Simon Höfele takes aim at our listening comforts: New album “New Standards”

Corona has forced the activity of thoroughbred musicians such as Simon Höfele to grind suddenly to a halt. Only just had his CD “Standards”, recorded for the label Berlin Classics, been released; a milestone marking his first recordingcooperation with this label. The release was to be followed by a European tour. Numerous other engagements including appearances in various TV formats were also lined-up. However March of 2020 dealt Simon Höfele, as well
as so many others, a major blow that forced his momentum-gaining career into sudden hibernation. Professional wind instrumentalists must practise for hours on a daily basis to remain in shape. A comparison to high-performance athletes
seems appropriate in this context. Despite being fully trained, putting to show these skills has been a very rare occurrence in the last year. So Höfele decided to use this time for various projects, including a new album recorded for
Berlin Classics which is now available.

This new album, titled “New Standards”, sheds light on the pillars of chamber music written for his instrument. Together with pianist Elisabeth Brauß, he interprets the great 20th century works of Arthur Honegger, Karl Pilss,
Georges Enescu, Paul Hindemith, Jean Françaix and Alexander Arutiunian that showcase the versatility of the trumpet. “This album is a type of best-of of the chamber music literature for trumpet. Nonetheless, it is well chosen and
demonstrates the multifaceted nature of this repertoire
”, says Höfele. After having curated this fine programme he went out in search of a piano partner, whom he found in Elisabeth Brauß. Höfele recorded explanatory videos,
introducing and warming Brauß to the repertoire, of which she was partially previously unaware. “For me, the journey is the reward”, Höfele claims in the conversation with Brauß, moderated by Hannah Schmidt, which can be found in the album’s booklet.

This journey through the pandemic has well and truly paid off. Curious listeners should allow themselves to be drawn and swept away into this novel soundscape. Eleonore Büning, an enthusiastic and ever curious listener of one of Höfele’s previous CDs, Mysteries”, reviewed it as “A brilliant firework of outrageousness! What an abundance of rhythms, tonal colours, voices and chants! … And the spark leaps over thanks to the passion and perfection.”

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