Saturday, November 26, 2011

Vujicsics - Vujicsics (1988 Hungary) @192


There was a brief period in the late 1980s when eastern European music seemed to be flavour of the month among the UK's burgeoning world music fraternity. Groups such as Muzsikás and The Trio Bulgarka performed here and had albums released on British labels. Vujicsics were also part of this mini explosion of interest and Hannibal Records put out this album having licensed the recordings from the legendary Hungaroton label.

Vujicsics are an interesting band. Named after the composer and musicologist Tihamer Vujicsics they share his passionate interest in the folk music of the ethnic minorities of southern Hungary. So this is a Hungarian band who are perhaps best known for playing Serbian or Croatian folk music. In the case of this album it is the former musical tradition that provides the material. The six band members play a wide range of stringed and woodwind instruments and are joined by four female singers including Márta Sebestyén.

Part of the fascination with this music comes from the simple geography of the region. Whilst Hungary belongs very much to the block of 'central' eastern European countries, Serbia - by contrast - straddles the northern limits of the Balkans. So this is music that has its roots in very different regions. Whilst the fast-paced rhythms and violin playing may suggest eastern Hungary or Romania, the presence of instruments such as the gaide (bagpipe), sopile (shawm) and tambura point more towards south-eastern Europe.

Generally the music is characterised by a backdrop of several tamburas alongside a bass and perhaps an accordion with the lead melody played on instruments such as clarinet, ocarina or flute. The playing is fairly dynamic and although the arrangements have obviously been crafted with care they generally avoid becoming too fussy or 'pretty'. Zoltán Juhász plays the gaide on a couple of the tracks to good effect and the distinctive Balkan flavour of "Zbogom Salo" (with tarabuka accompaniment) provides one of the main highlights. It is also interesting to hear the female singers on this record who contribute a few short a cappella pieces. The voices are clear and strong, recalling Bulgarian singers but lacking the latter's unique timbre.
-the electrician-

01 - Dere
02 - Seljancica
03 - Da je visjna-Tanac-rance-Vranjanka
04 - Malo kolo
05 - Zbogom selo
06 - Svatovac iz pomaza
07 - Madarac
08 - Selom ide-Ovo kolo
09 - Sviraj zlato!
10 - Sokacko kolo
11 - Banatsko kolo-Oj savice-Mimikino kolo
12 - Aj..., sviralka

Mihaly Borbely: Clarinet, Flute, Ocarina, Sopile, Tamboura
Mirosláv Brczán: Bass, Cello, Tamboura, Tambura
Dalman Eredics: Bass
Gabor Eredics: Accordion, Concertina, Conductor, Tamboura
Kálmán Eredics: Bass
Erika Frei: Vocals
Marica Greges: Vocals
Katalin Gyenis: Vocals
Karoly Gyori: Tambur, Violin
Zoltán Juhász: Bagpipes
Márta Sebestyén: Vocals
Ferenc Szendrödi: Guitar, Tamboura


CrimsonKing said...

Vujicsics (RS)
Vujicsics (MU)


Anonymous said...

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

wow, there is some serious shredding on this record. The songs with the singers remind me of a cross between the ukrainians and varttina, without the rhythm section. While the rhythm section is my favorite part of those two bands, this is still really fun. Thanks! i will check out the recommendations now!

CrimsonKing said...




Coronel Sakura said...

I if had to take a bunch of albums of folk music to a dessert island I would have no doubts, I would choose Hungarian music for it richness and the huge spectrum of emotions it can display in a song or even in an instrument solo. thankx

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