New Folk Music
Eiger Mönch & UrSchwyz
Maria Gehrig, violin
Hanna Landolt, violin
Kristina Brunner, cello & schwyzerörgeli
Evelyn Brunner, double bass
Dani Häusler, clarinet
Fränggi Gehrig, accordion
Maria Gehrig and three more young musicians bring verve to string folk music. “Eiger Mönch & UrSchwyz” will be supported by Dani Häusler (clarinet) and Fränggi Gehrig (accordion).—
Four young women, four string instruments and a surprise or two. Here in Andermatt, “Eiger Mönch & UrSchwyz” will present music both local, traditional and new-fangled – “urchigs, eignigs und nümödigs” – from all over Switzerland and beyond.
In terms of its ensemble, Eiger Mönch & UrSchwyz is almost a classical string quartet, with the viola’s place being taken by a double bass, and the cello occasionally being replaced by a schwyzerörgeli accordion. This combination of instruments is unusual today, because string instruments have taken a back seat in Swiss folk music since the mid-20th century. The violin in particular has been almost completely displaced by the accordion and by brass instruments. Eiger Mönch & UrSchwyz truly bring string folk music back to life. They present it in the most diverse sound colours, with heaps of energy and a new impetus. Old dances from Muotathal and Appenzell – the latter being the only region in Switzerland where string instruments still play an important role in folk music – alternate with new compositions by well-known composers such as Markus Flückiger, Dani Häusler, Fränggi Gehrig and Noldi Alder. But the versatile repertoire of Eiger Mönch & UrSchwyz also features numerous original compositions alongside Nordic folk music.
This quartet will be playing pieces from its new programme, “Nordsitä”, which is particularly devoted to Scandinavian folk music. Fränggi Gehrig and Dani Häusler will join them as guest musicians in the second part of their concert, when their programme will also include new compositions of their own.
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