Jazz pianist and composer Michael Wollny, and conductor and composer Christian Jost are two exceptional artists from seemingly musical worlds and who strive for a feeling of being “as spontaneous as possible”. Wollny, born in 1978, and who now makes his home in Leipzig, is regarded as one of the foremost European jazz musicians of his generation. According to the Süddeutsche Zeitung, “Michael Wollny can turn any music imaginable into an experience to take your breath away”. The conductor and composer Christian Jost, who was born in 1963 and is based in Berlin, is also one of the most respected individuals in his field internationally. His artistic spectrum ranges from classical to contemporary music, from solo concertos to chamber music, operas and symphonies.
The central element which connects Michael Wollny and Christian Jost is a common search for the magic of the moment within a seemingly boundless musical universe. Each of them knew and appreciated the other’s music before they met. And when they eventually did, it quickly became clear that here were two people and musicians who discovered they had a common language and approach. Early, classical and new music are naturally part of Wollny’s work, while for Christian Jost, contemporary jazz is a natural and intrinsic part of his broad palette of musical inspiration.
In addition to the performance of some of Wollny’s solo pieces, the encounter with members of the Berliner Philharmoniker is the focus of the collaboration. Jost brings Wollny’s own compositions, Robert Schumann’s dark, contemplative gem of a song Auf einer Burg, and his own Nocturnal Movements into a new musical world in which he acts, as he describes himself, as an “interpreting composer”. This is a world which has a fixed score as its basis, but which is also configured to give Michael Wollny room to improvise. This is a concept which perfectly reflects Wollny’s conception of jazz, and at the same time, it reflects Christian Jost’s core concern, which is the “search for the magical moment, based on a complex and differentiated relationship between structure, form and sound”.