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Taraf de Haidouks: Maskarada
Albeniz, Bartok, Falla, Ketelby, Khachaturian, Kosma etc

Craw 40

This is a reminder that we ought not to exclude the boundaries between classical music, jazz and "world music" from Musical Pointers, which tries to search always beyond the beaten track and canonic favourites.

Here is an example that will enthrall collectors of many different genres. Its backbone is a rethinking of famous music of gypsy origin, sanitised in recompostion by leading classical composers of the 20th century. In 1908, Bartok was so intrigued by Eastern European folk and Gypsy music that he began fusing it with his classical compositions. Now, Taraf de Haidouks is giving Bartok’s classical pieces a Gypsy makeover.

Taraf has contrived to lead the classics back to their sources. The Romanian musicians recorded here are all instrumental virtuosi, but none of them reads music. They represent three generations of musicians, aged twenty to eighty, from a small village in Valachia. In order to recreate these pieces by Bartok et al in a manner closer to their origins (including Albert Ketelbey - whose In a Monastery Garden and In a Persian Market were 'pops' in my youth) they learned the music laboriously by ear, bar by bar, subsequently adding some "old-world lunacy".

All absolutely captivating, and vividly recorded. There are no track timings, which I hope will not discourage radio progammers...

see: http://www.crammed.be/taraf/

Peter Grahame Woolf