Friday, November 13, 2015

Ougenweide - 1977 - Eulenspiegel


01. Till 0:23
02. Tyllurius Spiegelius 3:21
03. Der Hofmaler 5:05
04. Till und die Gelehrten 4:28
05. Tills Ende und Vermächtnis 5:20
06. Welscher Tanz und Hupfauf 2:46
07. Totus Floreo 2:36
08. Wol mich der Stunde 5:28
09. Durch den Ermel gat dâz Loch 4:58
10. Enzio 2:06

Minne Graw/ Flutes, E-Piano, Harmonium, vocals
Olaf Casalich/ Percussion, vocals
Wolfgang v. Henko: Guitars, Mandolin, vocals
Jürgen Isenbart: Percussion
Stefan Wulff: Bass, guitar, accordion
Frank Wulff: Flute, Krummhorn, Mandolin, Banjo, Bouzouki, guitar,vocals

The group's fourth album pretty well picks up where the previous three had left it. The group now will attack the Eulenspiegel myth and work it into the concept of the album. While this Protestant against Catholics/Spanish domination is not German per se (the Dutch and the Flemish also count it as theirs), this widely known story/myth of a blond boy almost single-handedly driving the Spanish occupants out of the Low Countries through trickery is rather common. Again the young boy of the Wulff family is appearing on the sleeve dressed as a fool, symbolising Till Eulenspiegel's cunnings.

When compared with the previous three albums, Eulenspiegel is well in the musical continuity as its predecessors, but also marks a progression. The group's pieces, telling a story through their Middle High German lyrics, become more narrative, giving more drama and some tracks become fascinating and even haunting. Tyllurius and Der Hofmaler are astoundingly beautiful, drawing small chills down the spine as the solemn ambiances and spellbinding melodies are riveting you to the depth of your sofa. Later on Vermachtuis is another pearl from the same nursery takes us to heaven, as is the (almost Pentangle-like) Wol Mich Der Stunde track. And if that was not enough the second last track is the album's most flabbergasting moment with vocal cannons and outstanding musicianship.

Compared to their previous album, I'd say that the album is a tad more Tull-esque (maybe due to a slightly more present flute) and Gryphon-esque (the odd crumhorn and the ever stronger medieval ambiances) and a bit less Malicornesque. Again what strikes (as in all Ougenweide albums) is the power of the electric bass, often being the driving force of the sextet. Eulenspiegel is probably my fave Ougenweide album, but I would not say it is their most representative, due to a slightly more restricted musical spectrum. But where eclectism lost, the story gained.



  2. Thank you! Enjoying these.