Musicbanda Franui © Julia Wesely (Ausschnitt)
For their 20th anniversary concert, Musicbanda Franui performed on their native Alpine pasture, 2,300 metres above sea level in front of 1,500 spectators, who had all climbed up from the valley on foot. For its 25th birthday, Franui will perform the «Serenade of Things» at around 150 metres above sea level in the Main Hall of the Wiener Konzerthauses in front of an audience of around 1,800. On 11. November 2018. The official start of the carnival season and not long after All Saints’ Day: the comic and the sad are never very far apart …
… as is frequently the case in Franui’s music that Andreas Schett and Markus Kraler have been composing for the past 25 years, «harking back to historically authentic or existent music, combined with texts and our own particular musical world». A world in which Franui – in Schett’s words – «tramps across all eras and geographical regions».
The «Serenade of Things» is the first concert in a portrait series in the Wiener Konzerthaus. The birthday concert will see the band from East Tyrol take stock of their career so far, alongside their most important musical companions and partners. The first track on their debut CD, «Drüben» – which has long been out of print – will now be performed 25 years later. It sets to music a remark by a farmer in the local newspaper of Innervillgraten: «If there are a lot of red currants, cranberries and blueberries, there will be a lot of good jams and juice». Ever since then, Franui has made a lot of musical jams, with the sweet and sour taste of berries. The typical musical flavours are funeral marches and dance hall numbers that the band’s members grew up with. «If you play a funeral march four times as fast, it turns into a polka». Hence, Franui finds common ground in even the most polar opposites, out of which their music, both sensual and reflective, both melancholic and full of relish, is blown, plucked and bowed.
In the Wiener Konzerthaus in 2015, Franui finally found in Florian Boesch a singer for the songs they had previously performed without a vocal frontman. In «Alles wieder gut», Franui composes and performs and Boesch sings of the sempiternal musical and romantic yearning encapsulated in the music of composers such as Schubert and Mahler and continues well into the 21st century. The Viennese balladeer remains ever present in the mercurial moods of Franui’s music, as does the band’s «neighbour» Mahler, who had a house in the South Tryolean village of Schluderbach where he composed, not far from the East Tyrol Alpine pasture of Franui.
Franui continues along its path of melancholic yearning in its new programme «Lecture on Nothing», randomly and sentimentally following in the footsteps of John Cage in his famous talk. Actor André Wilms will recite the German translation of Cage’s text by Ernst Jandl accompanied by the associative musical sounds of Musicbanda: «Slowly we have a feeling we are getting nowhere – that is a pleasure!»
Together with the actor Sven-Eric Bechtolf, Franui have long entertained the idea of creating a version of Arthur Schnitzler’s «La Ronde». Now, each of the 10 scenes, which will be read and performed by Bechtolf and Regina Fritsch, will find their appropriate musical setting. Concluding the Franui anniversary season in the Wiener Konzerthaus will be the three-day «Gemischter Satz» festival with a whole range of music-making, dancing, reading and acting groups and friends, like the «mixed» grape varieties that grow in one and the same vineyard.