Bach to the Future
Who says classical music can’t swing? For 15 years, brothers Michael and Rob Silverman have been injecting jazz, rock and world-beat rhythms into the canon of Beethoven, Bach and Mozart with their groups Classical Jazz Quartet and Bach to the Future. The siblings grew up in University City, a funky St. Louis neighborhood near Washingon University, the area’s great used record store, Vintage Vinyl, and jazz and rock clubs presenting a counterweight to their father’s veteran status as a cellist with the St. Louis Symphony. The brothers Silverman, who run the Autumn Hill label, have released a few recordings as Bach to the Future, their self-titled latest album featuring longtime bassist Matt Bollinger and electric violin virtuoso Tracy Silverman, who, surprisingly, is no relation. The group brings its manic energy and humor to Franz Listz’s “Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2,” inspired by the Bugs Bunny cartoon “Rhapsody Rabbit.” Rob’s thunderous rock drumming lends a modern edge to the piece, and the band picks up an increasingly frantic meter as it progresses, at once celebrating and parodying its classical antecedent in a way that would make Bugs proud. The tune’s outro, with the Silverman brothers hammering away at their respective axes, makes for an exciting finish.