SEQUENZA - Chloé & Vassilena Serafimova

"Musical love at first sight" is one way to describe the genesis of the duo formed by Chloé and Bulgarian percussionist Vassilena Serafimova. An impromptu meeting that has since turned into a lasting collaboration, culminating in the release of their first joint album in 2021 after four years of on-stage and in-studio complicity.


Bach Mirror - Thomas Enhco & Vassilena Serafimova

Johann Sebastian Bach’s music has always been a part of our lives, a source we have been drinking from since childhood into our adult years. Whatever happens, whatever we face, this music elevates and gives depth, it inspires and comforts, it bears clarity as much as surprise. It is of such absolute perfection that it transcends the forms and instruments it was originally created for.
With this project, Bach Mirror, we wanted to reflect the past in the present, western rhythms in eastern rhythms, the sacred in the secular, the reality in the dream, the improvised in the written, jazz in classical, the irregular in stability. To achieve this goal, we have drawn from the full extent of Bach’s catalogue of works: from his religious music and vocal works, from solos (organ, harpsichord, violin, cello) to duets (sonatas) or works for orchestra (suites); preludes, fugues, arias, dances…

In Bach’s world, the concept of transcription is fascinating. On one hand, he himself transcribed a lot: his own compositions but also those of his contemporaries. On the other hand, he would sometimes borrow the theme of a piece, a motif, and with this he would create a brand new work. Thus, the border between transcription, arrangement and “re-composition” becomes blurry, and the music, even the most complete, appears as an endlessly malleable and transformable matter.

Bach’s freedom and explorer’s inventiveness gave us wings in our own approach to his work. Here, we navigate in between two extremes: pure transcription, true to the original material on one side; new compositions based on an existing element (a motif or a series of chords) on the other; and all the varying degrees in between these two poles.

Neither the marimba nor the modern piano existed in Bach’s day, and this liberated us of any qualms regarding his will on the manner his pieces ‘should’ be performed. Finally, to put us at ease, Gabriel Fauré wrote, in his introduction to the Complete Organ Works by Bach (Durand, 1911), “The evil from which masterpieces suffer is the excessive respect which surrounds them.”


FUNAMBULES -Thomas Enhco & Vassilena Serafimova

Le pianiste de jazz Thomas Enhco par ailleurs reconnu dans le monde du jazz, forme un duo hors norme avec la percussionniste Vassilena Serafimova. Leur premier album, Funambules, paraît le 8 avril chez Deutsche Grammophon. De Mozart à The Verve, de Bach à leurs propres compositions.

Les chemins de Vassilena et Thomas se croisent… et au carrefour, il y a naturellement Mozart : le marimba et le piano se retrouvent d’égal à égal dans les trois mouvements de la Sonate pour Deux Pianos en Ré Majeur K.448. La virtuosité et l’énergie des deux artistes se déploient avec aisance dans ce chef-d’œuvre à la fois plein d’allégresse et de profondeur, dont ils nous offrent une version jamais entendue jusque-là.

Vassilena passe naturellement par la transcription pour adapter une fugue de Bach tirée de la Sonate pour Violon Seul n° 1 en Sol Majeur BWV 1001. Aquarium, extrait du Carnaval des Animaux de Saint-Saëns, est quant à lui complètement arrangé pour piano et marimba préparés, offrant une interprétation inventive et pleine de folie. Thomas Enhco ré-harmonise Pavane op.50 de Gabriel Fauré pour une version plus sombre et mélancolique tandis que Vassilena transforme son marimba en un instrument hybride, entre orgue, violoncelle et basson.

Il compose pour le duo ; Eclipse, une promenade onirique et romantique, jouant de la légèreté de leurs deux claviers, Palimpseste, qui peint une douce lumière à l’aide des ondes boisées du marimba tandis que la lente mélodie du piano indique le chemin, comme un guide dans une forêt magique.

Elle lui enseigne un chant traditionnel de sa Bulgarie natale, Dilmano, Dilbero où ils unissent leurs voix claires, et créent une œuvre-fleuve épique et ébouriffante.

Ils passent commande au compositeur américain Patrick Zimmerli : Signs of Life – Blood Pressure entraîne les deux instruments dans une course folle, saluant au passage Steve Reich. Ils donnent une version pleine de groove de Bitter Sweet Symphony, tube planétaire du groupe de Britpop The Verve.

En savoir plus sur http://www.clubdeutschegrammophon.com/albums/funambules/#6BBRo89z2p0S3QXE.99



"I imagined this CD as an object that opens the door of my inner world. It contains the creativity of my friends, works that I love, things that inspired me in that moment of my life. The content of this CD is not entirely mine; it is the result of the work of several artists.

I wanted to erase the borders between classical, contemporary and improvised music, between recognized composers and those who are beginning their journey.

And in all of this, the wish to have fun, give and take pleasure, and be able to share it."