WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org
Welcome to ArkivMusic, the retail store for WFMT!

The Balkan Project / Cavatina Duo

Cavatina
Release Date: 04/27/2010 
Label:  Cedille Records   Catalog #: 117   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Carlos Rafael RiveraIosif IvanoviciMatthew DunneClarice Assad,   ... 
Performer:  Eugenia MolinerDenis Azabagic
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cavatina Duo
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews



THE BALKAN PROJECT Cavatina Duo CEDILLE 90000117 (66:30)


Arrangements by MIROSLAV TADIC, CLARICE ASSAD, ALAN THOMAS , and others


There is an important trend in music that doesn’t yet seem to have a name. As interest in indigenous non-classical music from various cultures gathers steam, hybrids between these and classical music continue to draw scrutiny from audiences and performers, most famously Yo-Yo Ma and his Silk Road Read more Ensemble. These influences can be traced back centuries, of course (i.e., Mozart’s interest in Turkish music is but one example), but the influence has gone far beyond the colorful additions of particular instruments or a specific regional tang added to an otherwise Western piece. Many of these styles are entering the very DNA of our music as a natural extension of globalization. The name Third Stream was coined a half century ago by Gunther Schuller to describe “a new genre of music located about halfway between jazz and classical music.” Any votes for Fourth Stream?


This terrific new disc of flute/guitar duos occupies one of the many possible points on the classical/folk continuum. Since it consists entirely of music of the Balkans, it also occupies a critical space on the East/West divide. In a nutshell, the music consists of arrangements of songs and dances from the region, commissioned by the Cavatina Duo, one of whom hails from the region (Bosnian guitarist Denis Azabagic) and one of whom doesn’t (Spanish flutist Eugenia Moliner). The notes don’t refer to the use of improvisation in any of the works, but there is a sense of spontaneity to many of the pieces that suggests that the original sources may have employed extemporaneous methods in part.


There is probably still a pervasive belief among many music lovers that “folk” denotes unwavering simplicity, a stereotype that should long ago have been dashed among those with even a cursory knowledge of this region. Some of these works exhibit a dizzying complexity of meter that would confound many a trained classical performer. Even traditional love songs can be found in odd meters, such as the endearing Macedonian song Eleno, Kerko Eleno , in 7/8 throughout. The signature augmented fourth interval so common in the Middle East can be heard in this disc as being a part of this region as well, the apt label for the scale being the “Balkan Minor.” The closest the collection comes to the inclusion of a suite is the Four Macedonian Pieces by Miroslav Tadic. The opening “Jovna Kumanovka” has beguiling melody in a lightly syncopated lilt, and the tune is tossed between the flute and different registers of the piano. The guitar line of “Padushko” sizzles, and the dance pushes ahead in an almost dizzying 5/8 meter.


The duo is unerringly captivating in this literature. Moliner has a rich, soulful tone that suits the music perfectly, and Azabagic has plenty of chops to negotiate the demands of this frequently virtuosic work. The natural audience for this disc would be flutists, guitarists, and students of the region, but it’s hard to imagine anyone not finding lots of pleasure here.


FANFARE: Michael Cameron


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

In the notes for this excellent program, guitarist/composer Vojislav Ivanovic describes "the Balkans" as a dividing line between East and West, an exciting crossroad of civilizations" that incorporates many countries, from Macedonia and Greece to Bulgaria, Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia, Turkey, and Romania. And in their very felicitous partnership, Bosnian guitarist Denis Azabagic and flutist Eugenia Moliner (whose roots are Spanish) perform modern arrangements of songs and dances from these regions, many of which were commissioned by Cavatina Duo. There's a wide range of moods, melodies, and rhythms, and the original songs are exploited in many different ways by the nine or 10 composers who contributed to the project. There's the "impressionistic"-flavor of Ivanovic's setting of a traditional Bosnian song (tr 2), or the light-jazz feel to Matthew Dunne's arrangement of the Macedonian song "Eleno, Kerko, Eleno" (tr 3); "Kalajdzisko Oro" (tr 4) is a wild, swirling dance in 11/8, in a virtuosic setting by Clarice Assad. In fact, perhaps the most prominent feature of many of the selections is the complex rhythm--or often combinations of rhythms--that at once engage the listener and seriously challenge the players. One of the dances--Boris Gaquere's "Kopanitsa da Kalantchatska" from Bulgaria--even requires a nifty bit of "drumming" from the guitarist!

These fascinating rhythmic elements--often in irregular divisions of 7/8, 9/8, 5/8, or the aforementioned 11/8--are characteristic of much of this music, and it makes listening easy and fun as well as keeping the timbres of guitar and flute lively and interesting over the course of the disc's 66-plus minutes.

And whatever challenges the arrangers have presented prove no problem for Azabagic and Moliner; these are two phenomenal musicians whose collaborative timing and keen rhythmic sense allow each of the 16 songs and dances to truly sing and dance with delightful spirit and an ingratiating lack of inhibition.

For me, some selections seem a bit long for the material--the first two of Miroslav Tadic's Macedonian Pieces--or veer too close to the realm of what used to be called New Age--Alan Thomas' Croatian song "The Shepherd's Dream"; yet for many listeners this will be exactly the right thing, and Moliner and Azabagic leave little room for criticism of their artistic commitment or technical skill. Tadic's rousing dances--the last two of his Macedonian Pieces--especially the frighteningly tricky "Pajdushka" (in 5/8), along with the program's final piece, Clarice Assad's metrically boggling Bulgarian folk dance (including a section of 9/8+7/8+11/8), are bound to awake movements in your body as you listen that you didn't know you had! As is expected with Cedille, the sound, this time from a Chicago studio, is ideally suited to the music and to the timbres and balance requirements of the two instruments. Strongly recommended.

--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com
Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Vranjanski Cocek / Raven Dance by Carlos Rafael Rivera
Performer:  Eugenia Moliner (Flute), Denis Azabagic (Guitar)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cavatina Duo
Period: 20th Century 
2. Kad ja podjoh na Bembašu by Iosif Ivanovici
Performer:  Eugenia Moliner (Flute), Denis Azabagic (Guitar)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cavatina Duo
Period: 20th Century 
3. Eleno, Kerko Eleno by Matthew Dunne
Performer:  Eugenia Moliner (Flute), Denis Azabagic (Guitar)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cavatina Duo
Period: 20th Century 
4. Kalajdzisko Oro by Clarice Assad
Performer:  Eugenia Moliner (Flute), Denis Azabagic (Guitar)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cavatina Duo
Period: 20th Century 
5. Psevdah no 2 / Clear Water by Denis Sparavalo
Performer:  Eugenia Moliner (Flute), Denis Azabagic (Guitar)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cavatina Duo
Period: 20th Century 
6. Sivi grivi by Alan Thomas
Performer:  Eugenia Moliner (Flute), Denis Azabagic (Guitar)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cavatina Duo
Period: 20th Century 
7. Jovano Jovanke by Michael Karmon
Performer:  Eugenia Moliner (Flute), Denis Azabagic (Guitar)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cavatina Duo
Period: 20th Century 
8. Ajde slusaj kalesh bre Andjo by Clarice Assad
Performer:  Eugenia Moliner (Flute), Denis Azabagic (Guitar)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cavatina Duo
Period: 20th Century 
9. Kopanitsa da Kalantchatska by Boris Gaquere
Performer:  Eugenia Moliner (Flute), Denis Azabagic (Guitar)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cavatina Duo
Period: 20th Century 
10. The Shepherd’s Dream by Alan Thomas
Performer:  Eugenia Moliner (Flute), Denis Azabagic (Guitar)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cavatina Duo
11. Macedonian Pieces (4) by Miroslav Tadic
Performer:  Eugenia Moliner (Flute), Denis Azabagic (Guitar)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cavatina Duo
12. Legends (4): Makedonski pesen by Atanas Ourkouzounov
Performer:  Eugenia Moliner (Flute), Denis Azabagic (Guitar)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cavatina Duo
Period: 20th Century 
13. Rachenitsa by Clarice Assad
Performer:  Eugenia Moliner (Flute), Denis Azabagic (Guitar)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cavatina Duo
Period: 20th Century 

Sound Samples

Vranjanski Cocek
Kad ja podjoh na Bembasu
Eleno, Kerko Eleno
Kalajdzisko Oro
Psevdah No. 2, "Clear Water"
Sivi grivi
Jovano Jovanke
Ajde slusaj kalesh bre Andjo
Kopanitsa da Kalantchatska
The Shepherd's Dream
4 Macedonian Pieces: No. 1. Jovka Kumanovka
4 Macedonian Pieces: No. 2. Zajdi, Zajdi
4 Macedonian Pieces: No. 3. Gajdarsko Oro
4 Macedonian Pieces: No. 4. Pajdushko
4 Legends: Makedonski pesen
Rachenitsa

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook