Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008

For anyone who likes gypsy and klezmer, I just discovered a wonderful CD by the Hungarian folk group Muzsikas of the 'Lost Jewish Music of Transylvannia'

The CD features old-time violinist Gheorghe Covaci and cimbalom player Arprad Toni, gypsy musicians who had regularly played in Jewish groups before the war. According to Muzsikas these players are one of a very small number of surviving links to a whole Hungarian-Jewish tradition of playing that got decimated during the war. Together they attempt to recapture what that music would have sounded like.

Hungarian folk-music is normally my least favourite of all the Eastern European folk traditions (which means I still like it, but not as passionately as other regions), but probably because of the klezmer influence, this disc has some very special music, of both the hauntingly mournful and the foot-stomping varieties.


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