Review from 2.11.2009 – The 125 year Alder jubilee

For further impressions of the Alder jubilee click here.

A worthy ending

125 years of the Alder musical dynasty. A reason to celebrate. To round off the jubilee, the Alderbuebe gave an atmospheric concert with the yodeler Nadja Räss and the flamenco dancer Battina Castaño.

 By David Scarano

 Urnäsch: They are a term in themselves within Switzerland, and stand for Appenzell music per se - the Alder musical dynasty from Urnäsch. 125 years ago, the string music was created by the brothers Johannes and Ulrich Alder. It goes without saying that this big jubilee had to be celebrated. As multifaceted as the Alder musicians were and are, as multifaceted were the festivities. The forever tinkering Werner Alder set the tone with his 30 year anniversary as a dulcimer builder in the middle of September. Folowing that, came the 'Alten' – the Alder string music, which the Alderbuebe played in concert in the presence of elected MP Christoph Blocher. About a week ago Noldi Alder released his new CD.

At the same location, in the reformed church in Urnäsch, it was the Alderbueben's responsibility to round off the jubilee. Just like previous concerts, this one was also a sucess. Because of the huge demand, not only was an additional concert organised, but all three events were quickly sold out. On Saturday, the interest was so great, that additional seating had to be arranged. Over 400 people watched the impressive performance of the Alderbueben.

More than just a hommage

Committed to their own innovative and curious soul, the concert was much more than just a hommage to the 125 year history of the musical family. Intensified by the flamenco dancer with Teufen roots, Bettina Castaño, and the yodeler Nadja Räss, Walter Alder, Willi Valotti, Michael Bösch and Köbi Schiess offered a complex concert. During the evening Susanne Alder, Walter Alder junior and Christian Müller performed, creating the Alder youth string music, so that all active Alder formations took part in the jubilee.


The concert was a successful together and side by side peformance. Following a group beginning, the Alders showed a cross section of the musical heritage of the Alder dynasty, and of their extensive repertoir with solos here and there. At regular intervals, Bettina Castaño and Nadja Räss joined in. Traditional Appenzell and eastern european tones could be heard, along with unconventional Töbi Tobler compositions. One of the many highlights of the evening was the joint improvisation of Nadja Räss and Bettina Castaño, accompanied by the coin-rolling Alderbueben. Above all, the full of temperament, powerful, swirling footwork of the flamenco dancer excited the audience. They were so taken with the performances, that they demanded an encore, and got it. The concert was a worthy ending to the jubilee of the unique musical dynasty.

The 'Alder buebe' with flamenco dancer Bettina Castaño
Bettina Castano on stage
Bettina Castano with Ueli (89), the father of Walter Alder

"Sensing the music frees the dancing muse."

Bettina Castaño (Foto: Anja Beutler)

Voice for B.Castaño

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