Photo: Rebecca ter Braak

What happens when you mix all kinds of musical styles, from pop to classic, in a motley and unrestrained fashion? The Chronatic Quartet answers this question with their colorful combinations of Bach and Abba, Vivaldi and Robbie Williams, or Mozart and Supertramp. There are no limits, but always many surprises. On their newest CD, the artists present a colorful re-interpretation of Camille Saint-Saëns Carnival of the Animals.

Wouldn’t this be an alluring idea: Paganini turns into a cangaroo, Jacques Offenbach and his cancan appear as a turtle in slow motion, virtuoso Frédéric Chopin turns into a wild animal… And then there are chickens, fish, a lion, and the world-famous swan. This world exists in Camille Saint-Saëns’s Carnival of the Animals, in which he created a musical monument for many of his collegues. Now, the Chronantic Quartet pays an unusual homage to them all: It “rocks“ this musical zoo created by the French composer, which has long become a true classic. Of course, this is not an exact copy of the animalistic parades, but rather a new musical interpretation of its very own which the four musicians understand as an honoring dedication to Saint-Saëns and his colleagues.

The Chronatic Quartet was founded in 2017 and holds a unique position in today’s music world. With its unusual instrumentation consisting of piano, bass, violin and percussion/drums, the ensemble is located at the intersection of classic, jazz, and pop, and is informed by the four musicians‘ personal tastes.

Here, the great masters of the past and icons of our time meet, and famous melodies from the classical repertoire are interpreted “chronatically,“ are quoted and re-formulated. This approach was first presented on their album Patchworks from 2020, and is now being revisited through a composition from the 19th century.

The Chronatic Quartet’s members are Tobias Paulus (*1987, violin), Benedikt ter Braak (*1986, piano and composition), Marco Tiziano Alleata (*1987, bass) and Jan Friedrich (*1992, percussion/drums). The four professionally educated musicians decided to make a career out of their shared passion for crossover and musical experiments. They don’t only play around with various genres, they outright celebrate them in all their diversity. They stretch boundaries, juggle different styles, and shape-shift between the different worlds of entertainment music and serious music, between classic, rock and pop. Their name, at first considered only jokingly, is also their programmatic orientation: Inspired by Chronos, the Greek personification of time, the Chronatic Quartet travels between eras and styles, continuously making new discoveries on their journey.