AJVAR & STERZ
"Ajvar & Sterz" catches you by surprise. The literally unheard-of effect of these songs not only lies in the unfamiliar (more precisely: no longer familiar) "exotic" sound of the hurdy-gurdy --- but even more so in the meticulous precision in dealing with both lyrics and tunes. This is an expedition off the worn-out tracks - with the unexpected result that the presumably familiar realm of Central and South-Eastern European music has to be charted anew: to put things unknown on the map and re-evaluate some of those we thought we knew: Schubert's Winterreise, we realize, belongs to the same musical world as an Albanian dirge. In preparing their ajvar and sterz, Natasa Mirkovic-De Ro und Matthias Loibner do without the artificial sweeteners, flavors and preservatives which we have gotten used to - here we get the subtle overtones which new renditions of Balkans and Alpine music so often lack, all the fine nuances between the tragic and the exuberant.
Johann Kneihs, Austrian Radio
It’s a blessing that they found each other. Natasa Mirkovic-De Ro with her never-ending cultural knowledge, fantastic voice and smart presence on stage, Matthias Loibner with his limitless musical creativity and abilities. Their art is glossed with the finest of varnishes.
Purists have to admit that they do not preserve traditional songs, they put them on their feet. They don’t mummify their souls but wake them. Modernists on the other hand have to admire the timelessness and placelessness of this delicate treatment of music. It isn’t just world music, it is “music of world”.
Richard Schuberth (concerto,Jazzzeit)