ALMA PANONNIA new album Transylvanian Dances

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Smoke signals of a special cultural encounter in the Carpathian Basin…  Jewish, Hungarian, Slovak, Moldavian traditions mix in one Pannonian cauldron.

A special gathering of four artists (from Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria) of different backgrounds found “common ground” in the interpretation and reworking of folk songs from the Transylvanian region.  In addition to singing, Géza Fábri collects and revives koboz music. It is a traditional stringed instrument, an ancestor of all types of lutes and guitars. Dongó Szokolay is deeply immersed in Transylvanian flute playing and stylistic improvisation stemming from folk themes.  Kiril Stoyanov is a master of Balkan rhythms and the unique Bulgarian percussion instrument t’pan. In addition to jazz, Erik Rothenstein is a klezmer clarinet player, which can also be applied to folk music of other nations.  This quartet is united by their love and interest in indigenous folk songs. All of the aforementioned musical elements and influences, the individual approach and specific style of the musicians are reflected in the compositions cooked in the great Pannonian cauldron.

Buye/listen on band camp

The musicians tried to maintain authenticity. Their meeting in the studio had an intuitive, playful but at the same time “folklore-grained” character without unnecessary exaggerations and ballast. In addition to Jewish, Moldavian and Hungarian songs from the Transylvanian region, the recording also includes a piece from Béla Bartók’s collection of folk songs Romanian Dances – Dance from Butschum. In this way, the musicians wanted to pay tribute to his efforts in collecting folk songs of the peoples of Hungary and his compositional genius. It also features the well-known song Rooster Zakirikal by Rabbi Yitzchak Isaac Taub.

VIDEO Transylvanian jewish dance n. 1

“Throughout Transylvania, musicians played for Hungarians, Romanians, Roma and Jews, regardless of their nationality. Hungarian and Jewish folk songs, Romani ornamental motifs embellished by the sound of the Transylvanian flute, blend well with the klezmer clarinet, the Bulgarian t’pan drum and the koboz,” Dongó explains the background of the project.

Balász Dongó Szokolay – Transylvanian flutes

Géza Fábri – vocals, koboz

 Erik Rothenstein – clarinet, bass clarinet, baritone saxophone

 Kiril Stoyanov – t’pan, darbuka


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