Krug’s Cellar Master, according to the revered champagne house, is much like the conductor of an orchestra. During the decades since 1843, these experienced experts have auditioned harvest years to find the best, played the plots and vines and composed masterpieces that have thrilled and teased our senses. And, from later this month, Krug will even further unite these dulcet tones and delectable tastes — with the launch of a musical experience called ‘Seeing Sound, Hearing Krug’.
Symphonically staged in Islington, the experience lands in London on November 23rd, where guests will be enthralled by a multi-sensory, immersive event that recreates an orchestral performance using Devialet ‘Phantom’ speakers. To create this audio experience, 36 musicians were handpicked by Krug’s collaborator on the project — the esteemed musician Ryuichi Sakamoto — whose original musical composition will take centre stage alongside a trio of Krug champagnes and bespoke four-course meal.
The composition, ‘Suite for Krug 2008’, is at the harmonious heart of the mesmerisingly-lit experience. And, after the music has been enjoyed with a trio of paired wines, a sit-down dinner follows — served alongside the same three wines from the harvest of this exceptional year: Krug Clos du Mesnil 2008, Krug 2008, and Krug Grande Cuvée 164ème Édition.
The first movement is a solo, echoing the purity and precision of Krug Clos du Mesnil 2008. “For this pure, single plot Champagne,” says Sakamoto, “I minimised the arrangement to the core melodic theme. This minimal form represents the discrete, fresh, and inspiring sensations of Krug Clos du Mesnil 2008.”
The second movement brings together a small ensemble in celebration of the renowned, revered harvest. “It is the musical ensemble telling the story of the year in Champagne,” continues the composer. “For this balanced and elegant Champagne, I chose an ensemble of primarily violins, cellos, and other stringed instruments but also added woodwinds for depth.”
And, in the last of the three movements, Sakamoto expresses the richness of Krug Grande Cuvée 164th Édition, performed by a full symphonic orchestra. “I was on a quest for harmony from multiple sounds, instrumental & electronic,” he explains. “The fullness of flavours and aromas of Krug Grande Cuvée 164ème Édition means that everyone finds something in it that strikes them in a personal way – each experience is unique. My third movement is the same, each listener will take away something different.”
So who is Ryuichi Sakamoto — and what makes him the perfect partner for the House of Krug? An expert in genres from experimental electronica to sweeping film scores (perhaps most famously, he wrote the soundtrack to 2015’s The Revenant), Sakamoto is renowned for capturing the spirit and atmosphere of important events. He once even composed music for the Olympic opening ceremony, in 1992.
And there’s a similar level of poignancy on display here. After first meeting the champagne house at the end of 2019, the composer embarked on a creative journey of almost two years to create this audio experience. And, with the firm conviction that music, as a universal language, can trigger new sensations, his unprecedented symphonic composition is breaking new ground across both the music- and winemaking worlds.
It’s an incredible experience; part-audio experience, part-tasting and part-dinner party. And, in the coming months, a series of international events in over 15 countries will enable global Krug lovers to discover Sakamoto’s musical pairing journey through this same immersive 3D musical presentation. There’s even the opportunity to enjoy ‘Suite for Krug 2008’ at home — in stereo or surround sound.
But, however you enjoy Sakamoto’s original composition, the champagne is essential to elevating the whole experience. Because, whether it’s the flinty, mineral notes of Krug’s Grande Cuvée 164ème or the Clos du Mesnil’s wonderful nutty freshness, each sip of the Grande Marque’s great 2008 champagnes strikes a chord like no other.
Want more from the esteemed champagne house? Revisit Krug Encounters 2021…
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