20 March 2014

»Ari Benjamin Mayers composed a mesmerizing Philip-Glass-Imitation for this occasion, which Robert-Wilson-student Rasche accomodates naturally: a pulsating carpet of repetitive patterns from which yearning cello-cantilenas rise again and again […]. The result is a three-hour-music-and-text-theatre to go insane and melt away, an evening you either grab and soak up or leave your hair scuffling.« (André Mumot)

nmz – neue musikzeitung

07 January 2014

»The outstanding artistic quality of the recording can be heard after just a few beats of Schönberg’s Pierrot Lunaire, when soprano Sarah Maria Sun moves with great rhythmic precision between singing and speaking, tones and sounds in Mondestrunken, Albert Giraud’s first poem. […] Flute, violin (Emmanuelle Bernard) and clarinet (Miguel Pérez Iñesta) are so precisely parallel at the beginning of A Pale Washer that they are almost no longer perceived as their own instrumental colours. Bass clarinet and cello (Arthur Hornig) charge the dark Passacaglia Night with threatening atmosphere.« (Georg Rudiger)

11 December 2013

»The instrumentalists distributed throughout the room (with the attentively guiding percussionist Daniel Eichholz in the centre), actually embody a musical attitude that draws their self-confidence from playful precision, but still conveys the feeling that it could be completely different at every moment. Such courage, to play ›into the open‹, would have been impossible in contemporary music in 1913, the year of the highest artistic boom and at the same time in  unbearable social constraints and nationalistic aggression.« (Matthias Nöther)

Nutida Musik

30 November 2013

»You have rarely heard such good use of live electronics. The electronically processed voice plays a key role that gives the work a mystical expression. Mystical here means experiencing the closest possible closeness to life (and not as the word mysticism is often used, as something that is foreign to reality). The hyper-real, electronic sounds create a closeness to things, to the physical, to our own bodies.« (Liv Kristin Holmberg)

Schweizer Musikzeitung

06 November 2013

»Gradient vocal lines are imbedded in highly complex instrumental composition, dense, flickering, intensively increasing, hardly permitting a phase of relaxation – except for the recitation of physical formulas and equations, which Johanna Greulich portrays very attractively onomatopoeic, gurgling and japting.« (Niklaus Rüegg)

Die Oberbadische

20 October 2013

»With the soprano Johanna Greulich and the baritone Robert Koller, two excellent singers were experienced and with the young Zafraan Ensemble under the direction of Manuel Nawri, one could enjoy a constantly engaged and nuanced instrumental playing. Tobias Flemming’s stage design was imaginative and Benjamin Schad’s leadership was convincing.« (Willi Vogel)

Codex Flores

18 October 2013

»In the short hour of reproduction one can indulge in strange sounds – fascinating, granular-fragmental particle showers of an ensemble of string quartet, flute, clarinet, saxophone, percussion, two singers and electronics. The Zafraan Ensemble under the direction of Manuel Nawri offers an excellent performance, the soprano Johanna Greulich and the baritone Robert Koller convinced through singing and acting. The stage concept (Tonias Flemming) and the direction (Benjamin Schad) are also integrated into the whole.« (Wolfgang Böhler)

Badische Zeitung

17 October 2013

»Manuel Nawri conducted the eight musicians of the outstanding Zafraan Ensemble from Berlin with concentrated precision.« (Nikolaus Cybinski)

Berliner Zeitung

08 October 2013

»The Zafraan Ensemble produced the piece Hypermusic Prologue, which premiered in 2009, for the first time as an opera this weekend at Sophiensaele. […] The production by Benjamin Schad no longer conveys much of physics – suddenly everything is again opera, emotion, two-dimensual sexuality. Space doesn’t represent the objectivity of the elementary particles, but rather the subjectivity of the worlds in which people are living. In this way the performance succeeds in transforming a physical theory into artistic truthfulness.« (Peter Uehling)

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

27 May 2013

»Drum roll for art: it began with a drumbeat by Iannis Xenakis and ended with the meagre string sections of Lucia Ronchetti’s Trio. The Literary Colloquium Berlin invited to the ceremony in its villa on Wannsee. Under the guidance of the Zafraan Ensemble, the countless sunsets since the founding of Berlin’s most traditional literary institutions were once again recalled on the hillside.« (Katharina Teutsch)

RBB Kulturradio

26 January 2013

»On January 26 at Tischlerei of the Deutsche Oper, Oh, wie schön ist Panama was premiered after Janosch’s children’s book. […] The playful sounds of the bells, flutes and saxophone of the Zafraan Ensemble convey the emotions. […] But the musicians are not only audible. If it rains on stage, they hold their sheets of music protectively over their heads, the tiger supports the performance by assisting in turning the pages.« (Bettina Rehmann)


Süddeutsche Zeitung

17 January 2013

»Ulrich Rasche’s world premiere of Apokalypse at Kammertheater Stuttgart transposes the process of purification into the present. […] While strings and blowers of the Zafraan Ensemble paint a dark to shrill undertone, Johannes, played by Elmar Roloff, warns of future catastrophes […] There is a vision at the end: supported by solemn songs, the actors walk past a white glow in which the Kingdom of God becomes apparent. It is this courage for pathos that gives the work its greatness.« (Björn Hayer)