"The encounter with this unmistakable music, the lament with driven expressivity and melancholy, also inspired Markus Poschner as pianist to sit down at the waiting grand piano. With the virtuoso Hugo Siegmeth as a brilliant soprano saxophone and bass clarinet player, they meditated together on this tonal language. Free improvisations were created in a wonderful duo interplay, occasionally joined by the string section - technically challenged to the utmost - and acting as a sound backdrop. Great applause and immediately a relaxed encore by the two soloists followed in a generous mood."
What we have here is a meeting of two intelligent and technically accomplished musicians who have honed their skills in two different musical traditions, but who both recognize some shared elements in those two traditions and have the tolerance necessary to respect one another's backgrounds and to build something distinctive out of both what they share and their differences.
This is an album (Axel Wolf & Hugo Siegmeth - NOW) I have found myself playing repeatedly since I received it, hearing fascinating new details every time I listen to it.
What we have here is a meeting of two intelligentand accomplished technically musicians who have honed their skills in two different musical traditions, but who both recognize some shared elements in those two traditions and have the tolerance necessary to respect one another's backgrounds and to build something distinctive out of both what they share and their differences .
This is an album (Axel Wolf & Hugo Siegmeth – NOW) I have found myself playing repeatedly since I received it, hearing fascinating new details every time I listen to it.
Music Web International
And with the two of them (Axel Wolf & Hugo Siegmeth), the pieces sounded as if a 400-year-old, long-necked lute (or a replica) had always been the ideal accompanying instrument in some old damp jazz cellar. And as if Monteverdi’s Lamento d’Arianna, the only surviving fragment of an otherwise lost opera about the mythological gure of Ariadne, simply sounds best when it also sobs in sublime plaintiveness with a jazz tenor saxophone played in the modern manner. No wonder! The feat of the two musicians is that they do not perform superficial and scintillating classical-jazz crossover with fast effects for the fast (and quickly forgotten) market, but show the convergence of two musicians who especially appreciate shades of sound. And both of them also venture to improvise in the other’s idiom. It is sensitive empathizing with very subtle fingertips. This is the music by Axel Wolf and Hugo Siegmeth, and it has been celebrated by the music press, always with special reference to joy in musical encounter and the empathy they demonstrate.
"Saxophon player, composer and arranger Hugo Siegmeth is one of the most pleasing new discoveries in Munich´s Jazz music scene. The Jazz fan not only comes to know a full-blooded professional in him, but also and first of all an extraordinary, independent-minded producer of ideas, who shows profile and personalitiy without clichés and formalisms. Besides his virtuosity, his way of dramatizing in colourful sounds rises from his disarming naturalness."
"For all its freedom and openness however, the sound of the Hugo Siegmeth Ensemble never loses structure and clarity, a picture-rich rhyme, sometimes colorful, lively, sunny, sometimes meditative, reassuring, introverted, always inspiring."
"... Clark Terry, by trading with question (trumpet) and answer (flugelhorn), both instruments in his hands, realizes his typical Terry's wink. By the way, Hugo Siegmeth is also in his solo element, developing his melodious lines in direct succession and connection to Terry in his uptempo swinger ´Spaceman´".
"This record (Red Onions - ACT) surprises because it is so unagitated. Because it demonstrates a subtle, undogmatic interplay in the favor of a purpose that was worth it after all. Because it is not busy and does not need to show off muscle play. Because it unfolds into an atmospheric journey into the jazz encyclopedia, keeps its thread and adds up to the conclusive. Because it remains highly controlled without sacrificing fun and spontaneity. Because it actually turns the old material into something new. Rarely does one get such discreetly and confidently arranged proof that to the where to also belongs a where from."
"Passing through the centuries - Hugo Siegmeth´s Jazz in European tradition "I was looking for an ensemble sound that is rooted in classical music on the one hand, and which is open to jazz, improvisation and the flow of passacaglia on the other hand. I like to play jazz, which also refers to the European musical tradition."
"FLOW is the title of the CD, which is a very successful combination of jazz and classical music... Both Axel Wolf and Hugo Siegmeth are excellent and sensitive instrumentalists and archmusicians, whose meeting can be described as a stroke of luck. A wonderfully light and at the same time deep CD."
This album shows very well how to deal with traditional music in a congenial way and create something new at the same time, and also how to bring worlds together - for example jazz and renaissance music. The lack of the singing is not disturbing at all. When spoken, the text has a different effect and is perceived more clearly. If I had to award an album as "Album of the Year", it would be this one for me, and I wouldn't have to think long about it.
Siegmeth creates a colour scheme that hardly any other saxophonist in Germany currently succeeds in - a sculptural, warm, powerful, independent profile. His idiosyncratic blues eventually lead the listener to the Danube Delta, the Banat, the Carpathians instead of the Mississippi."
NOW – Jazz and Renaissance Improvisations - inspired by poems and pictures is the title of their new album, released on OehmsClassics in association with BR-Klassik.
But first, we´ll let lutenist Axel Wolf and saxofonist Hugo Siegmeth transport us to the wondrous world of renaissance and jazz improvisation.
Wolf and Siegmeth play two instruments that we don´t expect to hear together. On one hand the saxophon, invented in the 19th century, a mainstay of 20th and 21st century jazz, on the other the lute, which goes way back in the history of western music.
Klassikcast online, Goethe-Institut
"When Hugo Siegmeth (born Romania, 1970) set out to pay homage to Sidney Bechet (born New Orleans, 1897), his intention was to present Bechet's music using contemporary vocabulary. The result is fascinating. To avoid any imitation of the original, he does not play soprano saxophone, Bechet's main instrument, concentrating instead on the tenor and clarinet. Some of his transformations are quite magical. Bechet's haunting 'Petite Fleur', for instance, surrounded by some fairly dissonant strings. As for 'Les Oignons', the crowd-pleaser with which Bechet usually ended his shows, it emerges as an ideal vehicle for Sonny Rollins."
Hugo Siegmeth is a gifted melodist with a touching and approachable sound... In his music, the epochs meet quite harmoniously, captivatingly logically and yet soundfully surprising. The ideal of classical music is reflected in the technical perfection and the beauty of sound, combined with the spontaneity and improvisational spirit of jazz."
Music Award of the City of Munich 2015
"Pieces by Georg Muffat are seldom heard in th Unterfahrt. Or Bach, Handel, Ligeti and other classical composers. Not until someone like Hugo Siegmeth comes along and discovers an improvisational dimension in the luminaries of the neighbouring disciplines. And because this Munich saxophonist possesss a fine sense of balance between the musical elements, he avoids the crossover trap of sympatic adaption, rather managing to transfer the sound concept of these others coherently to his own world of sound."
When Hugo Siegmeth (born Romania, 1970) set out to pay homageto Sidney Bechet (born New Orleans, 1897), his intention was to present Bechet's music using contemporary vocabulary. The result is fascinating. To avoid any imitation of the original, he does not play soprano saxophone, Bechet's main instrument, concentrating instead on the tenor and clarinet. Some of his transformations are quite magical. Bechet's haunting 'Petite Fleur', for instance, surrounded by some fairly dissonant strings. As for 'Les Oignons', the crowd-pleaser with which Bechet usually ended his shows, it emerges as an ideal vehicle for Sonny Rollins."
"Congratulations - Siegmeth succeeds in translating Bechet not only into the idiom of modern jazz, but also but also in connecting with European listening habits, which Bechet has always sought in his exile in Paris.Did "Summertime" sound ever more beautiful than in this transatlantic translation?
The compositions are inspired by Romanian folklore, whose dances and songs Siegmeth picks up in some cases directly, in others as the basis for his own pieces and exploits in improvisational excursions, from the gentle, melodious "New Year's Song" to the wild ride through "Lumea fermecata", the "Enchanted World". Hugo Siemeth's open, colorful, powerful sound, his sometimes lively, then again magical-mystical calm radiating phrasing evoke images that stick for a long time: One feels in the middle of the hustle and bustle, the wild life and the silence after the storm in Stankutza's hut "La Bordei", where many a man has lost his house and farm, or in the fairy-tale summer at the "Kaul", the Romanian village pond."
"...one forgets the Bach portrait with the stern expression and it is wonderful what begins to unfold for the open minded listener"
"I do many different things over here, a lot of things with big bands and a lot fo workshops and a lot of stuff, but I can tell you in all from my heart that there is nothing that I would rather do than this. This is the best, well it´s because this is what this music is really all about. Those of us that are involved in this music, we live for one reason and that is to get a chance to come in a situation with a combo like this and really play with this much freedom and with such great musicians to back you. I fell like I´ve died an gone to heaven, you know."
Bobby Shew about performing and recording with the Hugo Siegmeth Qunintet