The flamboyant and enigmatic DJ and producer, Noema, is best known for his residency at Berlin’s Wilden Renate and running the globalcentric labels The Magic Movement and the Africa and Brazlian Shakedowns. Undeniably, all have their eyes firmly on the dancefloor. What is less known about Noema is his academic background in classical music and after we were made aware of this nugget, we felt compelled to test his knowledge. Read below for some more details from Noema about what classical music means to him and why he opted for this playlist theme.
“Besides my involvement in electronic music, I actually have a diploma in classical guitar and music theory, which i also teach a couple of hours per week at a public school in Berlin. I regularly talk to young people, who are interested in classical music, but don’t really know where to start. Also the whole classical music scene doesn’t really feel appealing to people like you and me, it feels dead and not really relevant for a modern life, which doesn’t make it easier to approach it.
I’m crazy about solo piano music, so I tried to combine some pieces and interpretations here, which sound fresh to me, and which are the reason why I love this kind of music so much. Some of the pieces you also find in this mix of mine. If you like this kind of music, you’ll also find similar stuff in this mix of mine.”
G. F. Händel – ‘Keyboard Suite No2’ (played by Sviatoslav Richter)
I’m a big fan of baroque music. And Händel played by Sviatoslav Richter is simply marvellous. The first 3:30min is the Adagio, and the reason why I chose this. Also check out the ‘Air’ from Suite No3 in D Minor
Heitor Villa-Lobos – ‘Bachianas Brasileiras No. 4’
So when you talk about Villa-Lobos in most of the world, and outside a club context, people wouldn’t consider you talk about a DJ. Heitor Villa-Lobos is one of the most famous composers of South America, and one of my favourites. He combined european classical with native Brazilian music and wrote about 2000 pieces in his life. There’s a lot of music for guitar by him, which I played extensively over the years. That’s why his work is very dear to me.
Morton Feldman – ‘Five Pianos’
Morton Feldman is exactly my kind of contemporary classical music. Sounds to float free.
Ravel – ‘Pavane Pour Une Infante Défunte’
Probably one of my most favourite pieces ever. It’s originally for Orchestra, but the piano version is also veeeeeeeeery nice!
Ravel – ‘Miroirs III (Une Barque Sur L’Ocean)’
I must confess, Ravel is one of my favourite composers and I especially love his piano music. Easy to loose yourself in. In this piece, you can really hear the ship floating on the water.
Frederic Chopin – ‘The 21 Nocturnes’
The Chopin Nocturnes are just wow. Especially No1 and No9. The way he is using the dissonances in the beginning, I love it!
Claude Debussy – ‘Suite Bergamasque Claudio Arrau’ (piano)
Impressionist piano music is my kind of thing, so besides Ravel, of course I also like Debussy very much, especially this suite. I guess one part, ‘Claire de Lune’, is kind of familiar, starting at 11:25.
Arvo Pärt – ‘Fur Alina’
J. S. Bach – ‘Goldberg Variations (1964)’ (played by Glenn Gould)
I adore the clarity, focus and polyphony of J. S. Bach, especially performed in a very playful way by Glenn Gould. This pianist was a crazy guy, and it’s fun to read the stories about him and his eccentricities.
Erik Satie – ‘Gnossienne Nº 1’ and ‘Gnossienne nº 4’
Also favourites, by the pioneer of minimal music. I mean, holy cow, this was composed in 1890! It was especially hard for this pieces to find good interpretations on Youtube, but Reinbert De Leeuw plays it just right. All the Gnossiennes and Gymnopedies are fantastic!
J. S. Bach – ‘Busoni Chaconne in D minor BWV 1004’
Probably my favourite piece by Bach. Originally for Violin (also check out that version) this is arranged for piano by Busoni, who was a very good composer himself. Here it is played by Arthur Rubinstein, another pianist legend.
Steve Reich – ‘Six Pianos’
If we talk about “minimal”, we should talk about Steve Reich. Another very inmportant inspiration for me. Usually I would put ‘Music for 18 Musicians’, but there’s more instruments then Pianos.
Beethoven – ‘Moonlight Sonata (Complete)’
I guess you can’t make a playlist on piano Music without Beethoven, so I chose the ‘Moonlight Sonata’ for the late night selection, what a surprise. With legendary Daniel Barenboim on piano!
John Cage – ‘Dream’
John Cage is a very very big inspiration for me. What a man he was! I can only reccomend to read from and about him. He was the cohabitant of Merce Cunningham, a key figure in modern dance, who is also more then worth to check out.