Quarterly Critic’s Choice

The best and most interesting new releases of the previous three months are awarded a place on the Quarterly Critic’s Choice. Evaluation criteria are artistic quality, repertoire value, presentation, and sound quality. From 2014 onward, the Long Lists are stored directly with each Quarterly Critic’s Choice.

Quarterly Critic’s Choice

Orchestral Music & Concertos

Mieczysław Weinberg: Symphonies 2 & 21

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, Kremerata Baltica, Gidon Kremer. 2 CDs, Deutsche Grammophon 483 6566 (Universal)

The music world got to know the Polish-Russian composer Mieczysław Weinberg very late, so there is still a lot to catch up on. Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, together with her concentrated and sonorous CBSO, used her debut with the Deutsche Grammophon label as an opportunity to record Weinberg’s early second symphony with the joyful Kremerata and the highly complex Symphony No. 21. The latter is an almost one-hour lament full of outbursts and insights, in which the Shostakovich friend Weinberg always stays true to himself. Gidon Kremer helps out as a violin soloist, the competent conductor herself sings the soprano vocalise of the last movement in a touchingly unpretentious way. For the jury: Rainer Wagner

Orchestral Music & Concertos

Johann Sebastian Bach: Violin Concertos

Johann Sebastian Bach: Violinkonzerte BWV 1041, 1042, 1052R & 1056R; Konzert für Violine und Oboe BWV 1060R; Konzert für 2 Violinen BWV 1043; Sinfonia BWV 1045; Overtüre Nr.2 BWV 1067; Triosonaten BWV 527 & 529. Isabelle Faust, Xenia Löffler, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Bernhard Forck. 2 CDs, harmonia mundi 902335.36

In her latest Bach record, Isabelle Faust not only combines the well-known violin concertos but also adds several reconstructed and hypothetical elements: organ trio sonatas and harpsichord concerts, which may have once been based on violin versions, as well as introductory movements of cantatas and an overture. The fabulous violinist encounters the eloquent Akademie für Alte Musik on the one hand and Xenia Löffler’s superbly nuanced oboe on the other, in intensive dialogues. Exceptionally lively! For the jury: Wiebke Roloff

Orchestral Music & Concertos

Lucerne Festival Orchestra, Riccardo Chailly, Ravel

Maurice Ravel: Symphonische Fragmente aus »Daphnis et Chloé«, Suiten Nr. 1 & 2, Boléro, Valses nobles et sentimentales, La Valse. Lucerne Festival Orchestra, Riccardo Chailly. DVD Accentus ACC20451 / Blu-ray Accentus ACC10451 (Naxos)

This concert recording from 2018 shows how much the Lucerne Festival and its new chief conductor Riccardo Chailly have grown together: an intelligently designed program is excellently implemented! You can admire soulful playing with maximum clarity and pronounced dynamism. The varied Valses nobles et sentimentales flow directly into La Valse, Ravel’s idiosyncratic homage to the Viennese waltz – exciting from the cautious beginning to the extroverted ending. The suites from Daphnis et Chloé are a prime example of refined staging, with a shimmering atmosphere, sound charm and color. In the Boléro, the orchestras excellent soloists present themselves once more. For the jury: Helge Grünewald

Chamber Music

Offenbach - Raphaela Gromes

Jacques Offenbach: Danse bohémienne op.28; Deux âmes au ciel op.25; Introduction et valse mélancholique op.14; Rêverie au bord de la mer; La course en traîneau; Duo für zwei Violoncellos op.54/3; Les larmes de Jacqueline; Élégie op.76/2; Tarantelle; Barcarolle aus »Les Contes d’Hoffmann«. Raphaela Gromes, Julian Riem, Wen-Sinn Yang. Sony 19075943082

No Offenbach lover can ignore this album. Not only because it is the discographic highlight on the 200th anniversary of the composer, but because it gives us an insight into the soul of Offenbach as an interpreter: through the cello, his instrumental mouthpiece. Raphaela Gromes and her partner at the piano, Julian Riem, transform every salon piece into a jewel of melodic, rhythmic and emotional design. For the Barcarole and a cello duo, Grome’s longtime cello teacher Wen-Sinn Yang joins them. The fact that this recording uses the latest Offenbach Edition Keck also makes it philologically worthy of praise. For the jury: Lotte Thaler

Keyboard Music

to catch a running poet

New works for harpsichord. Margareta Ferek-Petrić: Ištaratu; Rafael Nassif: empty-forms; Christian Diendorfer: PSI Song; Sylvie Lacroix: courante; Peter Jakober: dringen; Tamara Friebel: Dance Me To My Rebirth; Manuela Kerer: Granat; Hannes Dufek: arresting images. Maja Mijatović, Cembalo. Neos 11906 (harmonia mundi)

György Ligetis Continuum for harpsichord from 1968 and the piece Khoai by Iannis Xenakis, composed in 1976, have long been classics, even if created only half a century ago. It is a good thing that Maja Mijatović asked eight contemporary composers to write something new for her old instrument. The results are breathtaking because the album leads the listener on an experimental journey of new sounds. Sometimes there are percussive thunderbolts, threatening and insistent, sometimes magical, untouched islands of infinite grace. Pure sound exploration! For the jury: Martin Hoffmann

Keyboard Music

Olivier Messiaen: Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus

Martin Helmchen. 2 CDs, Alpha 423 (Note 1)

Olivier Messiaen’s Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus from 1944 are among the eight thousand meter peaks of piano compositions: those who reach the summit without harm are true masters of their craft. Martin Helmchen tackles the dizzyingly complex cliffs, steep walls and suspected slides with strikingly safe ease. He also subtly and coherently brings in a wealth of dynamic and tonal nuances. This way, each of the twenty pieces gets its own tone. Despite all the pianistic brilliance, it never seems to be an effort, instead always being filled with inner calm and strength. This may stem from the spiritual background of the work. But even for those who are not Catholic, new worlds open up: a big hit. For the jury: Kalle Burmester


Gottfried von Einem: Der Prozess

Michael Laurenz, Jochen Schmeckenbecher, Matthäus Schmidlechner, Lars Woldt, Johannes Kammler, Jörg Schneider, Ilse Eerens, Anke Vondung, ORF Radio Symphonie Orchester Wien, HK Gruber. Salzburger Festspieldokumente. 2 CDs, Capriccio C 5358 (Naxos)

Gottfried von Einem composed eight operas, only one, »Danton’s Death« surviving as part of the repertoire. Premiering at the Salzburg Festival in 1953, the Kafka setting »Der Prozess« has now for the 100th anniversary of the Austrian composer returned there again in the summer of 2018, if only in concerto form. The surprisingly unorthodox music emphasizes the grotesqueness of the story, not the existential gloom, with scornful big band sound and swing. HK Gruber, pupil and friend of the composer, unleashes an absurd pandemonium with the RSO of the ORF. Michael Laurenz lends Josef K. his eloquent tenor, a dozen other soloists share the 28 roles of an opera that is worth rediscovering. For the jury: Robert Braunmüller

Choral Music

Georg Friedrich Händel: Messiah

Giulia Semenzato, Benno Schachtner, Krystian Adam, Krešimir Stražanac, Collegium 1704, Collegium Vocale 1704, Václav Luks. 2 CDs, Accent ACC 24354 (Note 1)

For this Messiah recording, created in Prague and leaving the listener speechless, one has to thank the choir and orchestra of the Ensemble 1704 under the direction of Vacláv Luks. They have already produced a stunning new recording of Johann Sebastian Bach’s B minor Mass, and in it too, the Prague principle was made apparent: it is, to put it nonchalantly, closer to meat than to crispbread. The people of Prague make music, solid, true to life and yet virtuoso. And always in a historical manner. There are several dozen recordings of this work, this one is a new reference recording. For the jury: Wolfram Goertz

Lieder and Vocal Recital

Dichterliebe - Julian Prégardien

Robert Schumann: Dichterliebe op. 48, Myrthen op. 25, Sechs frühe Lieder WoO 21, Die Löwenbraut op. 31 Nr.1, Duets from Spanisches Liederspiel & Genoveva, Romances for Piano op. 28 Nos. 1 & 2; Clara Schumann: Wenn ich ein Vöglein wär, Romance for Piano op.11 No.2. Julian Prégardien, Sandrine Piau, Éric le Sage. Alpha 457 (Note 1)

Julian Prégardien shows courage in the most sacred space of Lieder-art. He puts alongside Robert Schumann’s »Dichterliebe« cycle the songs by Clara Schumann, not only involves Sandrine Piau as a duet partner but lets her, as the beloved’s inner voice, resound discreetly. Above all, he takes fascinating creative freedoms, dares surprising embellishments and variants that convince as expressive means. Le Sage, on a historic Blüthner grand, becomes for him a highly sensitive reverberation chamber of souls. A cleverly composed concept album. For the jury: Holger Noltze

Early Music

Sonatas for two violins - Pramsohler/Barnabé

Louis-Gabriel Guillemain: Sonate in d-moll op. 4/2; Jean-Marie Leclair: Sonate in B-Dur op. 12/6; Jean-Pierre Guignon: Les Sauvages, Tendrement, La Fustemberg aus op. 8; Nouvelles variations des Folies d’Espagne op. 9; Étienne Mangean: Sonate in g-Moll op. 3/6. Johannes Pramsohler, Roldán Barnabé. Audax ADX 13714 (harmonia mundi)

Duos for two violins were much more than just private entertainment in eighteenth-century France. This line-up has served the virtuosos on the increasingly fashionable instrument since around 1740 for the celebrated expression of their skills. Johannes Pramsohler and Roldán Bernabé bring the spirit of this brilliant repertoire back to life in a congenial way: sonorous and playful, but also highly sensitive, with long bow strokes making the balanced tension between the two partners palpable. For the jury: Carsten Niemann

Contemporary Classical Music

As if - Trio Catch

Gérard Pesson: Catch Sonata; Paul Juon: Trio-Miniaturen op.18, Nr. 3, 6 &7, op.24 Nr.2; Johannes Boris Borowski: As if; Vito Žuraj: Chrysanthemum; Johannes Maria Staud: Wasserzeichen; Wolfgang Rihm: Kleiner Walzer. Trio Catch, Andreas Staier. bastille musique bm009 (rudi mentaire distribution)

Rich or delicate tones, rushing or frenzied cascades of sound: with Boglárka Pecze (clarinet), Eva Boesch (violoncello) and Sun-Young Nam (piano) the music can grow beyond itself with elegance, energy and the joy of playing. The trio grounds its mature, beautiful sound on the almost kitschy late Romanticism poetry by Paul Juon. In the context of this program, featuring works that were created between 2004 and 2017, it seems like a wink by the trio, because it also raises the question for today’s composers: where do we stand? And where do our current musical »attempts« (quoting the accompanying text) and intentions lead us, which in the joy of playing of these musicians develop a real quality of life? For the jury: Margarete Zander

Historical Recordings

Edith Peinemann – The SWR Studio Recordings 1952-1965

Concerts by Johann Sebastian Bach, Béla Bartók, Ludwig van Beethoven, Antonín Dvořák, César Franck, Georg Friedrich Händel, Paul Hindemith, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Hans Pfitzner, Maurice Ravel, Max Reger, Robert Schumann, Jean Sibelius, Josef Suk und Tomaso Antonio Vitali. Edith Peinemann, Robert Peinemann, Heinrich Baumgartner, Helmuth Barth, Maria Bergmann, Georg Toussaint, Hartmut Oesterle, Sinfonieorchester des Süddeutschen Rundfunks, SWF-Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden, Hans Müller-Kray, Hans Rosbaud, Ernest Bour. 5 CDs, SWR Classic SWR19074CD (Naxos)

This commendable Peinemann edition spans an arc from the fifteen-year-old to the twenty-eight-year-old violinist. A considerable part of the repertoire presented has never been released on recordings. In addition, the edition conveys a piece of contemporary history. As with other Rostal students, such as Jenny Abel or Ulf Hoelscher, music came first for Edith Peinemann. Despite all the successes and honors as well as recognition from colleagues such as Yehudi Menuhin, Isaac Stern and David Oistrakh, she was denied a permanent place among stars and starlets – or perhaps spared. It might give pause for thought, that in the 14 volumes »The Way They Play« with around 140 musicians neither Peinemann, Abel or Hoelscher has been included. For the jury: Wolfgang Wendel

Crossover Productions

d.o.o.r.: Songs from a Darkness

Dirk Raulf, Oona Kastner. Poise 27 (direct sales)

This debut album by the duo d.o.o.r. offers moody, even tonally dark night music. With almost inexhaustible breath, the composer and live musician Dirk Raulf turns the bass clarinet into an endless fog horn loop and his saxophones into a swelling chorus of trumpets. In between, the performer Oona Kastner, who also plays the piano, intones, screams and murmurs, tactful and hauntingly morbid poetry by her musical partner, but also texts by Andreas Gryphius or Wystan Hugh Auden. A CD that reflects the chaotic zeitgeist, confusing, destructive, spooky – and absolutely worth listening to! For the jury: Nikolaus Gatter

Film Music

Michael Abels: Us

Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. Backlot 777 (Bertus)

What the director Jordan Peele and his composer Michael Abels achieved with »Get Out« in 2017 they now repeat in »Us«: irritation with goosebumps and nightmare guarantee. Abels effectively refrains from using clichés. How he deals with voices, strings and subtly sneaky sound effects is as mean as it is ingenious: a children’s choir sings scary nonsense Latin, the hip hop classic »I Got 5 On It« mutates into a leitmotif and the Doppelganger theme of the film sounds hair-raising with its contrast of strings and cymbal. A-level Horror. For the jury: Joachim Mischke

Music Film

Matangi / Maya / M.I.A.

A film by Steve Loveridge. Maya Arulpragasam aka M.I.A., Diplo, Bill Maher, Nicki Minaj, Madonna. DVD, Rapid Eye Movies 1706799 (Alive)

Filmmaker Steve Loveridge knows the combative singer and rapper Maya Arulpragasam, also known as MIA, from their time together at the art college. Because extensive self-documentary film material has been made since then, an intimate portrait of the artist covering a long time could be made. The daughter of the co-founder of a militant Tamil student organization likes to rub people the wrong way with her political commitment or to stage cleverly calculated provocations, for example with the violent video for »Born Free«, 2010. For the jury: Juan Martin Koch


Betty Carter: The Music Never Stops

Blue Engine BE 0014 (Galileo)

In the concert on March 29, 1992, in New York’s Lincoln Center, Betty Carter shone with great scats, and in the text-based passages, she articulated every syllable with its due weight. Life experience and wisdom resonate in every song – and the mellow humor of a singer who, despite her class, could never achieve superstar status. Accompanied by big band, combo and strings, Betty Carter creates closeness; at the same time, she remains, without the slightest hint of pandering, loyal to her stage role as a mature, older woman who stands above the perils of life. A highlight of vocal artistry. For the jury: Werner Stiefele


Christian Lillinger: Open Form For Society

Plaist 004 (Edel)

Christian Lillinger is pushing jazz beyond its supposed boundaries like no other in Germany at the moment. For two years the drummer had been laboring over the compositions that he now performed with a nine-piece ensemble during a five-day work process in the studio. Concept, interpretation and improvisation interlock in changing constellations, resulting in innovative recompositions with a high density of events. The material generated in this way associates in free flow with jazz, new music and advanced pop music. The openness of the concept and the participation of all those involved suggest that this production should also be understood as a model of social interaction. Music as a challenge! For the jury: Bert Noglik

World Music


Ulla Pirttijärvi, Harald Skullerud & Olav Torget. Nordic Notes / Bafe’s Factory NN126 (Broken Silence)

In Joik, the traditional Sami song rooted in shamanism, the objects of the songs become present. Rough and with electrifying energy »joiks« the singer Ulla Pirttijärvi from the Finnish part of Lapland for instance the people who have inspired her. Harald Skullerud (percussion) and Olaf Torget (guitar and others) bring West African sounds into play – which fit amazingly well and are much more convincing than other pop-joik adaptations from Finland or Norway in previous years. A stirring debut album, sparking curiosity, and a desire for more. For the jury: Johann Kneihs

Traditional Ethnic Music

Kongo Ya Nostalgic – Nostalgique Kongo

Rumbas Lingala, Swahili & Douala 1950-1960. Gustave Dalle, E Bongue Bollanga, Adou Elanga, Camille Feruzi, Jhimmy, Franc Lassan, Bukasa Léon, Tom Miti, Mokoko & Bosele, Camille Mokoko, Isaya Mwinamo, Philos Yanno Penki, Nelson Simon, Trio Bow, Wendo. Buda Musique BU 860339 (Membran)

It is not an easy step into the Congo of the 1950s. Maybe because it seems too easy for us; as if this vocal style had more to do with the terce-beatitude of the German schlager of the same decade than with the Afro-Cuban rumba, which had followed the slave ships trail back to Africa and where, thanks to the radio and exploding Congolese ‚78 record publishing, it developed an incredible dynamism. There was no major city from Cameroon to Kenya that was not affected by this wave, one could even speak of a Pan-African style that was characterized by numerous local languages and influences. Here you can hear a collection that, once absorbed, you will not forget. For the jury: Jan Reichow

German language Singer/Songwriters

Köster & Hocker: fremde feddere

GMO – The Label GMO074-2 (Rough Trade)

Somehow this CD reminds me of good old »The Piano has been drinking« days. As is well known, the band project around Gerd Köster and Frank Hocker began with the »cologne-ification« of the songs by Tom Waits. The two of them wrote a piece of rock history. From their school days in Cologne-Nippes to the Schroeder Roadshow, »affrocke« (cologne rock) was always popular. Then »piano«, new songs, sometimes in high German, Cologne Krätzje. And now: 13 favorite songs that they would like to have written themself: from (of course) Waits to Zappa, Dylan and John Hiatt to Ian Tyson or Bonnie »Prince« Billy. Lots of borrowed plumes, with which Köster & Hocker do not simply adorn themselves, but rather give them a different life of their own, with humor, enthusiasm, seriousness – and respect. For the jury: Hans Reul

Folk and Singer/Songwriters

Dobranotch: Merčedes Kolo

CPL Music CPL029 (Broken Silence)

A lonely tuba sets the beat and makes one thing immediately clear: Dobranotch have not become even a smidgen quieter in the twenty-first year of their existence. The band from Russia mixes a confident sound from Klezmer, Balkan, Gypsy and does not even shy away from Rammstein. The very successful unplugged version of the Rammstein classic »Du hast« has become a long-running hit, and it is also on the new album, energetic, happy and wildly virtuoso. The songs are sung in Russian or Yiddish, but mostly in joyful ululations. Whatever you don’t understand, you make your own sense of by listening. Sometimes the imagination whispers the word »vodka booth« in your ear, which is certainly not too far away with this music. For the jury: Imke Turner


Jayda G: Significant Changes

Ninja Tune ZENCD254 (Rough Trade)

It is playing with apparent contradictions that makes the Vancouver producer’s debut album something special. Jayda G transforms influences from old funk, disco, R’n’B and boogie into unusual house tracks, which both work on the dance floor and impress with their pop appeal. She had studied resource and environmental management; with her music she proclaims hedonism, in her lyrics however, she calls for more attention for environmental protection. »Significant Changes« captivates with its variety of styles and moods, it has internalized the principle of pop because it creates an unheard-of present with the musical means of the past. For the jury: Albert Koch


Ratso: Stubborn Heart

Lucky Number LUCKY126CD (Rough Trade)

Larry Sloman got the stage name Ratso from Joan Baez in 1975 because he reminded her of Dustin Hoffman’s role as Ratso Rizzo in the film »Asphalt Cowboy«. Back then Sloman was a journalist on behalf of Rolling Stone. He later wrote Howard Stern’s autobiography with him and further bestsellers, for instance about Harry Houdini, Abbie Hoffman, Bob Dylan, and Mike Tyson. He wrote lyrics for John Cale; he worked with Leonard Cohen, Dylan and Nick Cave. On his excellent debut album, the now sixty-nine-year-old author, editor, actor and songwriter now pays tribute to masters like Cale or, in a duet with Nick Cave, Cohen, he even succeeds with Dylan’s »Sad Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands«. It is never too late for quality! For the jury: Manfred Gillig-Degrave

Hard and Heavy

Possessed: Revelations Of Oblivion

LP/CD/DL, Nuclear Blast NB4739 (Warner)

Nobody needs extreme metal records of almost an hour! But apart from the fact that the third album by the American musicians, who have been co-inventors of the death metal genre since 1985 with their debut »Seven Churches«, is around ten minutes too long, nothing gets in the way of the revelry. »No More Room In Hell« and »Demon« have no less hit potential than classics like »Burning In Hell« or »Death Metal«. The old-school sound (those drums!) never tries to be »retro«, but is completely organic. The album, which will be one of the highlights in the thrash and death genre by the end of the year even without name dropping, is rounded off by a Zbigniew-Bielak artwork in the style of Ghost album covers. For the jury: Boris Kaiser

Electronic and Experimental

Ekiti Sound: Abeg No Vex

Crammed Discs cram 281 (Indigo)

The Nigerian-British sound artist and singer Leke, also known as CHiF, called his one-man project the »Ekiti Sound« to refer to the Nigerian state of Ekiti. There exists ritual music that Ekiti Sound has combined for its debut album »Abeg No Vex« with low bass frequencies, dubstep, hip hop, funky house plus wild rhythm loops, to form a beguiling amalgam of limitless electronic dance music. A sound collage, full of influences from both worlds – the West African and primarily British sound systems. Some things look a little raw and disturbing, but it is precisely the wild digital sound shifts that create the appeal of the music of Ekiti Sound and make it special. For the jury: Olaf Maikopf

Blues and Blues-related

The BB King Blues Band

feat. Taj Mahal, Joe Louis Walker, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Michael Lee & Kenny Neal: The Soul of the King. Ruf 1268 (in-akustik)

With this CD, the long-time support band of the blues grandmaster bows deeply to their late boss, who died in 2015. BB King’s spirit pervades the album, in every song you can feel how much the band owes to him. The same was true the other way round. Without this committed group, his star would not have shone quite so brightly. This album demonstrates what top performances the band is still capable of without him. An excellent publication, that became, thanks to now themselves famous students of King, a real gem. No museum-like hour of silence, but an extremely successful party. This is what lively inheritance settlement should sound like. For the jury: Karl Leitner

R&B, Soul and Hip-Hop

Marvin Gaye: You’re the man

2 LPs, Motown 7716339 (Universal)

Regardless of whether this record was considered lost, marketed as a rarity or silver-plated as a sensational find – the solo recordings of 1972 would have had what it takes to become the second »What’s going on«. They could have been released as an independent album – and only that counts. Presented are productions by Gaye himself, by Willie Hutch, works with the Jackson 5 hit machine Freddie Perren/Fonce Mizzel and museum-quality song preservation by Salaam Remi. Never would this combination have been released as an album like this, but it could have been released exactly like this! That’s what’s really amazing: It closes a gap that actually never existed. For the jury: Torsten Fuchs

Spoken Word

Alexander von Humboldt: Der unbekannte Kosmos

Feature programme by Hans Sarkowicz. Ulrich Noethen, Friederike Ott, Brigitta Assheuer, Moritz Pliquet, Reinhardt von Stolzmann, Direction: Leonhard Koppelmann. 8 CDs, Der Hörverlag 978-3-8445-3305-7

This ten-hour feature shows what radio art can do. Hans Sarkowicz weaves a dense audio cosmos from Alexander von Humboldt’s writings, interviews with experts, background texts and subtly used soundscapes, which makes this curious researcher and world traveler almost a contemporary. Ulrich Noethen conveys a thoughtful but unerring Alexander von Humboldt. The narrative pace is content-appropriately moderate. That alone distinguishes this production of the Hessischer Rundfunk. But it is Sarkowicz’s merit, that he makes Humboldt’s view of the world seem very contemporary – regardless of whether it is about the climate, colonialism, or critical, independent thinking. For the jury: Anja Reinhardt

Recordings for Children and Youth

Fredrik Vahle: Zugabe

Interpreted by Heinz Rudolf Kunze, Maren Kroymann, Max Mutzke, Wigald Boning & Roberto Di Gioia, De-Phazz feat. Pat Appleton, Deine Freunde, Mia Diekow, Eki & Kathrin, Johannes Falk, Hartmut Höfele, Pawel Popolskis & Fräulein Schneider, Stoppok & Fjarill, Tex, Kai & Funky von Ton Steine Scherben mit Gymmick, Max Prosa & Sarina Radomski, Randale. sauerländer audio 978-3-8398-4920-0 (edel)

In principle, it is not uncommon for music to be covered. But an entire album with cover children’s songs? When such extraordinary artists of different musical styles come together and perform and present the whole thing as a birthday homage to Fredrik Vahle – the »Godfather of political children’s song«, then something great emerges from it. The earwigs »Anne Kaffeekanne« (Maren Kroymann), »Die Rübe« (Hartmut Höfele), »Der Friedensmaler« (Max Mutzke) or »Der Spatz« (Fräulein Schneider & Pawel Popolski) sound like new – both musically and often linguistically. A lifelong treasure is uncovered, deliciously familiar for some parents, simply funny, cheeky and poetic for the Vahle newcomers. For the jury: Carola Benninghoven