"Blechschaden" - a group well on its way to cult status.
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"Blechschaden" - a group well on its way to cult status. Its repertoire is just as unusual as its name (meaning both "bodywork damage" and "brass damage"). And yet, the public has become addicted to it all. Led by Bob Ross, the ensemble has long since advanced from an insider's tip to a major draw. Bob Ross is the initiator and motor of Blechschaden. The Scottish-born Ross developed a keen interest in the musical and social tradition of Scottish brass bands at an early age. This music tracing its origins back to the workers movement in Scotland has been around for 150 years. It was many-sided and open to all and has continued to be so right up until the present day. When Ross was hired as a horn player in Munich, he brought his enthusiasm for brass music along with him. In the Munich Philharmonic he soon found eleven like-minded colleagues who also have fun with this special form of brass music. "Blechschaden" was founded in 1984. "And because I had bought the music, I got to conduct," Ross quips in what is almost a classical British understatement. It was thus that they were able to realize an old alchemist's dream within the shortest time: that of turning brass into gold. "Blechschaden" has gone on to become one of the most sought-after ensemble of its kind throughout the world.
What is more, the human dynamo Bob Ross supplies all the necessary show elements not only to inspire the group's audiences musically but also to guarantee them a top entertainment experience. This would certainly seem to be one major reason for its immense success with the public. There is no "Blechschaden" concert that does not sell out, no annoucement of a concert that is not followed by a mad dash for tickets. The public just cannot get enough. Why?
In his mad dash on his brass wild horse, Ross surmounts all hurdles and obstacles, no matter the musical terrain. An unbeatable team in the field of the musical steeplechase. Nothing is holy to them. No one would even think of boredom here. Stupendous musical talent is combined with the joy of musical performance - and the pleasure enjoyed by the musicians is catching. Perhaps that too is behind the secret of the group's success. A phenomenon beyond the academic music business: musicians give free rein to their performance joy far off the beaten musical paths. Every performance is a gala musical fireworks, sparkling with brilliant performance wit. And the talent of the musicians ranges at least as far and wide as their repertoire. Here we have virtuosos who pull off brilliant moves as if by second nature.
It is perhaps also significant that musicians from one of the noblest Munich symphony orchestras have fired away at musical traditions. Nonsensical and artificial dividing lines between serious and light music are eliminated and reduced ad absurdum. They take on Mozart and Michael Jackson and Richard Wagner.
First-class arrangements are the foundation of musical success. The "Blechschaden" titles are all arranged and worked over by top professional. Experienced arrangers, some of them members of the ensemble, tailor the music especially for the group. A dose ... When destiny knocks, thatdoes not sound threatening but, as is usually the case with "Blechschaden" carefree, merry, and optimistic. Cooler Blues leave us anything but cold, and a tricky "Zwiefacher dance" will no doubt drive would-be dancers crazy. Those who think that galloping Valkyries should be followed by a Tiger rag and Maurice Ravel's Bolero by the Baumkirchner Jodler yodel will receive a firm endorsement from "Blechschaden". The 12 musicians seem to be unafraid when it comes to new and unusual musical contacts.
"Blechschaden's" repertoire knows no bounds. Reminiscences of its Bavarian home, however, are very much inevidence. Even the Bavarian States Government has come to use the group as a figurehead on a regular basis (and perhaps also as a source of divine inspiration). Its love for Bavaria notwithstanding, "Blechschaden" really feels at home throughout the world. Its special musical language is understood everywhere and qualifies as a universal idiom. No matter whether "Blechschaden" performs before fifty of fifty thousand people. It delights it audiences in Europe, Asia and America and hopefully will continue to do so for many yeaqrs. George Bernard Shaw once wryly remarked that the bad thing about wind instruments was that they strengthened the lungs and increased the life expectancy of those who play them. In my view this medical report is a source of hope: even in the distant future crazy arrangements and programs will be forthcoming from "Blechschaden". And I am quite sure that "Blechschaden" and Bob Ross still have plenty of new surprises in store for us.
Second German TV-Concert