Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Bartok goes back to Romania

Do have a look at this fascinating article in today's Independent about Taraf de Haidouks, the Romanian Gypsy group I went to hear at the Barbican a few weeks ago. Here's an extract:

"It's all in the body language. They'll pull close together as if drawing around a fire, goading each other towards dizzier tempos and ornamentations. It's a game-playing delivered with fatalistic abandon, shifting its weight and shape from one passage to the next, delivering moments of outrageous serendipity."

Their new album, Maskarada, is just out and features their version of Bartok's Romanian Dances and the waltz from Maskarade by Khatchaturian, among other pieces of magic. Most of the album involves their reinterpretations of classical works that were inspired by, or borrowed from, folk and Gypsy music.