Hamburger Abendblatt

21 February 2016

»In reference to this dystopian look of our social reality, Daigger wrote an appropriate soundtrack, a rhythmicly pounding music […] In the second part, Durão opens up a whole stylistic panopticon, the Jazz of the 30s swings along, and here and there Bach. The Zafraan Ensemble from Berlin brings all this to life in a fabulous and highly virtuosic way.« (Verena Fischer-Zernin)


23 January 2016

»How much more harmonious, independent and sophisticated are the musical voices (at the concert of the Zafraan Ensemble) of three young Berlin composers. They strive for a new rhetorical expressiveness in music without subjecting it to simple programmes. The music of the Israeli-born Eres Holz, a former student of Hanspeter Kyburz, is one of the most exciting discoveries of Ultraschall Festival. […] The music of Johannes Boris Borowski sounds dismal and eccentric: Dex is the name of his new ensemble piece, referring to the abbreviation of a doping substance. In contrary, the Ensemble work Soma by Stefan Keller, initially spirals upwards with physical force – and then surrenders to phases of reverberating vertigo.« (Julia Spinola)

Hundert 11 – Konzertgänger in Berlin

22 January 2016

»The excellent Zafraan Ensemble under the direction of Titus Engel plays one work of each composer (Johannes Boris Borowski, Eres Holz and Stefan Keller): an older one for smaller ensemble and a new one for the entire ensemble as a debut performance. Everything under the guiding concept of Klangrede, which nevertheless applies to the fact that all pieces speak for themselves without explanation [….] You would like to hear all pieces and composer again.« (Albrecht Selge)

Badisches Tageblatt

04 December 2015

»In Keys the composer Sven Daigger undertook a journey to different sound islands. The trio for violin, clarinet and piano vibrated in the fight with the relentless and hard structures, with the distinctive demanding and springy rhythm indicating the direction of the march. […] Brilliantly playing Zafraan Ensemble received an enthusiastic applause«. (Karin Heineke-Dietz)

Neue Zeitschrift für Musik

28 February 2015

»The brilliant recording of the Berlin Zafraan Ensemble with five composer of the middle generation, including some first recordings, provides an instructive insight into Spain’s currently particularly lively scene of contemporary music. Structural complexity and expressive immediacy form a dazzling symbiosis here. […] Miguel Pérez Iñesta, the clarinetist of the Zafraan Ensemble, has compressed music by Luys de Narváez from the 16th century into a piece, in which the Renaissance original Guárdame las Vacas is almost pointillisticly atomized. In this wonderfully beautiful two-minute-miniature, the entire sound culture of the internationally cast formation is revealed and consolidated like in a burning glass.« (Dirk Wieschollek)

Neue Zeitschrift für Musik

PdSK Longlist 2015/01

13 January 2015

PdSK Longlist: Nomination for Best List 01/2015 of Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik in the category »Zeitgenössische Musik«.

16 November 2014

»Paradigmatic for the palimpsest phenomenon are the compositions on the CD, which are superbly captured in terms of sound technology: Miguel Pérez Iñesta shows in his 2013 […] developed arrangement of the sentence Guárdame las Vacas (1538) by Luys de Narváez, how the old can be concealed under fine new sound formations, how the structures of the movement can be dissolved in surprising colour combinations and thus create a constant sparkle, which envelops the historical harmonies in a new, colourful garb.« (Stefan Drees)

taz.die tageszeitung

08 October 2014

»The young Berlin Zafraan Ensemble has adopted the idea of rewriting for its recording Palimpsesto. They offer works by young Spanish composers, the music originates from this century – with one exception: Guárdame las Vacas by Renaissance-composer Luys de Narváez sounds in a chamber music arangement by Miguel Pérez Iñesta, clarinettist of the ensemble. Here the concept of the palimpsest is applied most clearly to music.« (Tim Caspar Boehme)

Financial Times

23 June 2014

»The bizarre location lends a strong element of magic to this new production, but the evening’s greatest strengths are musical. David Robert Coleman leads the assured players of the Opera Lab Berlin in a taut, engrossing account of the score.« (Shirley Apthorp)


22 June 2014

»Wonderful lyrical correspondences result from this among the musicians and singers: echoes, skeletonised expression, flageolettes and flap noises, alienated oscillating sounds. The power of sound (like Martin Smith’s cello) dominates the audio landscape, which David Robert Coleman masters.« (Sybill Mahlke)

Berliner Zeitung

21 June 2014

»The instrumentalists extend this sound space of panting and trembling, swelling and barking with great art and some pleasure. Sciarrino’s music deeply moves with clear contrasts of the situations, which are represented in the instrumentation (or in the absence thereof).« (Jan Brachmann)


23 March 2014

»Rasche, who stands for his very own musical theatre, has had the composer Ari Benjamin Meyers write a minimalist score for three musicians and a tenor (fantastic Guillaume Francois), which drives Stockmann’s text furiously and lifts it into spheres beyond the probelms of neoliberalism and libido.« Patrick Wildermann