Japan Tour 2015

On our tour to Japan in July-August 2015 we played 15 concerts in Tokyo, Hamamatsu, Nagoya, Kobe, Kyoto, Oita, Tsukuba and others. The concerts were organized and supported by Mercedes-Benz, Japan, by Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corporation, Nagoya, and by the German-Japan Society, Kobe.

On July 13th we were invited privately to the Imperial Palace, Tokyo, playing for the Emperor and the Empress of Japan. Empress Michiko also played on the piano together with Rebecca Rust.

Tsukuba-August-1-2015 Tokyo-July-31-2015-BlueMoonKyoto-July-19-2015

June 2015 Interview with Edelmann and Rust

Here is a link to a lively interview posted on Soundcloud conducted by Corey Mason of worldOne radio and festival in June 2015 in advance of our Woodland Opera House performance on June 20th.  We talked about how we met, why we started playing our instruments, our early years as music students; and stories from our performance career.  The interview begins with an excerpt of the Willem de Fesch Sonata in C, Op. 8, No. 10, and also includes other pieces performed live in the studio.  For ticket information about the June 20th concert, go to woodlandoperahouse.org.

 

February 2015 Interview on Recordnet.com

Here is the text of an interview we had with Tony Sauro, Record Staff Writer, before our concert at University of the Pacific, Stockton.

Couple in marriage, couple in music

Bassoonist, cellist make for rare two-person combination

recordnet.com By Tony SauroRecord Staff Writer

Stockton2015

Friedrich Edelmann and Rebecca Rust. COURTESY PHOTO

San Francisco Munich Duo: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday Where: Recital Hall, University of the Pacific X

»  Social News

By Tony Sauro
Record Staff Writer

Posted Feb. 11, 2015 at 5:15 PM

Rebecca Rust and Friedrich Edelmann are a distinctive married couple.

She’s an Oakland native who grew up in Richmond. He was born in Muehlacker, Germany. They met in Belgium as members of the Jeunesses Musicales World Orchestra.

Mainly, though, it’s their instrumental connection.

He plays bassoon and she’s a cellist, equipped with a 1790 William Foster classic previously owned by England’s Prince Charles. A very rare two-person combination.

“Yes, that’s unique,” Edelmann said. “There’s hardly any repertoire, anyway. We’ve sort of developed lots of composers who compose just for us.”

It works for them. After 39 years of marriage, they tour, teach, perform and record harmoniously and globally.

“Many musician couples don’t last,” Edelmann said. “The challenge is to help and support each other and not try to ‘rival’ the other musician. Or try to prove who is the better one. That only works with mutual respect and tolerance. Then (we) can learn from each other, rather than compete.”

Edelmann, 65, and Rust, 59, do some tutoring, performing and artistic cooperating Tuesday — guiding a master class before playing a 60-minute concert at University of the Pacific’s Recital Hall.

The performance includes three selections from the 17th and 18th centuries (Johann Sebastian Bach and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart included) and three from the 20th century.

Among them is “Songs of Ascents” by Max Stern, 67, an Israel-based composer with whom they work.

“It’s based on old Hebrew melodies they sang going up onto Mount Zion,” Edelmann said of the Valley Stream, N.Y.-born Stern’s composition. “The bassoon sounds like a shofar (horn-like instrument) a little. The cello’s a little bit like a harp.

“It’s sort of biblical. It’s not modern. It keeps the old melodies and characteristics. We had to learn to do it differently.”

They diverge, too, in their approach to mentoring young musicians.

“We try to approach it musically, rather than technically,” said Edelmann, who’s staying with Rust at a friend’s Berkeley home during a four-week California trip that extends from Fortuna to Escondido. “You have to like music — love it — in order to do it. You don’t make much money. We’re giving it another kind of viewpoint.”

Name it in their field and Rust and Edelmann have accomplished it. She leads him in CD releases 13-6.

They’ve played around the world, in a variety of configurations and with numerous influential orchestras and musicians. This year, that ranges from a children’s production in Italy to a tour of Japan.

Edelmann, who played principal bassoon for 27 years (1979-96) with the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, said interest, intensity and ability remain high among classical music students in America.

“University is tough enough,” he said. “With competitions, getting good marks, winning auditions. We’re a little more just on the musical side.”

Rust, a University of California, Berkeley, graduate, knows about that. Her father, Ben Rust, taught history at El Cerrito High School for 30 years. Mom Rose began giving her piano lessons at 5.

Rust was a legit child prodigy, studying before she was 10 at the San Francisco Conservatory, Stanford and UC Berkeley, then winning major California competitions as a teenager.

The youngest of five children, Edelman grew up in a singing, piano-playing family in what remained West Germany after World War II. Mom Margarita and dad Fritz, a biology, geology and geography teacher, encouraged musicality.

After attempting classical piano, mastering math became Edelmann’s plan — “I didn’t think it was so advisable to be a musician” — but one of his dad’s colleagues also taught bassoon. Friedrich became his pupil.

At 15, mastering a string instrument seemed unlikely: “It was really a coincidence. It developed into something good. Really fast at first.”

“Half-a-year” later, he was playing in an orchestra.

During his lengthy role with the Munich Philharmonic, he became a keen observer of quirky Romanian conductor Sergiu Celibidache (1912-96). He’s written a memoir “Memories of Maestro Sergiu Celibidache” (a collection of magazine articles). It’s been published only in Japan.

While Rust’s cello has royal lineage, Edelmann plays a 1938 instrument crafted by Heckel, a German company that helped develop bassoon-building techniques at the 19th century’s end.

“It’s very valuable,” he said. “Before the war, they still did everything by hand. Now, it’s an assembly line in a factory.”

Their distinctive marriage and musical philosophy are anything but.

“It’s very rewarding, since we can tour together around the world and not be separated,” Edelmann said of the Munich-based couple. They have no children. “That really makes the relationship much stronger.”

— Contact Tony Sauro at (209) 546-8267

„Zum Tee bei Sabine“, BOSCO Gauting, 18. Januar 2015, 17 Uhr

Nach(t)kritik von Thomas Lochte, 18.01.2015

Zum Tee bei Sabine: Rebecca Rust & Friedrich Edelmann

Dass Sabine Zaplins Gäste zum ersten Tee-Gespräch 2015 eine original japanische Tee-Kanne mitgebracht hatten, war alles andere als Zufall: Die Cellistin Rebecca Rust (der Name der gebürtigen Kalifornierin ist wie “Rast” auszusprechen) und ihr Gatte Friedrich Edelmann (Fagott) hatten vor etwa 15 Jahren das einzigartige Vergnügen, beim japanischen Kaiser-Paar zum Tee eingeladen zu sein. Man war zu viert, war in langen Gängen unterwegs, ohne Palast-Bedienstete, holte später noch zwei Freunde hinzu, die diese Einladung vermittelt hatten, berichtet Friedrich Edelmann von jener denkwürdigen Begegnung, bei der man “keine Fragen stellen und nichts Negatives sagen durfte”, wie er sich erinnert. Damit jene bizarre Tee-Runde überhaupt zu Stande kam, hatten “gleich mehrere Wunder zusammenkommen müssen”, so der gebürtige Kaiserslauterner, der trotz solcher “kaiserlichen” Weihen wohltuend geerdet geblieben ist. Die Affinität zu Japan (und letztlich auch die Einladung zu Akithito und Michiko) verdankte Edelmann etlichen Reisen seit 1981, als er etwa mit dem Bach-Orchester unter Karl Richter und später Konzerttourneen mit Sergiu Celibidache und Carlos Kleiber (Bayerisches Staatsorchester) begleitete. Sogar die eigens zur Hochzeit des Kaiser-Paars von einem Stuttgarter geschaffene Komposition “Tanz des großen Friedens” durfte er gemeinsam mit seiner Frau Rebecca Rust überbringen: “Für die Japaner ist westliche Klassik, zum Beispiel Dvoraks ´Aus der neuen Welt´, manchmal wie eine Offenbarung,” sagt Edelmann, und Rebecca Rust vermutet: “vielleicht liegt das daran, dass ihre eigene noch nicht so entwickelt wurde und sehr nah am Volkslied ist.” Doch auch Parallelen zwischen altjapanischen Klängen und altgriechischen Klangmotiven seien bereits aufgetaucht: “Das soll vor langer Zeit von Indien/China aus in verschiedene Richtungen gegangen sein”, weiß Edelmann.
Der eigene musikalische Werdegang des Ehepaars führte sie einst in New York zusammen, als der Mathematikstudent und die Cellistin im Weltjugendorchester “Jeunesses Musicales” aufeinander trafen – “sie hatte damals schon mehrere Meisterklassen absolviert “und konnte schon etwas, spielte dort vor. Ich kam dazu, weil sie für ´Sacre du Printemps´ noch zwei Solokontrafagottisten brauchten”, sagt Edelmann in aller Bescheidenheit. Aus der ersten Begegnung erwuchsen regelmäßige Besuche diesseits und jenseits des Atlantik, und eine solche Zuneigung, dass Rebecca bei einem Europa-Trip eines Tages ihren Eltern schrieb: “Schickt Winterkleidung!” Sie wollte damals länger bleiben. Aus der Fernbeziehung wurde ein “Ehepaar und ein Berufsteam”, wie Gastgeberin Sabine Zaplin konstatierte – erst ging man mit Orchestern auf Konzertreisen (nach Japan zuletzt im Sommer 2011, also nach der Fukushima-Reaktor-Katastrophe), später auch als Duo Cello/Fagott und unter eigenem Management: Diese seit nunmehr 30 Jahren bestehende Harmonie immer wieder zu finden, menschlich und zwischen den beiden Bassinstrumenten, das sei fraglos auch viel Arbeit, bestätigen beide: “Du bist zu tief!” – “Und du kannst nicht zählen!” würde so ein – letztlich konstruktiver – Arbeitsdialog ungefähr lauten. Rebecca scherzt: “Eigentlich hätte ich einen Pianisten heiraten wollen oder einen Geiger – wäre einfacher gewesen.” Ja, vielleicht für das Organisieren “populärer” Instrumente-Kombinationen, denn Cello/Fagott ist eher etwas Ausgefallenes für Feinschmecker, mit nicht so rasend viel Kompositions-“Literatur”. Gleichwohl sind die seit 15 Jahren in Gauting lebenden Musiker mit zwei verschiedenen Programmen auf Tour und recht gut beschäftigt, bis ins Jahr 2016, wenn eine Südamerika-Tour ansteht. “Man braucht manchmal einen langen Atem und mehrere Anläufe, bis etwas klappt”, weiß Edelmann zu erzählen. Über Kaiserslautern und die Philharmoniker führte ihn der Weg einst nach München, das Paar wohnte 20 Jahre in Starnberg, bis dem Vermieter das unerlässliche Üben der Musiker missfiel – wohl ein permanentes Berufsrisiko. Am 10. Mai um 19 Uhr werden die beiden Globetrotter wieder einmal “in der Nähe gastieren”: Beim Haderner Kulturkreis im Theatersaal Neufriedenheim, Motto “Salut d´amour“. “Ein romantisches Frühlingskonzert”, sagt Rebecca Rust, die in der Musik selbst ihr “Auftanken” findet, und Edelmann ergänzt: “Es macht viel mehr Spaß, vor Leuten zu spielen, die die Nasen nicht so hoch tragen.”

 

Concert of Toulouse-Lautrec’s Paris–Feb 8, 2015 in Sacramento CA

The music of Toulouse-Lautrec’s Paris comes to life with a special performance by the San Francisco Munich Trio featuring Rebecca Rust (cello), Friedrich Edelmann (bassoon), and Dmitriy Cogan (piano). A combination of popular compositions (Frédéric Chopin) and lesser known compositions by Heitor Villa-Lobos, Alexandre Tansman and Georges Enesco will transport you back to Paris at the turn of the 20th century as an enhancement of the exhibition “Toulouse-Lautrec and La Vie Moderne, Paris 1880-1910”. Rostropovich-student Rebecca Rust and her husband, Friedrich Edelmann, former principal bassoonist of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra for 27 years, together with the Russian born pianist Dmitriy Cogan will demonstrate with their complex and sublime performance this unique time period, when Paris was the cultural center of the world.

Upcoming San Francisco concert – Sep 21 2014

Steven Smoliar wrote a quite detailed article in the online SF Classical Music Examiner about our upcoming brunch concert at Salle Pianos on Sep 21st at 1pm.  The address is 1632 C Market Street, just behind Zuni Café. Tickets will be $30 per person. Reservations are recommended because of limited seating. They may be arranged by calling Tibor Szabo at Salle Pianos at 415-240-2181.

Greetings from Germany!

We have been very busy the last year with concert tours in California (September 2013 & December-March 2014); China (October-November 2013) and Italy (April 2014).

In Italy we performed at Torino in “Duck, Death and Tulip” by Wolf Erlbruch, realized for two dancers and music for cello & bassoon. It won 1st Prize for Best Performance at the Italian-French Festival: Terre Comuni – Terres Communes 1.-9. April 2014, Torino, Italy. About 10 performances are already set for the spring  2015 and we get new ones almost every day!

Duck, Death and the Tulip (German title: Ente, Tod und Tulpe) is a 2007 children’s book by German author and illustrator Wolf Erlbruch. The book, which deals with death and the afterlife, has been translated into various languages, including Dutch and English, and was adapted in animated and movie format.

Synopsis: The story involves a duck who acquaints a character called Death, who, as it turns out, has been following her all her life. The two become friends, discussing life, death, and what any afterlife might be like. They go diving together and sit in a tree, pondering what would happen to the duck’s lake after her death. The duck reports that some ducks say that they become angels and sit on clouds, looking down on earth. Death says that this is possible since ducks already have wings. Then, she says that some ducks also say that there is a hell, down below, where bad ducks are roasted; Death replies that it’s remarkable what ducks all think of, and says “who knows,” prompting the duck to respond, “so you don’t know either.” In the end, the duck indeed dies, and Death carries her to a river, placing the duck gently in the water and laying the tulip on her: “For a long time he watched her. When she was lost to sight, he was almost a little moved.”

We thought you might enjoy watching, listening and reading! You can watch the video of our performance in Torino here but you’ll have to enter a password: anatramorte.