The Koppel Family and related . . .

edited January 2012 in International
Since there's been some focus on Benjamin and Anders Koppel, I thought I would share some things that I carry around in my "musical luggage"

Re: Anders Koppel:
Anders Koppel (born 17 July 1947 in Copenhagen) was a co-founder in 1967 of the rock group Savage Rose. Since 1976, he has been a member of the trio Bazaar. He also plays in the trio Koppel-Andersen-Koppel which includes his son, saxophone player Benjamin Koppel. Koppel has twice received the Robert for best film score (1994 and 1996).

Koppel has composed music for eight ballets for the New Danish Dance Theatre and music for more than 150 movies, 50 theatrical plays and three musicals. Koppel has composed over 90 works for classical ensembles, chamber music and 20 concertos, among them two saxophone concertos and four marimba concertos.

He played the piano as a child with his father, composer Herman D. Koppel and later clarinet with several television and concert appearances. He began playing the organ in 1966.
- For many years he has been a member of the Balkan inspired trio Bazaar:

- A small Youtube thing

- Featuring the amazing Peter Bastian on Clarinet and Basoon. Peter is one of the most skilled and passionate musicians/human beeings that I have ever been in the same room with.
- In the "old" days when Bazaar played live, Peter usually continued playing solo when the rest of the trio went for a break.
Mini Biography:
- Danish musician Peter Bastian is one of four children of opera singers Gert and Birgit Bastian. Following his high school graduation in 1962 he studied physics at Copenhagen University for about nine years, but found increasing interest in music. His main instruments were basoon and clarinet. From 1971 to 1983 he was a student of the conductor Sergiu Celibidache. Since then he has been a significant member of the Danish music scene, forming and playing in several bands in the folk and classical genres, composing ballets, and teaching at the Royal Danish Conservatoire. In addition, he has made great efforts to popularize music and its theories, especially through 1987's bestselling book "Ind i musikken" and several series of passionate lectures."
- IMBd
- Peter has recently posted some great improvisations together with Palle Mikkelborg (the famous Danish trumpet player) and Marilyn Mazur (Percussion, has played with Miles Davis) on Soundcloud

- This thread might very well be continued, either by me or someone else . . .


  • Thanks for this information, BN. I've been listening a lot to Benjamin Koppel's music recently and downloaded my first Anders Koppel album a couple of days ago. Jonah is a fan too, especially of Adventures of a Polar Explorer. Maybe you could write somethng about the family for Music is Good and perhaps some of us could also contribute appreciations of particular albums? I'm certainly going to follow up Bazaar.
  • My hands are tied on Benjamin Koppel right now. I'm in the process of writing an article for AAJ that will tie in with a new release and a series of downloads from past albums. But I'd be interested to read Greg's formal take on Adventures, that's for sure.
  • That'll need some thinking about first Jonah and lots of edits/help. Glad to hear there is a new release in the pipeline
  • @Greg, there are several recent albums that are focused on those polar expeditions. I can think of at least two that I could comment on. So another possible direction to go with this would be to string those together, thus requiring less writing on each. Or for you to do the full treatment on the Koppel and I add a piece around the same time on the others (the genres are a bit different). I likely won't get to that in the next 3 weeks, though.

    Not looking to hijack - just a thought, as I was thinking about those other albums in relation to MiG already.
  • Fine by me GP, as I was not thinking of a detailed review - I'm not sure I have the skills for that!
  • edited January 2012
    - This is hardly related to the Koppel Family, but I have tried to find music with and writings about Peter Bastian's teacher in playing clarinet in the Balkan style, Nikola Jankov.
    - I came out empty on the music which is a pity because he is truely awesome. I did find an article written by Peter, passionate as always:

    Nikola Jankov and Ivanka Bogdanova with The Lenovskata Group

    Twenty years ago, an unsignificant LP with a string of Bulgarian folkloristic folkloric folkmusic opened up for me in a way I had never heard before. It was neither "folklore" nor "authentic", but simply a great musician crying out his soul. I was dumbfounded. An uncompromising desperation and despair surged out of the loudspeakers, carried by a raw, almost splintered clarinet sound. It was harrowingly beautiful. The master playing was Nikola Jankov.
    I met him one year later in Bulgaria, and we became friends.
    Nikola Jankov and the Lenovskata Group have for a number of years been one of Bulgaria's most famous bands.
    The music is folk music in the original sense of the word: popular, functional music, tailor-made to convey feelings and raw energy.
    The playing style was developed before there were microphones and amplifiers, so all the musicians play and sing with incredibly powerful sound pressure. Nikola Jankov's soulful sound is ear-splitting! His playing style and ornamental technique is exceedingly welldeveloped, and it enables him to poure cascades of energy into the audience with unbelievable power and vitality.
    Nikola Jankov lives in the village of Lenovo, where he was born and raised. And he adores his village. The orchestra is named after the village: Lenovskata means "from Lenovo", and many of Nikola Jankov's own melodies carry the name.
    When the musicians came to Denmark for the first time in 1991, they had never been outside of Bulgaria. After a few days, Nikola Jankov was literally about to die of homesickness! In panic we called a doctor, and while waiting, we prepared as Bulgarian a meal as humanly possible. When he saw the hot green chili peppers, he burst out feverishly: "Lenovo, Lenovo". His mood improved considerably during the meal, and after a glass of Bulgarian Rakia, the doctor could ascertain a full and miraculous recovery. And then Nikola played a fabulous koncert!
    The playing style which Nikola Jankov represents is on its way to becoming extinct. With all the possibilities of electric amplification, the raw sound of the past is no longer absolutely necessary. Furthermore, the old clarinet system, the Albert System, is in the process of being replaced by the simpler finger technique of the Boehm clarinet. The latter has a smoother, more classical sound, but does not have the Albert clari¬net's rich possibilities of developing individual sound. The playing style tends towards a more fluid virtuosity with considerably faster tempos. Nikola Jankov's outspoken swing and the depths and nobility we hear in his ballads are a living memorial to times past and to another lifestyle.
    -Peter Bastian.[/i]
  • edited February 2012
    From the freshly ripped @ Emusic.
    - Anders Koppel's 2nd. soloalbum from 1977, for the first time released on CD and Digital, by Benjamin Koppel's Cowbell Music to celebrate his father's 50 years anniversary.

    - A stunningly beautiful album:
    Youtube: 01 - Budbringeren (The Messenger) - 02 - Byen (the City) - 04 - Gaderne (The Streets) - 05 - Havnen (The Harbour)
    06 - Regnbuefuglen (The Rainbow Bird)

    * Anders Koppel (Organ, Grand Piano, Electric Piano, Synthesizer, Autoharp, Accordion),
    * Peter Bastian (Bassoon [Fagot], Clarinet, Ocarina, Autoharp, Mizmar [Surna]),
    * Mehmet Ozan (Percussion, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Goblet Drum [Darbuka], Timpani [Pauker], Congas),
    * Jens Rugsted (Electric Bass, Fuzz Bass),
    * HC Mogensen (Drums, Timpani [Pauker]).

    Backing Vocals - Chorus:
    * Irene Becker,
    * Elisabeth Bjørn,
    * Søren Danielsen,
    * Sheena Hauch,
    * Lotte Hilden,
    * Bent Jacobsen,
    * Gert Kim Jensen,
    * HH Koltze,
    * Ulla Koppel,
    * Bastian
    * HC.

    ETA: The vinyl was released by the otherwise leftwing/political label Demos (Demos 38). This was because the tracks 3, 9 and 10 was composed to a film by Peter Watkins called Aftenlandet -
  • New Anders Koppel album on eMusic. It will be one of my Jazz Picks on Tuesday.

    Anders Koppel - "Everything is Subject to Change"
    -Anders Koppel (organ), Benjamin Koppel (sax), Kenny Werner (piano), and Jacob Anderson (percussion).
    -Oh, so beautiful.
  • Thanks Jonah, now downloading!
  • edited March 2012
    It is with great pleasure that I present a little something about Thomas Koppel, the brother of Anders and the member of the Koppel family that are closest to my heart.

    - "A career as a classical prodigy took a sudden turn in 1967 when Thomas Koppel formed the rock group Savage Rose with among others his brother Anders (born 1947). In the years before this Thomas Koppel had been seen as the most promising young classical composer and musician for decades in Denmark. As a teenager he wrote a symphony and several string quartets, and at the age of 19 he had his opera The Story of a Mother performed at the Royal Theatre. He had also made a name as a virtuoso pianist. Thomas Koppel trained as a pianist and composer with his father, Herman D. Koppel (1908-1998), who was also both a pianist and composer. After the break with his classical background, Thomas Koppel committed himself to Savage Rose, which has over the years had a changing line-up and varying success. The core of the group has always been Thomas Koppel and his wife, the singer Anisette, and their socialist convictions. The 1990s were a strong period for the group. In the 1990s Thomas Koppel also resumed his work with classical composition music. He has among other things written two symphonies, a recorder concerto for the virtuoso Michala Petri, ballets and theatre music."
    - Dacapo

    - Thomas died on February 28 - 2006 while he was doing what he loved, playing the piano.
    Thomas was such a wonderful musician and human beeing and I miss him so much.

    This album was recorded in january 2006 in the presence of his wife, Anisette in their house in Sydhavnen in Copenhagen on a Steinway Grand Piano:
    - It is much recommended to have a listen to the opening track on Youtube: Hanging Gardens Of Babylon

    - "This CD features three works by Koppel, written for the famous flute virtuoso Michala Petri. Besides Los Angeles Street Concerto, there are beautiful recordings of Moonchild's Dream and Nele's Dances."
    Neles Dances @ Youtube
  • @BN

    I don't know if this is a coincidence or not with your post today, but the first Koppel album is under emu's Freshly Ripped Jazz. I can't recall if the second is or not.

  • @ Jonah . . .
    - No coincidence, it was added just 3 days ago and this was what prompted to ad this important chapter in the continuing story about the Koppel's .
    - The Petri album was added in 2006.
    BTW, Improvisationer is surprisingly not on Amazon.
  • edited October 2012
    - Prompted by Greg's post re. the new album by Alex Riel:

    - This Youtube video is with The Savage Rose from 1968 and featuring a very young Alex Riel together with Thomas Koppel and his wife Annisette Koppel, Anders Koppel and sister Marie Koppel (apparantly doing nothing).
    Even back then, Alex was an amazing drummer and is by many considered to be the best drummer coming from Denmark.

    Savage Rose - A girl I knew

    - The story about Savage Rose is fascinating stuff, but that will have to be at some other time . . .
  • edited June 2013
    3 generations of the Koppel family
    - "Herman, Anders and Benjamin Koppel - three Danish composers, three generations (father, son and grandson) and three different kinds of contemporary wind quintet - from Herman's delicate musical cubism through Anders' more diverting style to Benjamin's modern musical fusion af classical, jazz and salsa. All the styles appeal to the playful and experimental group Carion, who truly demonstrate their artistic scope on this debut album."
    Dacapo Records - 2013 - Carion @ Soundcloud
  • Annisette Koppel as powerful as she always has been:
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