
Christian Albrecht in Bündner Tagblatt
“But that’s the thing; Steger is never dull, and while he may go for maximum velocity and more-is-more ornamentation, his attack and articulation are always varied, repeats are never the same and there’s warmth and thought behind his every note, regardless of its speed… In short, it’s another Steger cracker of a recording. Well worth seeking out.”
Gramophone, Magazine 2/17
“Der Blockflötenkönig Steger gibt seinem Instrument Seele, Witz und Melancholie im Übermaß mit und adelt damit auch manche Durchschnittware.”
“Doch, ein Zürcher Blockflötist kann durchaus mediterranes Temperament entwickeln…”
Die Besten, Platz 3 Klassik, Sonntags Zeitung
Maurice Steger will conduct the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) as they perform the Brandenburg Concertos Nos. 2 and 4 by Johann Sebastian Bach in the Twin Towers in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. These concerts will open with Handel’s Almira ‘Suite de dance’; the maestro will himself perform the Sammartini Concerto ‘per flautino’ and conduct the ‘Jodelet’ overture by Reinhard Kaiser.
Some time ago, Maurice Steger had the idea of entrusting the recorder part for the fourth Brandenburg Concerto to a young performer. He advertised the role on Facebook; the orchestra will also pay for the young recorder-player’s flight to Malaysia and the local soloist fees. Many people contacted Maurice, who then created a long-list of 40 young musicians and sent their applications to be reviewed by his two agents in Germany and Asia. The agents in turn agreed on a dozen finalists, who were then presented to the orchestra’s executive committee. This committee, comprising the management, the orchestra’s chairman and the musicians, then made the final selection.
We now wish to announce the three winners of this competition!
A great start into the new year: Maurice Steger cordially invites you to concerts with his fulminant friends, Concerto a Cinque. The first concert in the Viennese Musikverein is followed by two Swiss concerts in Bellmund near Biel and Wohlen (AG).
Shortly after, Maestro Maurice flies to Canada to perform in Quebéc City and Montréal with the phenomenal chamber orchestra Les Violons du Roy in classical works by Haydn (Symphony, Le Soir ‘), Mozart (‘ A Little Night Music ‘) and the symphony in Rosetti’s gospel conduct. The friendship between Steger and the violins has existed for many years and, for the first time, the dream team is dedicated to classical symphonies.
Classical symphonies continue in February: For the first time Maurice Steger conducts a Beethoven symphony and continues his successful Mozart cycle with the State Orchestra Braunschweig. Although slightly different this time: look forward to Beethoven 2! concerts in Braunschweig and Celle.
In March Maurice Steger flies to Kuala Lumpur to conduct the wonderful Malaysia Philharmonic Orchestra in the concert hall in the famous Twin Towers. The program includes Brandenburg Concertos by Bach and many other special features. Welcome to Malaysia!
And there are always programs around the souvenirs of the Count of Harrach. We are delighted that Maurice Steger’s new project is a big success and enjoys great popularity. We will tell you more about this soon.
We are pleased to present to you the new musical project “Souvenirs d’Italie“, which has just been released on CD and will also be presented in live concerts, with three cinematic contributions.
Maurice Steger conducts the Zurich chamber orchestra with works by Vinci, Brescianello and Telemann (26 min, live broadcast):
After almost three years of detective work, Maurice Steger presents some of the treasures he has discovered in the form of a new CD: Souvenirs d’Italie – Mr Harrach’s Musical Diaries.
The Austrian Count von Harrach was a diplomat, statesman, the viceroy of Naples, and an enthusiastic collector of art. Yet he also loved music so much that he commissioned works from his friends and from renowned composers. We can assume that Harrach probably also played the recorder himself, as the recently-found manuscripts collected by and associated with Harrach contain a conspicuously great number of compositions for flauto dolce, ranging from sonatas and pieces of chamber music to concerti da camera and solo concerts – a new treasure trove!
Maurice Steger has been to investigate, and here presents a collection of works which Count Harrach collected during his travels in Italy and brought home with him as souvenirs – previously unheard music at first hand!
In the coming days, the new CD featuring works by Vinci, Leo, Caldara, Fiorenza, Sammartini, Colista, Sarro, Montanari and Piani will be available in all specialist music stores.
Auf dem Meer der Sinnlichkeit
Es gleicht immer wieder einem freudigen Schock zu erleben, wie plötzlich jemand aufs Podium tritt und so musiziert, als würde ein grosses Tor aufgestossen, das endlich den Blick frei gibt ins weite Reich der Musik…
Es war eine Erfahrung von Virtuosität ganz im Sinne des grossen Cellisten Emanuel Feuermann: “Virtuose sollte ein Ehrentitel sein, und ich glaube, dass selbst unter den Grössten auf dem heutigen Podium nur wenige ihn verdienen. Virtuose zu sein bedeutet: das grösste Spielvermögen zu haben, das Kunstwerk zu achten und über die Fähigkeit zu verfügen, die eigene Persönlichkeit sinnvoll in das Kunstwerk einzubringen.”
HARALD EGGEBRECHT, Süddeutsche Zeitung 16. 12. 2015
Den grössten Applaus im Publikum löste jedoch der Schweizer Maurice Steger aus. Er erhielt die Auszeichnung „Instrumentalist des Jahres/Flöte“. Warum man ihn „den Indiana Jones der Flöte“ nennt, konnte man in seiner Wiedergabe von Vivaldis Concerto per Flautino in G-Dur nachvollziehen.
Das ZDF über die Gala ECHO KLASSIK im Konzerthaus Berlin. Nov. 2015
Steger nahm sich das Flötenkonzert von Babell vor und verwandelte seine C-Flöte zu einer Art Naturereignis, menschlich geschaffenem, dabei höchst kunstvollem Vogelgezwitscher aus überbordend virtuosen Arpeggien, Läufen, Kaskaden des Wohlklangs. Ein Wunder! Das Publikum raste.
Donaukurier, 11. Oktober 2015
Wie kaum ein anderer Flötist versteht er es, mit seinem Instrument ganze Welten entstehen zu lassen: vergangene Welten, Innenwelten und Ausdruckswelten…. Maurice Steger wird nicht zu Unrecht „Rubinstein der Flöte“ gefeiert. Er ist ein Mann, der für seine Leidenschaft brennt: technisch brillant und in seinem Spiel immer voller Aussage und Inhalt.
Crescendo, 1. Oktober 2015
Maurice Steger is taking part in an exciting project in the State of Brandenburg, performing music by Telemann together with the inspiring Lautten Compagney Berlin in Bernau on 16.09.2016. These artists will play together again at concerts in Ravensburg (Weingarten, 8.10.) and Viersen (9.10.).
What joy! Maurice Steger will also perform his new programme, Souvenirs d’Italie, in Ankara. On 15 October, he will conduct the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra, and will be joined in Turkey by Jadran Duncumb, one of the most inspiring lute players of the young generation.
This will be followed by two concerts which continue Steger’s cycle of Mozart symphonies performed with the Braunschweig State Orchestra. This time audiences can enjoy the Linz Symphony, with a performance of Vivaldi concertos in the first part, together with an unknown symphony by Wagenseil.
This summer, Mezzo TV will once again feature seven broadcasts of the famous concert with Maurice Steger and the Baroque orchestra Il Pomo d’Oro. But Steger can also be seen live, namely in Gstaad:
on 31 July he will give a family concert with Baroque music. This time, the concert is not only intended for families, but also played by families: the Perl clan will perform with Grandma Hille and Grandpa Lee; the Seitz twins will pay the dulcimer and harp; and the de Donatis family will play the violins. And what’s more: family compositions will be played, including ones by the Bachs, the Sammartinis and the Forquerays.
And the Gstaad Baroque Academy will begin at the end of August – we look forward to the talented young musicians from many different countries, who will then give their farewell concert on 3 September.
ZURICH CHAMBER ORCHESTRA, ORCHESTRE DES PAYS DE SAVOIE & LAUTTEN COMPAGNEY BERLIN
But Gstaad is not the only venue. Maurice Steger will perform in France (16 / 17 July); he will present a new programme in two romantic Swiss churches (Zillis, GR on 24.8. and Kaiserstuhl, AG on 25.8.) together with the ZKO (Zurich Chamber Orchestra); there will be music from four different centuries on 10 September in Stams, Austria; and Steger will once again perform a Telemann programme at the Early Music Festival in Bernau near Berlin (16 September) together with the Lautten Compagney.
Here’s to many pleasant musical encounters!
In memory of Ernst Meyer, Ernst dit le Bec, probably the most innovative recorder maker of the early 21st century, my esteemed friend and kindred spirit.
A few days ago we received the terrible news of the death of Ernst Meyer. We are all deeply saddened, shocked and feel an emptiness within. My thoughts are with all those who also loved and treasured Ernst, and especially with his sons Sebastian, Joel and their partners.
The family had recently established a new home by Hemberg in Swiss Toggenburg, where they shared life, work and togetherness.
When I was a boy of sixteen, I undertook a pilgrimage to rural Appenzell to visit Ernst Meyer. I knew of him, I was told of a recorder-maker with much passion for handcrafted historical instruments.
So we met – his boys hadn’t been born yet – and Ernst was there in his strong and impressive and so passionate way. Soon I was to take home my first Meyer recorders, on which I experimented and learnt to express myself with. I shared my thoughts and insights with Ernst and this was the foundation of a long-standing friendship between the master craftsman and the musician.
We were always able to communicate what we expected of one another, where the limits are and how to achieve the best results. We developed ideas and instruments, then either scrapped or perfected them. And so it went on: in all those many years, Ernst’s instruments became world class and have been played by my mentors, then by me, then by my students, on all the stages of the world.
Ernst Meyer was a passionate researcher who always had one big goal: to build recorders with a rounded, full-bodied sound in all registers. He examined the old originals while simultaneously thinking of all sorts of possible improvements and, above all, about which parameters to change in order to transfer the acoustic possibilities of the old flutes to today’s concert halls and adapt them to modern conditions.
It wasn’t his objective to create new-sounding recorders, rather it was his desire to intensify their rich historical tones, to complement their aesthetics. He thus managed to build the only instruments which sounded full-bodied in all registers, full-bodied in all registers, and which, even when played in large venues, could still sound like beautiful recorders and entirely new, 21st-century instruments.
Throughout the years, Ernst’s endeavours earned him many dear friends and customers, or rather kindred spirits (and some critics too) – but above all, musicians.
It is a tremendous joy to now hear his masterpieces being played either on CD or live at many concerts. Never before has the recorder sounded so rich, so complex, so challenging and grown-up. And I thank you for this, dear Ernst!
You leave a huge gap in our lives and will be missed greatly. Without you, things will be very different. I will remember you dearly. Your instruments will inspire future generations.
Thank you for everything you have given us.
Maurice Steger is on his way to London, where he will perform a vibrant programme at the Wigmore Hall this weekend, together with the Scottish ensemble Marsyas and the virtuoso bassoon player Peter Whelan. Look forward to Vivaldi @ Wigmore!
Immediately thereafter, the recorder player is travelling to the American state of Colorado. We look forward to a recital of Baroque recorder sounds, accompanied by a duet of harpsichord and organ, a soundscape which is to be heard but rarely. Welcome to Fort Collins!
And then it’s on to the next piece of spring-time fun: the Ludwigsburg Festival invites audiences to a somewhat different version of the Magic Flute, as well as music by
composers other than Mr Mozart!
We bid you welcome!
What many participants deem to be the “most beautiful week of the year” is soon approaching, and we hereby cordially invite you to be a part of it: from 28 August to 3 September, Maurice Steger will once again direct the Gstaad Baroque Academy, a prestigious masterclass for young musicians and soloists in the field of early music, for recorder players with a promising future, and for an interested public.
For anyone still unfamiliar with the Gstaad Baroque Academy, you can gain an impression of the masterclass with this short film made by participants and Pascal Schärli:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7OI9zVI4WQ. youtube.com/watch?v=T7OI9zVI4WQ.
Maurice Steger will not only serve as professor, but also invite several of his musical colleagues to Gstaad to mentor the young musicians. The two guest professors Giovanni Antonini (recorder-player and conductor) and Kristian Bezuidenhout (historical pianist and harpsichordist) will hold a public course on 3 September in Schönried.We hope you are as excited as we are about these two stars of the early music scene!
During the week of teaching, Daniele Caminiti will direct a course on Italian Baroque sonatas, while Jermaine Sprosse will teach about the German repertoire. The Dutch recorder player Erik Bosgraaf will teach all of the young people in lectures (some of which will be open to the public); Sabrina Frey will direct group lessons and teach in the form of discussions and coaching; the harpsichordists Dieter Weitz and Eriko Wakita will assist Maurice Steger with the many teaching units; and everyone is excited about the workshops, the individual lessons, and of course the farewell concert in the church of Rougemont at 5 pm on 3 September.
And the audience, the valued guests, are also allowed to listen in, give their opinion and provide feedback to the young musicians: each day between 11 am and 1.20 pm, and between 2.15 pm and 4.30 pm, from Sunday 28 August until Friday 2 September, Professor Steger will hold the public classes in the Salon Festival of the Hotels Ermitage in Schönried ob Gstaad.
We are also offering public workshops. We will publish the details at a later date. All events will take place at the Ermitage in Schönried. The registration deadline for the activities is 31 May – after this date the Gstaad group for 2016 will be put together. Please do not miss the deadline!
The farewell concert will take place in the church of Rougemont – we all look forward to this happy event: at 5.30 pm on 3.9.16 with all participants – you are most welcome to attend!
Additional information: www.gstaadacademy.ch/de/baroque-academy
See you soon in Schönried!
Maurice Steger has returned from an extensive tour of Australia in excellent spirits (we will report on this later), and is now heading straight off to the mountains. His first stop will be Flims on Easter Sunday, close to where the artist grew up.
On Easter Monday, he will play for you on the Rigi.
And we are pleased on behalf of all enthusiastic recorder players that Maurice Steger will once again direct the summer course in Arosa in 2016. Around 25 participants will come together in this beautiful mountain village for an intensive masterclass in the recorder and old music ensembles. The focus is on solo tuition, but also on ensemble playing, technique training and exam preparation.
It will also involve the practising of sonatas, concertos, early Baroque canzons, concert and ensemble pieces (soloists and existing ensembles can register), and solo pieces. This year, Maurice Steger will be assisted by Ralf Waldner on the harpsichord and Laura Schmid on the recorder.
Happy Easter and welcome to the mountains!
The english magazine Gramophone (“The world’s unrivalled authority on classical music since 1923“) has selected its top ten Vivaldi recordings. Congratulations! Maurice Steger’s Album ‘Concerti per flauto’ is among the top ten:
“…the staggeringly talented Maurice Steger finds an excellent balance here, first by his thoughtful selection of pieces and then by the specific interpretative care he gives to each of them.(…) As for the performances, there is not much to be said about Steger’s virtuosity other than that his dazzling fingerwork, varied articulation and colour seem to make him capable of anything he wants.(…)I Barrocchisti, an orchestra whose joie de vivre never sleeps, are the perfect partners. It’s pure pleasure.”
www.gramophone.com, Lindsay Kemp
Towards the end of the year, Maurice Steger indefatigably toured the whole of Europe with the Barocchisti, the Cappella Gabetta, the South-West German Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana, but also with his chamber-musician friends. Time and again, concertgoers could enjoy excerpts from his current programme, including music by Vivaldi, and the enthusiasm of the press and audiences was great. The critic Harald Eggebrecht said it best in his in-depth review in the Süddeutsche Zeitung, from which we briefly quote below:
“It is always like a pleasant shock to experience the moment when someone steps out on to the podium and plays music in a way which evokes a great gateway being pushed open, finally revealing a clear view into the vast realm of music. (…) Yet this truly breath-taking demonstration of technical mastery of this small woodwind instrument is above all accompanied by Steger’s ability to fully phrase music, and to always place all his skill of adornment in the service of bringing clarity to the musical context. (…) In this way, both of the slow movements are each transformed into a single, crescendoing excursion on the sea of musical sensuality, upon which Steger “sings out” the crescendoing melodic lines as if they could never end. (…) It was an experience of virtuosity fully reminiscent of the great cellist Emanuel Feuermann…”
The Gstaad Academy and Maurice Steger congratulate the students of the Gstaad Baroque Academy on their outstanding achievements at what is probably the most internationally prestigious recorder concert, the MOECK Solo Recorder Playing Competition (London, November 2015). All the prizes went to students of the GBA / Professor Steger’s class: 1st prize: Laura Schmid, 2nd prize: Lea Sobbe and 3rd prize: Sophia Schambeck – congratulations!!!
Laura Schmid, winner of the first prize, is also Steger’s assistant at the summer course for the recorder and early music in Arosa. She will be accompanying him on a concert tour in December, together with the Cappella Gabetta (Lucerne, Basel, Munich, Kufstein; see concert schedule) and Mr Bach’s 4th Brandenburg Concerto.
Maurice Steger had the honour of musically inaugurating the new concert hall in the Federal Academy of Musical Youth Education in Trossingen, Germany. The event on 19 November was thus correspondingly big. Alongside pieces from the Baroque repertoire, Steger performed the première of a piece by Florian Sitzmann, a kind of music somewhere between classical, pop, and jazz with jam sessions and all manner of new sounds, skilfully amplified, mystically de-contextualised and sampled by DJ Kevin Hickey. Revolumzone received huge applause! Bravi tutti.
Maurice Steger – Recorder
Gregor Hollmann – Harpsichord
Kevin Hickey – DJ
Tommy Baldu – Drums
Michael Kosho Koschorreck – Guitars
Florian Sitzmann – Keyboards
Judith Goldbach – Double bass
Thomas Siffling – Trumpet
The exceptional recorder player Maurice Steger is to receive the “Instrumentalist of the Year” award from ECHO KLASSIK 2015. The award will be presented on Sunday 18 October at the Konzerthaus Berlin. The artist will perform at the gala event, which will be broadcast with a time delay from 10 p.m. CET on the German TV station ZDF. Steger is receiving the music award for his album “Vivaldi: Concerti per flauto”, which he recorded together with I Barocchisti conducted by Diego Fasolis and which was published by Harmonia Mundi last year.
“As a musician and recorder player for an independent label, I find it a great honour to receive the “Instrumentalist of the Year” award from ECHO KLASSIK”, states a happy Maurice Steger, who – thanks to his simply unbelievable virtuosity and musical instinct – is one of the world’s best recorder players: he is commonly described as “the Paganini of the recorder” and as “masterly”. Thanks to his vibrant, intense tonality, virtuosity and astonishing technique, he manages to position the many forms of the recorder in wholly new ways.
He does so with fascinating programmes as well as by intensely engaging in helping the next generation of musicians: the artist, who often also serves as a conductor, gives regular master classes and hundreds of playful children’s concerts, a real sign of his commitment to musical education. The verdict on his award-winning CD “Vivaldi: Concerti per flauto” is as follows: “No matter what role the recorder takes, Steger’s fascination with Vivaldi can be heard equally in all pieces” (RBB Kultur), and every work spirits the listener away into a sensual world of sound.
Whether as a recorder player or conductor, Maurice Steger’s performances around the world are a special experience for all involved. He performs regularly with original sound ensembles such as the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin (Berlin Academy for Early Music), the Venice Baroque Orchestra, I Barocchisti and the English Concert. Steger can also be found performing with modern orchestras such as the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, the hr-Sinfonieorchester Frankfurt, the Musikkollegium Winterthur and the NDR Radiophilharmonie.
His musical partners include Cecilia Bartoli, Andreas Scholl, Diego Fasolis, Sol Gabetta, Hille Perl, Lee Santana and many others. Many of Steger’s recordings, including the album “Una Follia di Napoli”, have won international awards.
The “most beautiful week of the year” is approaching and we hereby cordially invite you to be a part of it: from 30 August until 5 September, Maurice Steger will once again head up the Gstaad Baroque Academy , a top-class event by and for young musicians and soloists in the field of early music and for recorder players with a promising future.
Steger will not only serve as professor, but also invite several of his musical colleagues to Gstaad to mentor the young musicians. Thus 15 teachers will guide the 35 active participants through the week: these will include Mauro Valli (Baroque cello), Fiorenza de Donatis and Plamena Nikitassova (Baroque violin). The Baroque orchestra from Italian-speaking Switzerland, the ‘Barocchisti‘, will serve as the orchestra in residence and accompany the young musicians during Italian recorder concerts. Sabrina Frey will once again serve as our indispensable recorder fairy godmother. The harpsichordists Dieter Weitz, Eriko Wakita and Jermaine Sprosse will assist Steger during the many teaching sessions, and are looking forward to the workshops, individual classes and farewell concert in the Kirchgemeindehaus Gstaad at 5.45 p.m. on 5 September.
And the audience, the valued guests, are also allowed to listen in, give their opinion and provide feedback to the young musicians: each day between 11 a.m. and 1.20 p.m. and 2.15 p.m. and 4.30 pm from Sunday 30 August until Friday 4 September, Professor Steger will hold the public classes in the Salon Festival of the Ermitage in Schönried ob Gstaad.
We are also offering public workshops: the cellist Mauro Valli will be teaching Italian sonatas on Thursday 3 September from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m.. In the neighbouring hall, the Barocchisti will work with six of the young musicians to perform works by Vivaldi, Blavet and Mancini. On the following day, 4 September, Ms Plamena Nikitassova will teach ornamentalised instrumental music from the early 18th century. The young musicians will also have the opportunity to be enchanted by the music of the 17th century as performed by conductor, double bassist and chamber music expert Vanni Moretto. This will all take place at the Ermitage in Schönried.
The farewell concert will take place in the Kirchgemeindehaus (Untergstaadstrasse) in the heart of the village of Gstaad – we all look forward to this happy event: please join us at 5.45 p.m. on 5 September (http://www.gstaadmenuhinfestival.ch/site/de/gstaad-baroque-academy-abschlusskonzert.html)!
See you soon in Gstaad!
The latest concerts were held in overcrowded and overheated concert halls. They were all successful, and Maurice Steger performed both passionately and emotionally. We present some highlights: concertos for wind instruments were held together with the Academia Gioccosa in Munich’s Residenz palace; Maurice Steger once again conducted the NDR Radiophilharmonie during an exciting concert with numerous highlights; the soloist was on tour in the Swiss mountains together with the Italian Baroque orchestra Il Pomo d’Oro and there celebrated Concerti della Nature. In the interim he has provided recitals, chamber music, two recorder courses and plenty of good music.
Now is the right time to grant the musician a few days’ holiday – he will soon be back and bursting with energy.
Maurice Steger is currently on a tour de force and getting to perform in wonderful venues. Audiences were therefore delighted when he interpreted Italian works in Singen town hall together with the Italian theorbist Daniele Caminiti and the captivating harpsichordist Olga Watts. You can read a review in the Südkurier newspaper: http://www.suedkurier.de/region/kreis-konstanz/singen/Stadthalle-Singen-Bravour-Barock-im-Eiltempo;art372458,7815577
Leverkusen and Salzburg celebrated the coming-together of the two great recorder players Dorothee Oberlinger and Maurice Steger, both of whom delivered emotional and colourful musical performances, accompanied by Florian Birsak on harpsichord and Marco Testori on cello. A successful project! Read a review of the Salzburg performance: http://www.drehpunktkultur.at/index.php/musik/meldungen-kritiken/8513-wirklich-ein-blockfloetenfest
Spectacular! A wonderful tour was delivered by Maurice Steger, recorder and musical direction; Xenia Löffler, Baroque oboe and recorder; Nadja Zwiener, Baroque violin; Marco Postinghel, Barock bassoon, and Naoki Kitaya, harpsichord. Together, they celebrated the colourful ‘Concerto a cinque’ instrumentation in mid-May. Alongside Vivaldi, other composers to have scored for this colourful combination of instruments include Telemann, Fasch, Caldara and others. And these interpreters have savoured, celebrated, sung together and played together with captivating results – congratulations on their successes! Read the review of the concert held at the Göttingen Handel Festival: http://www.goettinger-tageblatt.de/Nachrichten/Kultur/Kultur-vor-Ort/Maurice-Steger-interpretiert-virtuose-Blockfloetenkonzerte-in-Goettingen
What a treat it was for everyone who attended the Tino Flautino children’s concert in the beautiful St. Gallen Tonhalle on Mothers Day. Jolanda Steiner told the story of the recorder-playing prince in an exciting and child-friendly way, and Maurice Steger not only played Prince Tino but also conducted the St. Gallen Symphony orchestra in an atmospheric, precise and vibrantly expressive way: the sounds of spiritual old music from St. Gallen!
We are happy to announce some promising “last-minute concerts”: Maurice Steger will be performing with Sign. Vivaldi on 2 May at the Teatro dal Verme in Milan with the Archi di Milano –
On 6 June, an Italian meeting of superlative talents will take place in Grenoble:
Alfredo Bernardini and the famous Ensemble Zefiro will play Vivaldi concertos together with Maurice Steger – on 23 June, the beautiful Lawrence Church in St. Gallen will be filled with the sound of early Baroque music thanks to a specialist ensemble conducted by Maurice Steger: recorders, violins and plucked string instruments will feature, and all manner of extravagant works be celebrated.
The Accademia Giocosa, the Bayerischer Rundfunk broadcasting company’s Baroque orchestra, is celebrating a reunion with Maurice Steger on 8 July at the Hofkirche Church of the Residenz palace in Munich. On 16 July, Maurice Steger will once again perform at the amazing Concertgebouw Amsterdam –this time with the Italian Baroque orchestra Concerto de’ Cavaliere, performing concertos by Johann Sebastian Bach and Antonio Vivaldi..
Don’t miss out!
Fantastic News: Maurice Steger is the new International Guest Professor for recorder at Hochschule für Musik Nürnberg!
We have been developing a new program for professional recorder students: Recorder Connect.
Further information is to be found in the announcement below – Application possible until April 15th!
We are pleased to inform you that the master class in the recorder and old music in Arosa will be taking place again this year. There will be intensive music-making from 18 to 23 July. Welcome to Arosa!
Director: Maurice Steger | Recorder, chamber music, interpretation
Assistants and guest tutors: Laura Schmid | Recorder assistance, technique workshops, recorder ensemble Sebastian Wienand | Harpsichord, chamber music, interpretation Jean-Marie Tricoteaux | Improvisation (22.7.), piano day in the little Mountain Church Arosa (23.7.) TBC | Chamber music (20. or 21.7.)
We will come together in the beautiful mountain village of Arosa for an intensive master class in the recorder and old music ensembles. The focus is on solo tuition, but also on ensemble playing, technique training and exam preparation. For school students (from approx. age 12 onwards), young people, students, music lovers, teachers, retired soloists, listeners and amateur enthusiasts.
Tutorial languages: German, English
addressed to Arosa Kultur, CH-7050 Arosa, firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel. +41 81 353 87 47
Riding the recorder on a roller-coaster of emotions
The star recorder-player Maurice Steger captivated his audience in Braunschweig with his virtuoso, charming and physical performance…
„“Experiences which transcend clichés are exciting. It was therefore thrilling that Steger already uncovers such dissolution of boundaries in Vivaldi. […] Goosebumps! In Vivaldi’s Concerto for Flautino, Steger then performed brilliantly again on his piccolo, and energetically irrigated Wagenseil’s Symphony in G minor with fast-paced, dynamic changes. Mozart’s Prague Symphony was also very three-dimensional, with echoes of melodies from his operas shining through. […] Much applause.”.“
Andreas Berger writing for Braunschweiger Zeitung, 24.02.2015
Powerful conducting at the Hessischer Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester
„“The fact that Maurice Steger is not only a recorder-player virtually brimming over with joy in performing but also a conductor with a deep confidence of style was demonstrated with the richly nuanced and powerfully performed orchestral suite “La Bourse” by Georg Philipp Telemann, in which particularly the opening overture exuded warmth and grace. On this evening, it was the wood-wind players of the Hessischer Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester who had their work cut out for them: here, the oboes managed to shine time and again with their immaculate, full sounds. […] Corelli’s Recorder Concerto in F major was shaped by the soloist’s spirited playing, Geminiani’s Concerto Grosso by the highly homogeneous-sounding interplay of the two solo violins, the viola and the cello.”“
Matthias Gerhart writing for Frankfurter Neue Presse
The conductor Maurice Steger oversees interesting projects and conducts great works of music: why not visit one of his concerts with the Staatsorchester Braunschweig in February 2015: Steger will be conducting Mozart’s wonderful ‘Prague Symphony’, an unknown symphony by Wagenseil, and the overture of the opera ‘Le Nozze di Figaro’.
The british Grammophone Award and the Diapason d’Or count as two of the most important independent record awards for classical music. We are particularly pleased that the price Gramophone Editor’s Choice has been awarded to Messrs Steger and Vivaldi this December.
“The staggeringly talented Maurice Steger finds an excellent balance here … his dazzling fingerwork, varied articulation and colour seem to make him capable of anything he wants. What really makes this disk an outstanding one, however, is the way he creates an individual musical world for each concerto … I Barrochisti, an orchestra whose joie de vivre never sleeps, are the perfect partners. It’s pure pleasure.”
By Lindsay Kemp, Gramophone, December 2014
Thank you BBC: »It s the bustle and the carnival of Venice … he plays a whole range of different instruments and brings colour and vitality, and, quite frankly, some craziness to the proceedings … it s exciting, the changes of tempo are quite drastic and astonishing sometimes; the virtuosity on display is at times remarkable … it s brilliant isn t it, and very enjoyable … it s so precise at times and then at others he knows how to play with wild abandon … there s still space for ornamentation, there s space for the music to breathe … just quite breath-taking …«
Andrew McGregor & Hannah French CD Review, BBC Radio 3, 15th November 2014
Thank you for the following article: Japan, NadegataPapaのクラシック音楽試聴記 – read it here: http://blog.livedoor.jp/nadegatapapa-classic/archives/51788832.html
The French company harmonia mundi (Latin for “world harmony”) has been producing CDs for Maurice Steger now since 2006. As the largest independent classical label with focus on early music and hundreds of wonderful productions, it is an inseparable part of the music world. Take a look at their interesting catalog: www.harmoniamundi.com
The USA based Audiophile Audition Magazin writes in their december edition: »This wonderful compilation will find its most appreciative audience in recorder enthusiasts or fans of Vivaldi. However, I found the whole collection delightful, with outstanding, dedicated performances and excellent sound quality…«
and the EARLY MUSIC REVIEW is also full of praise: »Steger does play incredibly fast, with a firework display of stunning articulation …I’d certainly recommend buying this one…«
It s the bustle and the carnival of Venice … he plays a whole range of different instruments and brings colour and vitality, and, quite frankly, some craziness to the proceedings … it s exciting, the changes of tempo are quite drastic and astonishing sometimes; the virtuosity on display is at times remarkable … it s brilliant isn t it, and very enjoyable … it s so precise at times and then at others he knows how to play with wild abandon … there s still space for ornamentation, there s space for the music to breathe … just quite breath-taking …
Andrew McGregor & Hannah French CD Review, BBC Radio 3, 15th November 2014
5 stars from the Irish Times: ‘Vivaldi s concertos for recorders are works of rare theatricality … The Swiss recorder player Maurice Steger rings the changes in seven demanding concertos … The brio and élan of the playing are so unfailingly infectious that you may find it hard to listen without a smile on your face.’ *****,
Michael Dervan The Irish Times, 24th October 2014
oe24 reports as follows about an amazing evening at the Konzerthaus:
“The Swiss recorder virtuoso Maurice Steger is one of the most brilliant musical luminaries. His richly faceted, energetic, expressive playing is unique, and each concert is filled with his intoxicating aura. … With breath-taking finger acrobatics and skilful articulation, Steger conjures enchanting cantinelas, dizzying series of trills and lighting-fast coloraturas out of his sopranino and treble recorder. What elation.”
Another accomplished collaboration: The Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin (Berlin Academy of Early Music) and Maurice Steger are a dream team, though they are also capable of producing some spooky sounds. This is what Carsten Niemann had to say in the Tagesspiegel:
“Effectively spooky: recorder virtuoso Maurice Steger and the Akademie für Alte Musik performed Vivaldi’s concerto “La notte” as a ghostly piece – with eerily beautiful, owl-like hollow tones.”
Read the full review: http://www.tagesspiegel.de
The concert at the Philharmonie Berlin was a highlight. The Berliner Zeitung praises Steger as follows:
“Anyone who goes to a Maurice Steger concert really gets offered something special for their money – this was proven in particularly impressive fashion during his performance with the Akademie für Alte Musik on Tuesday evening. Of course the event offered the opportunity to hear the recorder player who can perform so loudly and yet still so beautifully better than anyone else. And on this evening, he of course even outshines an entire orchestra…. And when, like in Johann Adolf Hasse’s Sonata in B-Flat Major, Steger summons up a huge wall of sound and builds giant waves of tension – all whilst barely ever being disrupted by the hiss of his breathing through the tiniest parting between his lips – it is impossible not to be enraptured.”
What a pleasure! Very soon now, the recorder player can perform in one of Europe’s most beautiful venues and present his audience with excerpts from his new project featuring the music of Vivaldi. And the press: Maurice Steger and Barocchisti meet with acclaim, music awards and great reviews from around the world for the CD Vivaldi: Concerti per flauto‘.
For many years now, Maurice Steger and the Zurich Chamber Orchestra have made an accomplished team. The conductor and recorder player served as the orchestra’s ‘Baroque Music Director‘ for a few years; today, the ZCO works together with Sir Roger Norrington, and also thrills audiences as a Baroque orchestra. During sold-out concerts at the Tonhalle Zurich, Maurice spirited his audiences away to the Venice of the early 18th century.
The Neue Zürcher Zeitung newspaper describes the concert as follows:
There is pure joie de vivre contained in the warbling and singing which Steger conjures out of the sopranino with such breath-taking finger acrobatics and skilful articulation. Together with the infinitely tensioned sweep of the largos, this creates the sensation that the rules of biophysics have been suspended. … This same joie de vivre was immediately ignited in the members of the Zurich audience, who attended in great numbers and were unstinting in their applause for the erstwhile local matador who has long since gone on to conquer the world’s arenas – and for the Zurich Chamber Orchestra. … This is largely due to Maurice Steger, who is not only a charming soloist, but also a conductor and team player who knows how to cast his fellow musicians in the most favourable light. (Jürg Huber)
And the Tages-Anzeiger writes:
On this evening, Steger as usual showed himself the Master of the Recorder Heavens, through which he floats on the cover of his CD.
Maurice Steger and his musicians then travelled to Düsseldorf in order to celebrate Italian music in that city’s Tonhalle venue. The event was moderated by Christian Ehring.
Champagne pour la flûte! Le «nouveau Maurice Steger»:un émerveillement! … Virtuosité, donc, oui. Mais l’interprète est au service de la musique, pas l’inverse. Dans La notte intrigante, La pastorella et son bourdonnement de vièle, Il gardellino et ses cadences ou encore le virevoltant Concerto RV 443 qui ouvre le disque, les effets sont plus légers que démonstratifs. Et il faut écouter les mouvements lents, le soin porté à l’ornementation, la profondeur des timbres, la conduite des phrases: un grand bonheur d’écoute.
Virtuosissimo Vivaldi und Steger: Hier fanden sich zwei in ihrer Passion für betörende Kantilenen und virtuoseste Koloraturen, in ihrer Liebe zu den tausend Klangfarben der Blockflöte. Maurice und Antonio, ein ideales Paar!
HANSULI VON ERLACH
Blockflötengott Steger Gemeinsam mit dem Orchester I Barocchisti unter Diego Fasolis ist ihm eine atemberaubende Einspielung von sieben Concerti aus der Feder des «Prete rosso» Vivaldi gelungen… Die überragende virtuose Qualität von Steger findet in der Begleitung durch die Barocchisti unter Diego Fasolis eine packende Ergänzung.
Joy! In the next few days Maurice Steger’s new CD: ‚Vivaldi: Concerti per flauto’ will be available in the stores europe-wide. The first reviews have been published:
Maurice Steger, god of the recorder: Together with the I Barocchisti orchestra conducted by Diego Fasolis, Steger has managed to make a breathtaking recording of seven concertos composed by the “prete rosso” Vivaldi… The outstanding virtuoso quality of Steger’s playing is complemented in captivating fashion by the Barocchisti conducted by Diego Fasolis.
“Virtuosissimo Vivaldi and Steger: two kindred spirits have been united in their passion for enchanting cantilenas and virtuoso coloratura, in their love of the recorder’s thousand tonal moods. Maurice and Antonio, a match made in heaven!”
HANSULI VON ERLACH
“Antonio Vivaldi’s recorder concertos? That used to be a reason to go to the cinema… such a clamour and rush. It’s eerie. Who can stop it? The use of a recorder? On the contrary! No sooner has Maurice Steger played a note on his little instrument when the rush continues. Yet it is more than that. We would hide this CD away somewhere immediately if this onslaught
did not contain ideas and sounds: the rush is the animated beating of a warm heart…”
“Champagne pour la flûte! The “new” Maurice Steger: a genius! Virtuosity, yes, of course. But the interpreter is the servant of the music, and not vice versa. Whether it is in the fascinating concerto ‘La Notte’, in ‘La Pastorella’ with its folk-like fiddle accompaniment, in ‘Gardellino’ and its cadences, or in the whirling concerto per flautino (for a small flute) RV 443 with which the CD opens – all effects sound light and natural, never like showing off. We simply must listen to the slow movements, the wonderful care taken with the embellishments, the depth of the sounds, and the phrasing provided by the music: it is a superlative pleasure to listen to!”
Maurice Steger is the first western soloist to play ‘The Flying Song’ with a traditional Chinese orchestra
We usually associate Maurice Steger with Baroque music. But not exclusively. Did you know that the recorder player travelled to Taiwan this summer in order to take part in the première of a truly beautiful ‘east meets west’ story?
Maurice Steger, with his ‘normal’ recorders in his luggage, is the first western soloist to have played the full-length recorder concerto ‘The Flying Song‘ (Fei-Ge) by Jianping Tang together with the Taiwan Traditional Chinese Orchestra.
Maurice Steger presents a splendid new project with music from Baroque Venice. Along with the period-instrument orchestra I Barocchisti under the direction of Diego Fasolis, he invites you into the world of Antonio Vivaldi and his virtuoso Concerti per flauto. Benvenuti a Venezia!
This new CD will be available in October 2014, we are so happy to inform you about this amazing project already now!
It was not the violin, but the inconspicuous and practical recorder with its pastoral sound that was the most popular instrument of the early eighteenth century. Antonio Vivaldi composed for it a number of impressive concertos that became hits in his lifetime and have nowadays achieved evergreen status. La pastorella, Il gardellino and La notte tell stories about natural phenomena, brimming with blazing colours, humour, exuberance, and melancholy.
Maurice Steger, who has done more than anyone else to restore the recorder to its former glory, is delighted to perform these masterpieces for you both live in concert and on the fine harmonia mundi recording.
We will keep you posted about the exact release date!
Recorder virtuoso Steger’s latest recital traces the history of the Corelli cult of Georgian London, Edinburgh and Manchester. Adored for its simplicity by gentleman amateurs, orchestrated by Geminiani and flamboyantly decorated by professional soloists (usually violinists), Corelli’s music outlived its creator, dressed up or down according to taste and ability. Steger’s performance is a thrilling hybrid, dazzlingly embellished yet pure and true of tone. The English Concert match Steger’s élan, with glorious solos from the ensemble.
Independent on Sunday by Anna Picard (2010-04-11)
Steger is a wonderfully deft player, with absolute clarity of note an line, even in the most virtuosic variations, of which there are many. Nonetheless, one of the most interesting pieces comes at the very end of the disc, when … he plays the gentle variations by Jacques or James Paisible upon the Sarabande of the original sonata. This is a large-scaled ground-bass piece that increases in intensity as it goes along, without giving way to the flashy cascades that are a feature of most of the rest of the pieces.
Fanfare USA by Alan Swanson, 2010-11-05
On New Year’s Day the coups de coeur de nos critiques the press price of the best 10 performances was lent in Canada – and Maurice Steger has been awarded!
cyberpresse.ca, Le Soleil by Josianne Desloges, 2011-01-03
Still, it has to be said that the star of this show was the snappily dressed, willowy figure of recorder player Maurice Steger. Anyone who thinks the recorder is fit only for school assemblies would have been forced to think again by Steger’s amazing virtuosity, which somehow soared over the instruments limitations. The rapid passagework in Corelli’s F major Concerto emerges as a barely audible bird-like twittering, but Steger made it so crystal-clear that it pushed through the orchestral sound without difficulty.
This offered the “wow” factor, but more striking was the way Steger draped expressive ornaments over the melodies of the slow movements, creating a luxuriant melancholy at each dying fall by leaning on the dissonant notes. Even grandeur isn’t beyond his reach, as was shown by a riveting performance of the Sarabande from Corelli’s 7th sonata. The unknown arranger added to the sense of unfolding majesty by bringing in more instruments (though I imagine director Laurence Cummings had a hand in this too), while over the top Steger floated a lovely line, fragile and droopingly expressive and dignified all at once.
The Telegraph – Ivan Hewett’s 5-star review – 2011-04-06
Maurice Steger, Violons du Roy offer thrilling baroque playing at Rackham
For sheer virtuosity, and “I can’t believe I’m hearing this” pleasure, the final work of the evening, a transcription for recorder and orchestra, by Geminiani, of an Op. 5 Corelli violin sonata, topped the cake. Whipped cream, cherries on top, more notes per second than you’ve ever heard—it was not only tasty but tasteful. For sheer beauty, though, my vote would go to the Telemann Suite in a minor for Treble Recorder, strings and Basso Continuo, where Steger and his string colleagues partnered each other in glorious, ever-more-ornamented minuets, passepieds and polonaises.
Ann Arbor USA – 29. 01. 2012
Les Violons du Roy, recorder soloist Maurice Steger light up Shriver Hall I don’t think of the typical Shriver Hall Concert Series crowd as very likely to do a lot of enthusiastic hooting and hollering over baroque music, but that was the reaction given Sunday evening to Les Violons du Roy. No wonder.
The Baltimore Sun – 2012-01-31
Les Violons du Roy, recorder soloist Maurice Steger at Nichols School’s Flickinger Performing Arts Center, Buffalo
To say Steger is the world’s leading recorder virtuoso does not begin to describe it. He’s like a pied piper, standing bowlegged as he turns out those bubbly, brisk solos, each more astonishing than the last, lightning quick, every note distinct. His breaths go on forever. Several times, I found myself whispering, “Incredible!”
BuffaloNews.com / 2012-02-12
From the first note of this CD one is transported into a rainbow of scintillating colour and deep passion. Everything about it is perfect: the ensemble performance, the tempi, the ornamentation (a delight) and the musicianship, which is spellbinding.
CD Spotlight UK – recommended by Jennifer Paull
Now the world’s leading recorder virtuoso, Steger delivered what must be the fastest ever account of Telemann’s Suite in A minor for treble recorder and strings. Ravishingly phrased, with heady swirls from Cummings’ harpsichord, saucily swung notes inegales, piquant decorations, Steger’s prestissimo performance adumbrated interpretative sophistication and technical show-offery, bringing broad smiles to the faces of a packed Wigmore Hall audience in this and the Sammartini Concerto in F.
Anna Picard after a concert with The English Concert in Wigmore Hall London
The rapid passagework in Corelli’s F major Concerto emerges as a barely audible bird-like twittering, but Steger made it so crystal-clear that it pushed through the orchestral sound without difficulty.
This offered the “wow” factor, but more striking was the way Steger draped expressive ornaments over the melodies of the slow movements, creating a luxuriant melancholy at each dying fall by leaning on the dissonant notes. Even grandeur isn’t beyond his reach, as was shown by a riveting performance of the Sarabande from Corelli’s 7th sonata. The unknown arranger added to the sense of unfolding majesty by bringing in more instruments (though I imagine director Laurence Cummings had a hand in this too), while over the top Steger floated a lovely line, fragile and droopingly expressive and dignified all at once.
Highest Ratings: ***** – THE TELEGRAPH, 6. April 2011, Concert in Wigmore Hall London
The stiff labels don’t make Maurice Steger sound that exciting, you know? But listen to this guy play—which is precisely what the rapt audience at Rackham Auditorium did Saturday evening, when Steger appeared with the Canadian chamber ensemble Les Violons du Roy, conducted by Bernard Labadie, in a University Musical Society concert—and it’s a whole other story.
Who knew recorder virtuosity could be that thrilling? But Steger, a man of elfin charm who virtually dances with his instrument and offers blissed- out smiles between extended licks that would wind a marathon runner, is a phenom. Musical in the extreme, witty, clearly having the time of his life, and bending a column of air to his will to make his instrument sing, trill, dip and soar like some sweet unreal bird.
ANN ARBOR.COM, CONCERT REVIEW – US Tour with LES VIOLONS DU ROY, 2012
Maurice Steger embodies in his unique, colorful, technically brilliant and exuberant manner a new, pathbreaking definition of what it means to play the recorder. The popularity that he enjoys in Switzerland and abroad has reached dimensions usually restricted to other music genres. Maurice Steger is a resolute master and a wonderful performer with profound understanding of the music he performs; his successes are as numerous as the partners with whom he has performed …
Christian Berzins in ‘RadioMagazin’
Hahn’s musical temperament never goes astray in trivial nuances but takes off in an unbridled drive. At times that can seem somewhat conventional and motor-driven, particularly in comparison with Maurice Steger (in the double concerto), who playfully splashed Bach’s music with fitting ornamentation …
Rising Stars: with Hilary Hahn at the ‘Lucerne Concerts’
Maurice Steger is without a doubt an artist who pushes the recorder to its physical and expressive limits. Dedicated as few others, he presents music as a pulsing, throbbing moment, breaking the chains of notation and transforming notes into living entities. That music is more than just the patient reading of a score, that spontaneous, imaginative turns are the essence of music, Maurice Steger embodies this platitude anew: his playing is not merely spectacular but also is driven by the desire to give shape and form in the tradition of Harnoncourt …
Early music Magazine
The star of the evening was Maurice Steger, for this brilliant young musician provides living proof that all of the clichés about the recorder are not true. To hear Maurice Steger perform is to experience how he can scatter acrobatic cascades of notes as Vivaldi’s capricious finch throughout the Tonhalle, how he can combine a weave of lines in an Adagio to create a perfect rainbow, how he can embody musical communication with subtle humor and wit, how he can utilize the interaction between work, ensemble and soloist to form a musical theater of the most entertaining kind – and together with the “Academie” to be answered in return by the warmth of the audience’s affection.
Such charismatic performances are typical of popstars, but this is Maurice Steger, and his exuberant performances of Vivaldi or Telemann would not be out of place in the hit parade, and his cascades of notes have just the right frequency even to reach techno-ears …
Reinmar Wagner, ‘Musik & Theater’, Concert with the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin at the Tonhalle in Zurich
And then the manner with which recorder whirlwind Maurice Steger performed Bach’s Double Concerto BWV 1060: masterful gestures, passionate expression, varied phrasing, and all of that on an instrument that (despite its limitations in color and dynamic range) turned into a magic wand in his hands …
Bach’s Double Concerto with Igor Oistrakh
The phrases just run off his fingers, whether jumping through the octaves or gracing every note with an ornament; he is able to conjure up the most whispered pianissimo, the most profound emotion, the most forceful tone; at times Maurice Steger blows into his recorder as if he is trying to draw more out than is physically possible …
CD Telemann’s Flute Quartets with Musica Antiqua Köln and Reinhard Goebel
The real star of this show is the virtuosic soloist with his astonishing flow without flippancy. Telemann’s music therefore responds to the treatment, and such performances provide a veritable feast for our ears.
Basil Ramsey, music & vision, Telmann CD ‚Solos and Trios’
Telemann knew very well what the recorder could stand up to and what not, but there are of course many people who can’t stand the recorder. They should hear Maurice Steger and the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin [Academy for Ancient Music Berlin]. Steger can make an “Air à l’Italien” tremble on the recorder like a dramatic soprano in an Opera seria. And in the closing minuet of the Concerto in C major the repeated notes came in a frenzied shower as if in a Scarlatti harpsichord sonata. Your ears begin to flap just from listening. Wonderful!
Jan Brachmann, Berliner Zeitung, Feuilleton, 22 March 2006
What makes this CD indispensable can be found in the two works for recorder performed by Maurice Steger. The phrasing in the Suite in A Minor is more than astounding; and he plays les Plaisirs with splendid, cat-like dynamics. The Overture is particularly remarkable – it is filled with rhythmic force and delicate poetry. Maurice Steger’s virtuosity is astonishing both here and in the Concerto in C Major (which is rarely to be found on CD, and one must ask why!). His articulation is masterful regardless of the difficulty or tempo of the passage, his sonorities always subtle and varied; a new authority 40 years after Brüggen and Harnoncourt.
Pierre-Yves Lascar, Diapason No 534, Les 200 critiques du mois, April 2006 – Diapason d’or
Bird of Paradise
Europa Galante with Fabio Biondi and Maurice Steger at the Tonhalle in Zurich
Snow blowing across the fields, and not a bird around to mark summer’s presence. It is time to bring out the flutes and violins in order to warm the hearts. But the Sinfonia in G Major (RV 149) by Antonio Vivaldi didn’t quite do the trick. Fabio Biondi and his Baroque ensemble “Europa Galante”, who created quite a furor with their recording of Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” a number of years ago, began their Klubhaus concert with reserved elegance, although somewhat lukewarm in mood.
And then he suddenly he was there, “Il Gardellino”, the finch, on the middle of the stage in the Tonhalle Zurich. Brazen and carefree he began to trill and whistle, to beguile, to shout and dance for joy. It seemed almost as if Vivaldi wrote his Concerto in D Major for Flute and Strings (RV 428) specifically for Maurice Steger. Steger’s fine nuances in articulation and tone production were particularly entrancing in the slow movements. And his lavish ornamentation was so airy and light that the melodies never appeared to be exaggerated or sluggish. The Siciliana from Vivaldi’s Concerto was absolutely bewitching, and the slow movement from Giuseppe Sammartini’s Recorder Concerto in F Major became a tender song.
The middle movements in general provided the greatest magic during the evening. String pizzicatos and splashes of lute and harpsichord harmonies provided a fine accompaniment to which Biondi played a graceful melody in the Largo from Johann Sebastian Bach’s Violin Concerto in G Minor (reconstructed from the Harpsichord Concerto in F Minor BWV 1056). And the fourth Brandenburg Concerto united all of the evening’s performers once again, who brought Bach’s dense weave of music to glow. The contrapuntal art of the concertante fugue in the closing movement was filled with playful spontaneity.
…Maurice Steger verkörpert in seiner persönlichen, farbigen, technisch brillanten und lebendigen Art eine geradezu richtungsweisende Neudefinition Blockflöte zu spielen. Nicht nur in der Schweiz erreicht seine Bekanntheit nun jene Werte, die bisher anderen Musiksparten vorbehalten schien. Maurice Steger ist ein kompromissloser Könner und ein grosses Bühnentalent mit intellektuellem Tiefgang, dessen Erfolge so zahlreich, wie seine Partner prominent sind…
Christian Berzins im RadioMagazin
…Der junge Flötist Maurice Steger ließ in Giuseppe Sammartinis Concerto eine hinreissende Anverwandlung barocker Musik erklingen. Mit einem ungemein präsenten Klang lotete er den Affektgehalt der Musik aus…
Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Konzert mit Europa Galante & Fabio Biondi in der Tonhalle Zürich
Music Festival: Maurice Steger’s Recorder Sonorities
Concert promoters singing the praises of the artists performing in their events is something understandable but at the same time not above suspicion. In the case of Swiss recorder player Maurice Steger, however, the biographical hymn of praise printed in the program for his performance at the music festival seems quite understated in retrospect. There was not an empty seat in the hall when the 33-year old instrumentalist took the stage with harpsichordist Sergio Ciomei to perform a program of Italian Baroque music – which he did so with captivating ease and breathtaking intensity.
Maurice Steger seemed to be inspired by the character of the hall and the design of its historical interior. Accompanied by these impressions, the various sonatas by Dario Castello up to Antonio Vivaldi were lent a special aura. Wonderfully exuberant, virtuoso technique, endless breath control and profoundly expressive; Maurice Steger turned every work into a fascinating sonorous jewel and gave meaning to the Italian term for the recorder: “flauto dolce”. In his hands the alto and tenor recorders sounded delicate, gentle, velvety and sweet. And on the soprano recorder, on the other hand, he produced more penetrating sonorities that brought the listeners almost to tremble.
It was as if he gradually began to transform himself into a playful, brazen, youthful faun consumed by music. His lively, ecstatic escapades on his instruments provided moments of pure pleasure, as in the Sonata II by Giovanni Battista Fontana (who died circa 1631). And in the adagios he masterfully spun out gentle, long, legato lines that contrasted wonderfully with his vivace bite. The partnership with harpsichordist Sergio Ciomei was perfect and their unrestrained joy in the music was visible and audible.
In Giuseppe Sammartini’s Sonata IV in G Major, for example, they threw each other balls of notes, set their marks, and ran unrestrained through the affects. Their virtuoso playing was characterized by enthusiasm, rhythmic precision and spirit. The harpsichordist proved himself to be an eager partner who mastered recitative-like accompaniment as well as flowing arpeggios and glimmering cascades of notes. His manner of performing lively sequences of chords in an almost jazz-like fashion in the Sammartini piece was astounding. And he further demonstrated his mastery in his performance of three solo sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti.
For their first encore the two artists exchanged places and instruments. Newly-appointed flutist Sergio Ciomei struggled through a weave of notes in search of a final trill – to no avail. Harpsichordist Steger brought the wonderful comedy to its (much too early) end.
Hahns Musiziertemperament verliert sich nie in feinsinnigen Nuancen, sondern entlädt in einen unbändigen Drive. Zuweilen wirkte das fast schon wieder konventionell motorisch, namentlich (im Doppelkonzert) im Vergleich mit Maurice Steger, der, noch verspielter, mit dezenten Verzierungen Bachs Musik gänzlich ins Filigrane auflöste…
Rising Stars: Bach mit Maurice Steger und Hilary Hahn bei den “Lucerne Concerts” im KKL
Bisher die Schweizer CD des Jahres!
Obwohl man weiß, dass virtuose Interpreten kräftig verzierten, haben derartige Quellen in der Praxis nur wenig Beachtung gefunden: Denn was da auf dem Papier steht, wirkt oft so aberwitzig überladen, dass man geneigt ist, an notierte Kuriositäten und nicht an ernsthafte Kunst zu glauben.
Steger aber beweist das Gegenteil: Obwohl ihn das Feuerwerk an Trillern, Vorhalten und wilden Kaskaden selbst in den langsamen Sätzen dazu zwingt, schneller zu spielen, als ein Vogel zwitschern kann, wird Corellis schlichte Architektur keineswegs verdeckt. Bei einer schier unglaublichen Leichtigkeit, Schnelligkeit und Differenziertheit seines Spiels bringt Steger zugleich das Kunststück fertig, aus kleinsten Noten große Melodiebögen zu gestalten, deren Sinnlichkeit durch die vielen kleinen Vorhalte und rhythmischen Verzögerungen nur noch intensiviert wird. Ein musikalisches Aha-Erlebnis!
Karsten Niemann in RONDO, 5 Noten für ‚Mr Corelli in London’!
If Maurice Steger made such a strong impression, at the beginning it was because there was something exceptional about his physical presence. One might say that he sprang onto the stage as if jumping out of a music box. And he was continually in motion, ready to jump anew or to take flight on the wings of the music, leaving behind a swirling cloud of notes. During the pause someone compared him to a faun – I couldn’t think of a more appropriate image.
CYBERPRESSE – CANADA – Richard Boisvert
Terrific recorder performance: Steger, manned with a collection of wooden recorders, gave a terrific performance. It was evident from the hearty applause and sounds of amazement and approval coming from the church pews that Steger’s warm personality and ardent playing had won over the audience.
What Sonin, Cape Town, South Africa Tour 2013
Explaining the success of an artist is every-day business for music journalists, still it’s probably the most error-prone affair you could think of. After all: Who could seriously claim to be able to chase apart the clew of connections between musicians, agencies, concert organizers, festivals, concert halls, record companies, distributors, the press and official arts subsidies, while at the same time keeping track of audience preferences and that little bit of luck that everyone needs? We thought so. Sometimes, however, you just can’t keep yourself from asking. As in the case of Maurice Steger.
MYSTERY MAN by TOBIAS FISCHER on TOKAFI
Par-dessus tout, l’homme semble prendre un plaisir fou à jouer de la flûte à bec. Il écoute l’orchestre. Il sourit aux musiciens, qui lui sourient aussi. Il va leur donner la main ou leur faire la bise quand il a fini de jouer.
Claude Gingras – La Presse – Quebec – Canada
The brightest light came from Maurice Steger, a recorder player in a million, in Telemann, Sammartini and a wizard Vivaldi encore. Neat and spry, with the sartorial air of an early Beatle (well, he is Swiss), he carried the audience away with his gracious delivery and liquid, mercurial tone.
Geoff Brown, The Times – London – 22 February 2008
This is historically informed performance that is intelligent but also imaginative and energetic — highly recommended.
Early Music, Oxford University Press
CHOC DU MONDE DE LA MUSIQUE pour TELEMANN avec MAURICE STEGER!
“Choc” du Monde de la Musique … Maurice Steger amazes with his alto recorder: versatile articulation, clear intonation, homogenous in all registers, with a dynamic range and never out of breath, an imagination that knows no boundaries, a hymn to the timbre of his instrumental style — a miracle of the performing arts.
Le Monde de la Musique/Philippe Venturini
But then, almost like in a baroque opera, the diva moves to the front of the stage and performs a lyrical passage in a wonderfully smooth legato. The skies open and sweet round pearls rain down. It’s Mademoiselle Alto Recorder. One of the best virtuosos currently playing this instrument, known as “flauto dolce” in the baroque period for a reason and later needlessly relegated to pre-school use, is Maurice Steger.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung / Eleonore Büning
The most exciting recorder artist currently performing classical music is in town as part of the “Schweizgenössisch”- Festivals, (…). With his “turbo sound” Maurice Steger blows away any conventional ideas normally associated with the recorder — and when the slim Swiss leans back to send a brilliant passage into the venue’s air, it almost looks as if he is playing an early baroque version of the saxophone. Steger’s performances are electrifying — his Telemann, for example, recorded with the Berliner Akademie für Alte Musik, sounds so full of relish and energy (including a strong vibrato) that recorder artists of older generations like Frans Brüggen or Michala Petri look rather tame in comparison. Naturally, the virtuosic barrage flood of sounds unleashed on his new CD “Venezia 1625” must be seen in concert.
Tagesspiegel Berlin / Jörg Königsdorf / 2.8.09
Steger’s performance is striking not only for its effortless agility, but also for the precision of his intonation. Even in those slow numbers, drifting along in wide chords like the opening of Fontana’s second sonata, there is no sign of the sloppiness typically unavoidable in recorder performances. Instead, the instrument’s sensitive response to even the slightest breath of air is always evident.
Frankfurter Allgemeine – 22.8.09 – CD VENEZIA 1625
Today, Steger can be considered the recorder’s Horowitz and quite possibly the greatest virtuoso since Arnold Dolmetsch reintroduced a modern version of the recorder to the public in the 1920s.
Süddeutsche Zeitung – Jörg Königsdorf – 16.12.09
Steger’s playing is unfailingly seductive; the English Concert under Cummings is equally delectable.
Sunday Times by Stephen Pettitt (2010-04-18)
Diese Musik aus den alten englischen Manuskripten scheint wie geschaffen für Steger. Begleitet vom English Concert unter der Leitung von Laurence Cummings, erweckt er sie mit großer Spielfreude und Leidenschaft zu neuem Leben. “Man kann mit der Flöte emotionale Welten eröffnen, und das ist eigentlich das, worauf es ankommt”, so Steger.
NDR KULTUR, CD des Monats
This is a very interesting disc which delivers a considerable addition to our knowledge of the popularity and dissemination of Corelli’s oeuvre through Europe. The performances are generally excellent, and in particular Maurice Steger is impressive in his performances of the recorder parts. The way he realises the arrangement by Blavet is quite astonishing.
musica Dei donum, Johan van Veen (2010)
Nur wer taube Ohren hat, wird diese Kompositionen fortan noch als pompösen Schmalspur-Barock denunzieren können. Und alle, die das Instrument Blockflöte bisher anpestete, werden es jetzt lieben lernen.
Märkische Allgemeine, CD ‚Mr Corelli in London’
Plénitude du son et folles ornementations sont la marque du virtuose, entouré par l’English Concert de Laurence Cummings.
Elisabeth Haas in LA LIBERTÉ
Seitdem Maurice Steger anno 2006 mit Blockflötenwerken Telemanns mit einem Schlag zum unübertroffenen Meister der Blockflöte wurde, beglückte er das interessierte Publikum in der Folge fast jedes Jahr mit einem neuen, in jeder Hinsicht grandiosen Album mit eher unbekanntem Repertoire. Hier liegt nun seine vierte Veröffentlichung aus dem Hause harmonia mundi vor, und er bleibt sich treu: Diesmal führt ihn sein Entdeckerdrang zum englischen Corelli-Kult des frühen 18. Jahrhunderts, wo dessen Violinsonaten op. 5 derartig beliebt waren, dass sie für allerhand Bearbeitungen die Grundlage bildeten.
…Bereits nach den ersten Takten des Konzerts Nr. 10 F-Dur lauscht man mit einer Mischung aus Verzauberung und Ehrfurcht. Es fällt in der Tat schwer, seine unfassbare Virtuosität in Worte zu fassen, die mit diesem Album ihren absoluten Höhepunkt erreicht hat. An keiner Stelle tritt diese nur vordergründig in Erscheinung, auch die langsamen Sätze werden zwar überreich, aber immer im Sinne des Gesamtklangs mit Geschmack ausgeziert.
In den schnellen Sätzen entfaltet Steger sein gesamtes Können: Trillerketten, halsbrecherische Läufe und abrupte Sprünge durch die Register, dies mitunter in rasend schnellem Tempo; all das scheint mühelos wie auf einem Atemzug zu gelingen.
Sein Ton spricht dabei immer an, auch in den höchsten Lagen seiner beiden Sopranflöten (in b bzw. c gestimmt) wird es nie schrill oder aufdringlich. … Ein absoluter Muss-Kauf, der auch den letzten Skeptiker der Blockflöte überzeugen wird!
April 2010, empfohlen von KLASSIK COM, Frederik Wittenberg, in allen Kategorien Höchstwertungen
Vom ersten Ton an, weiß Maurice Steger zu packen, mit fixer Fingerfertigkeit und wahrhaft zungenbrecherischer Artikulationsprägnanz abzuheben zu schwindelerregenden Höhenflügen – eigenständig, eigenwillig, kompetent. Musikalische Einbildungskraft und eine gleichsam improvisatorische Gestaltungsintensität vereinen sich in diesem Musizieren zwanglos zu lebhaft brillanten, oft auch augenzwinkernd verspielten Interpretationen: ansteckend spontan, gleichzeitig schlicht und enorm ausdrucksintensiv, ganz auf den Gehalt der Sache konzentriert. Begeisterter Beifall, Bravo-Rufe und zwei Zugaben zum Schluss…
Dr. Werner Pfister , Konzert mit den “Sonatori de la Gioiosa Marca”
DIAPASON d’OR POUR MAURICE STEGER et L’AKADEMIE FÜR ALTE MUSIK BERLIN avec les concerts pour flùte à bec de G. PH. TELEMANN!
Man findet nicht den Schatten eines Verdachts von Unsauberkeit in seinem Spiel. Seine Atemtechnik ist famos, seine Fingerfertigkeit in den konzertanten, schnellen Sätzen atemraubend. … Doch dann tritt, wie in einer barocken Oper, die Diva an die Rampe und singt, in wundervollst gebundenem Legato, eine lyrische Szene. Sie reißt den Himmel auf und läßt süße, runde Perlen kettenweise regnen. Es handelt sich um Mademoiselle Altblockflöte.
ELEONORE BÜNING, FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG, 10.6.2006
Steger’s playing is unfailingly seductive
The Times, Stephen Pettitt, April 2010, CD ‚Mr Corelli in London’
Those who came on Saturday Night to hear Maurice Steger and the Accademia Giocosa at Dachau Castle, were able to witness a “Paganini” playing the recorder, the instrument that is mostly related to the horrors of early music education, and at the same time one of the oldest instruments in exsistence…
Ancient Music on new Paths, Süddeutsche Zeitung
Was für Töne! Feinste matt glänzende Perlen reiht Maurice Steger aneinander. Schwebende Linien in filigraner Ornamentik, leuchtende Stukkaturen messerscharf gemeisselt in warmen hölzernen Klang. Selbst die delikaten Spitzentöne sind vollendet ausgeformt. Und im Largo beginnt das Aschenputtel unter den Konzertinstrumenten gar hinreissend schwärmerisch zu singen.
DER BUND, Marianne Mühlemann in der Kritik Merci, Maurice!
Er präsentiert sie mit seiner einzigartigen, ausgelassen-hemmungslosen und doch konzentrierten Spielfreude, die zu den hier eingespielten Werken perfekt passt: Atemberaubende Virtuosität, immer wieder jähe Brüche, dann plötzlich eine ebenso schlichte wie
schöne Melodie: Den Titel der „Verrücktheiten“ hat sich die CD wirklich verdient.
Karsten Hinrichs in RONDO
Welch leidenschaftlicher Orchesterleiter der Ausnahmemusiker ist, konnten die Besucherinnen und Besucher nicht nur hören, sondern auch sehen. Getreu der historischen Aufführungspraxis gruppierte er Streicher und Bläser stehend um das Cembalo, demonstrierte mit einer dynamisch facettenreichen Interpretation seine Kompetenz im Kernrepertoire Alter Musik. Mit viel Sinn nicht nur für musikalische Effekte liess er bei der «Völker-Ouvertüre» von Telemann Orchestermusiker die nach verschiedenen Nationen benannten Sätze ansagen. Mitreissend gespielt, bot das Ensemble ein Plädoyer für das humoristische und selten aufgeführte Telemann-Stück, das mit lautstarken Bravos bedacht wurde.
Höhepunkt indessen war die mit Bläsern und Streichern besetzte «Feuerwerksmusik» von Barockmeister Händel, die mit Trompetenglanz, elektrisierenden Tempi und ausgewogenem Klangbild überraschte. Nach einer stehenden Ovation wiederholten der «Täufling» und Gastdirigent Maurice Steger «La Réjouissance» und wurden erneut bejubelt. Das Indoor-Publikum hatte vor lauter Begeisterung gar nicht bemerkt, dass vor der Tür ein Platzregen niederprasselte.
“Diese Musik war ein Feuerwerk”
(Solothurner Zeitung, 20.8.2013)
In Alessandro Scarlattis Variationenfolgen über das Thema «La Follia di Spagna», das für den Titel des aktuellen Albums ist, zeigen die Musiker, wie inspirierend ein sehr freier Umgang mit dem Notentext sein kann.
FONO FORUM – Una Follia di Napoli – zweimal ***** und Monatstipp!
Various Baroque instruments prove with vitality and many surprises the richness of the Neapolitan Baroque, which is represented by seven composers on this CD.
CLASSICA about the CD ‚Una Follia di Napoli’ – ****<7p>
A recent concert with the English Concert under Laurence Cummings made it quite clear that Steger is unquestionably an artist operating to the furthest boundaries of what is technically and tonally possible on the recorder.
But it is not only the tour-de-force of exuberant virtuosity that makes his appearances such a riveting experience, but also, and in particular, the approach he takes to interpretation, overcoming the limits of notation and seeking out interaction. In Steger’s case virtuosity means not simply technical execution of the musical material at dizzying speed, but tone painting, musical expression and playful effortlessness – even at extreme tempi.
Goldberg Magazine 51, 2008: Report from Berlin (Claudia Oelze)