The Pifferari di Santo Spirito are a very unusual trio with a sense of humour all their own. In the form of the Pifferari the oboists Margaret and Matthias Friederich and the organist Peter Schumann have developed a completely new type of chamber music concert. Not only their numerous and varied repertoire and their extraordinary collection of instruments, but also the way they present their music (interspersing it with clever and witty commentary, thereby creating a rapport with the audience) prove that the Pifferari are a class amongst themselves. Founded in 1988 the trio have aiready appeared in four very different capital cities: Berlin, Washington, Paris and Tokyo. Their repertoire includes arrangements of golden oldies, Renaissance and Classical works, the Viennese Classic, parlour pieces, jazz and 20th century music, also original Baroque pieces and many compositions of their own.
Pifferari Safari The selection of pieces on this CD, taken mainly from live recordings in the Holy Ghost Church in Heidelberg, could be described as a musical anti-depressant. Two concerts deserve a special mention: the Pyjama Concert (18-7-1992), which was inspired by a quote from an operetta describing many people's sluggishness in the early morning hours (the concert took place at 9 a.m.!); and the Teddy Bear Concert (1-1-1993), the main piece of which was "The Teddy Bears'Picnic" (presenting 13 different wind instruments ranging from recorders and gemshorns to musette, sausage bassoon and great bass crumhorn, and all played by only two musicians!) inducing the Pifferari to organise a real teddy bear's picnic in the church, to which the audience were invited to bring their own teddy bears. The Pifferari actually appeared in pyjamas at the Pyjama Concert, along with about twenty people in the audience who were awarded half price tickets for their cour- age. The clergy "were not amused"! The traditional New Year's Concort 1993, under the motto of the teddy bear, attracted over 1.100 audience and circa 750 teddy bears many of which could not take part in the picnic as the pre-prepared area was already overflowing with at least 150 teddies of all shapes, sizes and colours. The largest teddy was given the honour of sitting at the organ. The sense of safari and adventure was made complete by the fact that some members of the audience, and most of the teddy bears, had never seen a church from the inside before!
Orpheus in His Underpants and other curiosities - A Pifferari concert: as if you were sitting in the audience The very first impression you may have when listening to this recording is that there are at least eight musicians playing, but there are, in fact only three, sometimes two and once or twice just one. This effect is created by the use of a whole range of well known, lesser known and exotic woodwind instruments played in quick succession using a Pifferari trick called the "'flying change". Add to this the spinet or rhe mighty church organ and you will realise how the rich variety of sounds, as in the Orphens ouverture, are created. By the way, the underpants are representative of the way the orchestral score has been reduced to the basics without losing any of its richness or lustre. This CD is a complete live concert. Not content with playing several instruments one after the other, the Pifferari use another trick whereby the two windplayers play and sing at the same time enabling them to play in four part harmony! Unless of course you happen to have a cold, in which case you can play two parts at once on the bamboo double recorder by Santi Occorso, as in the first verse of the Bach chorale "Now thank we all our God". In fact, by adding the singing, Matthias Friederich plays three parts at once in the second verse whilst Margaret Friederich plays the descant on a garklein bamboo recorder. This special effect can also be heard in "Peter and the Weirwolf' i.e. the "wolf's glen theme" from Weber's opera "Der Freischutz". N.B. There is no spelling mistake in "Weirwolf': just listen to find out why. The organist and choirmaster of the Church of the Holy Ghost in Heidelberg, Peter Schumann, who is one of the main characters in "Peter and the Weirwolf", plays the spinet (a small harpsichord) most of the time, but is nevertheless the third Pifferaro, especially when he pulls our all the stops on the great church organ to finish this musical kaleidoscope in the grand finale: "Sortie".
Their Repertoire (over100 Titles):
Tritsch-Tratsch-Polka, Strangers in the Night, Arie der Königin der Nacht, Happybirthdayjodelwalzerparaphrase, Orpheus in der Unterhose, Peter und der Wehrwolf, Holy Ghost Blues, Rubbish Bin Rag, Alpenland-Polka, Minutenwalzer, Valse brillante, Zirkus-Marsch, Highstreet-Dixie, Radetzky-Marsch, Hommage a Dali, Pu der Bär, Cherry Pink, Summertime, ...
1991 - CD Music for fun, Thorofon, Best.-Nr.: CTH 2118
1993 - CD Pifferari Safari, Pink-Stieglitz, Best.-Nr.: PK 90793
1995 - CD Orpheus in der Unterhose und andere Kuriositäten, Best.-Nr.: PK 12595,
1997 - Maxi-CD Kammermusik der kuriosen Art, Best.-Nr.: PK 17996,