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Gypsy Strings / Summerhayes, Chakalov, London Concertante


Release Date: 03/04/2008 
Label:  Chandos   Catalog #: 10453   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  TraditionalAdam SummerhayesGrigoras Dinicu
Performer:  Emil ChakalovAdam Summerhayes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Concertante
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

A richly entertaining, virtuoso take on the gypsy fiddle tradition, which encompasses a fair emotional range and is united by the evident musical joy of the performers.

More than once in the last couple of years I have had the good fortune to attend performances by the extraordinary band that trades under the name of ‘Zum’, a band which fuses Eastern European gypsy music with the Argentinian tango, elements from jazz and much else (salsa, klezmer, Irish fiddle music – you name it!). A leading spirit in that band (make sure that you get to a performance if you possibly can) is violinist Adam Summerhayes. Summerhayes is an accomplished classical violinist and on this present recording he is joined by Bulgarian Emil
Read more Chalakov, another classically trained violinist with a passion for gypsy fiddling. One of Summerhayes’s several musical hats is worn as leader of the London Concertante, and it is the twelve strings of that fine chamber orchestra which support the two soloists in this compelling and entertaining selection of thirteen numbers, some traditional, some originals. How much of what we hear is improvised I’m not sure – certainly some of the central sections of these interpretations are; but written and improvised fuse seamlessly here and the whole exercise has a refreshing sense of spontaneity to it.

Some of the pieces lie – more or less – within the boundaries of specific genres; ‘Last Train to Barking’, for example, is a kopanitsa, that is a Bulgarian dance in 11/16 often performed at weddings; ‘Hot Doina’ is, as the noun suggests, based on a familiar Romanian form but (as the adjective in turn suggests) is not given over to the kind of soft and melancholy mood that usually characterise the doina – this, rather, is altogether faster, more sensuous. The traditional is constantly being renovated here, but at a level far beyond the merely gimmicky or self indulgent. Most of the composing/arranging credits go to Summerhayes, and his is clearly the presiding spirit here. But he doesn’t hog the limelight; there’s an obvious joy in his collaboration with Chalakov and the Bulgarian gets his chances to take the foreground role – as in his wonderful playing on ‘The Lark’, full of passion, longing and sensuality.

This is a CD to raise the spirits, full of energy and commitment, richly expressive and inventive, but rooted in age-old traditions, traditions which Summerhayes re-presents in a fashion that is both respectful and original. Whether you already love the gipsy music of Bulgaria and Romania and are happy to see it reinterpreted in a distinctive and accomplished fashion in which the players are true to themselves as well as to their sources; or whether you value fine violin playing whatever the musical genre; either way this is a CD sure to give you lots of pleasure.

-- Glyn Pursglove, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1. Put out your Cigarettes and Dance by Traditional
Performer:  Emil Chakalov (Violin), Adam Summerhayes (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Concertante
Period: 20th Century 
2. Firefly by Adam Summerhayes
Performer:  Emil Chakalov (Violin), Adam Summerhayes (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Concertante
Period: 20th Century 
3. Bulgarian Lament by Traditional
Performer:  Emil Chakalov (Violin), Adam Summerhayes (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Concertante
4. Caravan by Adam Summerhayes
Performer:  Emil Chakalov (Violin), Adam Summerhayes (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Concertante
Period: 20th Century 
5. The Lark by Grigoras Dinicu
Performer:  Adam Summerhayes (Violin), Emil Chakalov (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Concertante
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Romania 
Notes: Arranger: Adam Summerhayes. 
6. Five Naked Ladybirds by Adam Summerhayes
Performer:  Emil Chakalov (Violin), Adam Summerhayes (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Concertante
Period: 20th Century 
7. Last Train to Barking by Adam Summerhayes
Performer:  Emil Chakalov (Violin), Adam Summerhayes (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Concertante
Period: 20th Century 
8. Swifts in Flight by Traditional
Performer:  Emil Chakalov (Violin), Adam Summerhayes (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Concertante
9. Copanitza by Adam Summerhayes
Performer:  Emil Chakalov (Violin), Adam Summerhayes (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Concertante
Period: 20th Century 
10. Slower One by Adam Summerhayes
Performer:  Emil Chakalov (Violin), Adam Summerhayes (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Concertante
Period: 20th Century 
11. Bessarabyanka by Traditional
Performer:  Emil Chakalov (Violin), Adam Summerhayes (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Concertante
12. Polka by Traditional
Performer:  Emil Chakalov (Violin), Adam Summerhayes (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Concertante
Written: Czech Republic 
13. Hot Doina by Adam Summerhayes
Performer:  Emil Chakalov (Violin), Adam Summerhayes (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Concertante
Period: 20th Century 

Featured Sound Samples

Put Out Your Cigarettes and Dance (Traditional)
Bulgarian Lament (Traditional)

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Gypsys have changed August 3, 2012 By Ralph Holt (San Rafael, CA) See All My Reviews "I first heard gypsy music in 1958. I have not heard since. This record shows the influence of contemporary music over the interveneing 50 years. I find it enjoyable." Report Abuse
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