Not only during the carnival season, music is a core part of the identify of my home town Cologne. Thus, I was absolutely curious when I ran into Kölsche Klassiker Vol. 1 – För zu dräume. The concept of the album is to bring “Cologne Classics for dreaming” into a new environment. Lidia Streifling is interpreting the track on her key instrument, the violin. Here are my thoughts about the listen.
Lidia Streifling – About The Artist
Lidia Streifling is also known under her maiden name, Lidia Dobrzhynets. As far as I could get from her website, she is born in 1980 and Belarusian native, growing up in Minsk. She already won several competitions in early years. For example, she played her first concert in Germany at the age of 13 in Bonn. She later studied music in Cologne, Ghent and Maastricht. Her surname Streifling is rather well-known in Cologne. She is the second wife of Jens Streifling, who is since 2003 part of the Cologne local style music and carnival band Höhner.
Lidia Streifling – Kölsche Klassiker Vol. 1 – Track by Track
The thirteen song album lasts 47 minutes.
1. Och wat wor dat fröher schön doch en Colonia
The opening is a cover of a Cologne classic. Willi Ostermann recorded this waltz-style song in 1930 already. I really love how the violin is taking over the lead, supported with by a limited instrumental background. Unfortunately, there are very quiet vocals in the chorus. Just enough to here it and keep the lyrics in mind. This is a character of the whole album – and I feel it is very disturbing and unnecessary. Just as the instrumental performance is not enough.
2. En unserem Veedel
If you ask Cologne people what is a key song about their city, many will name the 1977 Bläck Fööss song En unserem Veedel. The track is about staying together in the different boroughs. Streifling’s interpretation is beautiful. The second track also does not use the backing vocal feature, luckily. My Cologne heart is deeply touched.
3. Nur nicht aus Liebe weinen / Czardas
The Czardas has been used by many bands as a basis for their party-alike song. In Germany, the most well-known version is likely by Zarah Leander, in Cologne, it is Brings. Especially as the violinist is supported by sufficient rhythmic and groovy work, I would again love to go for the non-vocal karaoke option in here.
4. Do kanns zaubere
Do kanns zaubere is originally a beautiful rock ballad by the band BAP. It feels being a perfect candidate for a violin. I unfortunately have to mention it again: Lidia Streifling is creating such a magical atmosphere – the vocal “support” is simply destroying the beautiful atmosphere.
5. Heimweh noh Kölle
The fifth song is another Willi Ostermann original, which has also been popular in a Bläck Fööss version (1936/1997). One of the most lovely listens of the album to me.
In 2003, Klüngelköpp warmed the hearts of the Cologne people with the song Stääne (“Stars”), which is a love letter to the city itself. This song is one where the backing vocal idea is working out best, I feel. Still, it feels like an unnecessary reminder or subconsciousness. If you are not from the area of Cologne, you will likely not listen to the album – and if you are from Cologne, you know the lyrics of the chorus anyway.
7. Immer noch do
The seventh track is a cover of the 2012 song by Kasalla. The song is a beautiful ballad in the original – and Streifling’s interpretation is underlining that. Nonetheless, I feel it is one of the weaker songs of the album. By the way, this song also has a vocal part in which the violinist is pausing, so that the song turns into some sort of duet character.
8. E Levve lang
The Höhner have written a couple of massive success tracks. Streifling goes for one of the rather average success ones. However, this ballad is a beauty in the original – and in this violin version, which inevitably adds some kitsch, it feels like a perfect heart warmer in the cold winter season. Nice.
9. Drink doch eine met
Drink doch eine met describes a typical Cologne pub scene in which a stranger is invited to have a beer with the people at the bar. The song is one of the soul-warmers for Cologne locals. Thus, Streifling cannot do too wrong. The song works out. It wams my soul. Thanks.
10. Mir sin Kölsche us Kölle am Rhing
In her Cologne cover album, Streifling features a wide range of local bands. This song (translating to “We are Cologne people from Cologne at the River Rhine”) has been released in 2000 by the band Paveier and is a very popular sing-a-long. This cover is the only one where I strongly feel that it would not work without without the vocal support. Can’t tell you why that’s the case, though.
11. Die schönste Stroß’
This song has been something like a farewell track for the long-time Höhner lead singer Henning Krautmacher. At least, the release of the song was more or less in time with the announcement that he is resigning. The song is a touching track in the original – and it works out nicely in here. The vocals are comparably present in this song.
12. Et jitt kei Wood
“There is no word which could describe what I feel when I think of Cologne” – Cat Ballou had this massive release in 2013. It is one of my favorite anthems about my home town. Goosebumps pop up from the very beginning when I listen to Lydia Streifling – unfortunately I just cannot find the button to get rid of the choir in here.
13. Ich ben ene kölsche Jung
About the second track of this album, En unserem Veedel, I said that the song is a track many Cologne people would name as the most typical one about their city. Another option is the closing track of Kölsche Klassiker Vol. 1, Ich ben ene kölsche Jung (“I am a Cologne guy”). Willy Millowitsch made this song famous, even it has in fact been written by Franz Weber in 1963. A beautiful finale of that album.
Lidia Streifling – Kölsche Klassiker Vol. 1 – Spotify
Here is the album on Spotify:
Lidia Streifling – Kölsche Klassiker Vol. 1 – My View
Lidia Streifling definitely underlined her amazing skill on the violin in this album Kölsche Klassiker Vol. 1 is a beautiful homage to the city of Cologne. Unfortunately, I have to bother you with the same topic again and again – but I feel that the backing vocals are unnecessary in most of the times and rather spoil the lovely atmosphere. The album is neither really a vocal one nor really an instrumental one. If there is a second edition, I hope that Streifling and her team are more confident and just use that kind of support where it is absolutely needed.
Favorite Song: En unserem Veedel
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