"a musical gem" National Public Radio
"obscenely talented" Washington, DC Folklore Society
"Brilliant. Lush. Dazzling. Soulful." SingOut!
Two generations of musicians celebrated for their performances of the music of their Eastern European homelands join forces to explore the shared musical roots of the culturally rich territories east of the Danube, from Hungary and Romania to Croatia, Slovakia and western Ukraine.
Notes include song histories and translations.
Walt Mahovlich: accordion
Alexander Fedoriouk: cimbalom, buben, voice
Beata Begeniova: vocals
Marko Dreher: violin, viola, tamburica
Andrei Pidkivka: sopilka, nai, tylynka, drymba
Adam Good: bass, guitar
1. Sirba and doina alergatã
2. Poljana, poljana/Poracki zenicky
3. Melodies from Bukovina
4. Hora de nunta
5. Hutsul Fantasy
6. Bodaj tobi dole
8. Kolomyky na dvodencivci
10. Hej, Janicku za vodov
11. Ej, v komori na ladi
12. Hungarian Suite: Hallgató and Friss (Akácos út; A-moll friss; Most kezdõdik a tánc; Csípd meg bogár)
13. Dze ty idzes
14. Gypsy Songs from Slovakia: Nane mande ola love; Joj, Mamo; Loli rokl'a
"It is hard to describe Harmonia's music without sounding overblown, but the adjectives called to mind are no exaggeration. Brilliant. Lush. Dazzling. Soulful. All true, but still insufficient to evoke the passion and exhilaration, the melancholy and triumph, that a Harmonia performance evokes. Each individual musician is stunningly virtuosic; together, they weave a complex layer of richly textured sound...."
The Knitting Factory:
"...driving, urban roots music...."
"Harmonia...[blends] Hungarian, Ukrainian, Romanian, and Croatian influences. The 7-piece ensemble uses instruments as varied as accordion, upright bass, violin, cimbalom, taragot, and pan flute, its rhythms move in a heartbeat from mellow and dissonant to loud and frenzied. Imagine the energy of the Pogues, only with a female singer and no drummer. Beata Begeniova, from eastern Slovakia, has a voice as beautiful as her smile. A joy by any standard."
Harvey Pekar, Cleveland Plain Dealer:
"Harmonia...is out to prove that there's more going on in the area of Central and Eastern European music than polka. There's a great richness of musical forms between the Carpathians and the Danube and in the Balkan regions--the csardas, halgato, kolomyka, doina, hora and invirtita, for example....the songs on the CD are traditional, but Harmonia members are not content to merely interpret older material. Fedoriouk has been writing original pieces for the band, most recently a composition entitled Geamparale [on The Art of the Cimbalom, Traditional Crossroads CD 4314]. It employs the 7/16 meter of a Romanian dance, on top of which Fedoriouk has written an original melody and orchestrated it for six instruments. Now he's working on a piece that has a Balkan flavor, based on a particular scale, that will feature improvisation by several instruments. 'I want to expand research in the old traditional music, but also to push the boundaries with new compositions and new arrangements', said Fedoriouk....."