Claron McFadden

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Artvark & Claron McFadden: Sly meets Callas

The voice as instrument, the saxophone as voice: 'Sly Meets Callas'. Four gentlemen and a diva meander through musical traditions, literally moving across the stage while playing, letting their steps follow the whims of music. Where does the voice stop and the saxophone start?

The classical soprano Claron McFadden belongs to the very top of the business. Her working range is fenomenal, from Händel to modern opera to John Cage. Apart from that, she is a big Sly Stone fan and loves to sing the blues. Together with cutting edge Artvark she explores a new world of sound: chamber music, crossing boundaries from Ellington to Ravel, with a healthy dose of Edgar Allen Poe thrown in for good measure… 'Sly Meets Callas' is the culmination of this collaboration, presenting music written by Artvark and including lyrics by miss McFadden.

Very lively contemporary music, full of surprises, unexpected turns and inventive challenges. The way they are in sync and the technical skills make an Artvark concert a duel of four grandmasters. The coöperation with classical sopranao Claron McFadden means adventure and new sound possibilities. The fragility, the breathtaking diction and the imaginative recitation of Claron McFadden let the power of this extraordinary combination blossom. Four devilish saxophones with a soprano on an exciting journey


You can call it chamber music on the edge of classic and jazz. 'Ode to a Mouse' touches Schönberg, 'Karpuz' has minimalistic features like Steve Reich, there is the blues in the spicey 'Burns' Blues' and jazz like John Coltrane in 'Tranehopping'. Striking is the specific, versatile and multi-colored voice of Claron McFadden. 'Sly Meets Callas' is a divers and entertaining CD: 5 stars out of 5

Opera Nederland

All saxophone lovers should buy this CD. Every piece of this truely masterful CD is a prime example of the finest ensemble playing. The way the music and the vocals merge is also unlikely. Here the saxes sing and the voice of Claron McFadden is the fifth saxophone. Coloring with soounds: you don't hear it that often. Here the musicians really paint with sound: 5 stars out 5


McFadden radiates between the saxophones. Undoubtfully this collaboration was one of the best this year. On 'Sly Meets Callas' Claron McFadden proves to be the perfect fifth member of Artvark. Her exceptional flexible voice with so many colors is in such harmony with the saxophones, that one wonders what to hear. All very impressive: 4 stars out of 5

Het Parool

McFaddens voice blends incredibly with the saxes, she shows fabulous technique and refined diction and times the blues like no other. Every piece of this CD has its own distinct signature. Artvarks' best CD till now surprises and is a big success: 5 stars out of 5


It's amazing how the different 'voices' twist and turn, how lyrics, vocals and music fit together like a perfectly cut out puzzle. The result of this collaboration is surprising, versatile, tempting and addictive : 4 stars out of 5

Cobra (B)