1. Gyimesi Keserves (3'08")
|2. Csabai (Mezoseg) (11'20)|
|3. Magyarszovati, Szeki Csardas (2'58")|
|4. Rabakozi Karej, Dus, Csardas Es Friss (7'22")|
|5. Csizar Aladar Notai (Asztali Es Fordulo) (8'21")|
|6. Maramarosi Roman Es Cigany Dallamok (6'36")|
|7. Kalotaszegi Mulatonotak, Inviritia Es Cel Iute (Forgatos Es Sebes) (11'48")|
|8. Cigany Csingeralasok (5'25")|
|9. Elindultam szép hazámból - I Left My Sweet Homeland (2'06")|
Reviewer: Erika B
Leaping and Twirling in Musical Oblivion
"I Left My Sweet Homeland" by Okros is a valuable collection of mostly Transylvanian music from places such as Magyarszovat, Szek, Maramaros, Gyimes, Mezoseg and Kalotaszeg, plus with a slight detour to Western Hungary, near Slovakia and Austria, where Rabokozi music is predominant. What does all this mean to the average, uninitiated listener from everywhere but there? It means fast, enthusiastic, passionate violin playing, boot-slapping music that only men can do, with all the machismo talent they possess. What initially sounds a bit squeaky and off-key music, is in reality the correct technique to which the ears quickly become accustomed. After a brief moment, you pause and think: how cheerful, how heart-warming, how very unusual but EVER SO BEAUTIFUL AND CREATIVE!
Agnes Herczku provides the sweet and pure vocals, a younger version of Marta Sebestyen, but with some enormous differences. The main difference is she sings Transylvanian music with a Transylvanian accent, a very DISTINCTLY *native* accent. Track #2 is real "tanc-haz" (dance house) music, again, what does that mean? It means, if you know how to dance, you will leap to your feet to do so, or sway to the music, improvise steps, and swing: there is no way to stay still, when it is played. In one word, "ECSTASY", that is, the legal kind. It is an internal endorphin rush!
Whether it is a leaping men's dance from Mezoseg or a csardas from a village in Szek, these musicians can play with robust passion and enthusiasm, natural gusto. No wonder Bela Bartok savored this music and collected it with passion. No wonder Zoltan Kallos, a modern day musicologist did the same ... and indeed we are all the richer because of it. The OKROS ENSEMBLE has made the trek to these remote villages, to preserve this musical heritage. They learned the tunes and musical techniques from the masters,thorugh apprenticeship, music that has been unaltered for one or two centuries, music that otherwise would be lost forever.
Turning dances (forgatos), men's leaping dances (ugros), slow dances (lassu), drinking songs, and music
for the dawn (hajnalos): it is all here. This CD finishes with the title song, "I left my sweet homeland", with the following words sung in Hungarian:
'Grief is my midday meal.
Grief is my supper.
I am consumed every hour with grief.
I gaze at the star-filled sky [and] under it I weep and weep'.
If you already know Hungarian music: you will understand. If you are searching to explore, you will discover this to be a rich and very powerful CD, very spicey and tasty. Play each track, pause, and savor it! Gradually let your taste buds experience this extremely rich culture!!
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