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Muzsikás


Country of origin:

Hungary

Type of music generally:

Traditional Hungarian world music

Status:

Most recent release, Fly Bird, Fly: The Very Best of Muzsikás (compilation, 2011)

See also:

Muzsikás's site

Wikipedia's entry on Muzsikás

The Ectophiles' Guide's entry on Márta Sebestyén

Comparisons:

Márta Sebestyén's solo work, other eastern European folk music

Covers/own material:

Traditional

General comments:

Muzsikas is a wonderful example of a band that is able to make traditional music lively and contemporary. (Neile)

Comments about live performance:

Those of you who've seen Muzikas (There's two kinds of people in this world...) know how far short any written description is likely to fall. The rest of you, take what I say—no matter how exaggerated it must sound—as the smallest part of the truth.
     The band, the four men who played among them probably eight or nine different stringed instruments, seemed to collectively possess probably a third of the planet's musical skill. They had the kind of control that was evident even—perhaps especially—when it was abandoned to a kind of frenzy that made me wonder if there is a patron demon of music. If so, there must have been four of them there last night, each possessing an instrument, and each determined that his voice would hold sway above the others'. At the climaxes of some of the pieces, the sounds that came forth seemed the instrumental equivalent of speaking in tongues.
     And if the instruments were the voices of demons swirling around her, the voice of Márta Sebestyén was that one thing which could vanquish them, like the churchbells that quell the devil at the end of "Night on Bald Mountain" in Fantasia.
     I cannot imagine another human voice that could even survive the accompiment that hers bested. Her throat is truly one of the wonders of the world. This is the voice we should send to the stars on a disc of gold, not Chuck Berry's. Márta Sebestyén's voice would probably be recognized somewhere out there. (c. 1995, lissener@wwa.com)

A virtuoso showcase for some pretty bizarre instruments. Even better than last year's show. (c. 1990, neal)

Recommended first album:

Nem arról hajnallik, amerról hajnallott/The Prisoner's Song is a favourite

Recordings:

Dates listed here are approximate, as the various international release dates aren't well-documented on the internet

  • Élö népzene I/Living Hungarian Folk Music 1 (1978)
  • Kettó (1980)
  • Nem úgy van most, mint volt régen/It is not like it used to be (2001)
  • Nem arról hajnallik, amerról hajnallott/The Prisoner's Song (1982, re-released 1988)
  • Dúdoltan én Sebestyén Márta / Marta Sebestyen sings
  • Máarta Sebestyén and Muzsikás
  • Ösz az Idö / The Time is Autumn (circa 1993)
  • Blues for Transylvania (1990)
  • Hazafelé Homeward Bound (circa 1989)
  • Szól a kakas Már / The Rooster is Crying (1988)
  • Maramaros, The lost Jewish music of Transylvania (circa 1995)
  • Szép hajnali csillag/Morning Star (1997)
  • The Bartók Album (1998)
  • A Zeneakadémián/Live at Lizst Academy (live, 2003)
  • Csordapésztorok
  • Fly Bird, Fly: The Very Best of Muzsikás (compilation, 2011)
  • Also see Márta Sebestyén

Nem arról hajnallik, amerról hajnallott/The Prisoner's Song

Release info:

1982 (Hungary); 1988—Hannibal—HNCD 1341

Availability:

Wide in U.S.

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended for fans of traditional music

Group members:

Márta Sebestyén—vocals, recorder
Sándor Csoóri—bagpipes, hurdygurdy, viola, vocals
Mihály Sipos—violin, zither, vocals
Péter Eri—bouzouki, Turkish horn, cello, viola, vocals
Dániel Hamar—bass, hurdygurdy, vocals

Guest artists:

Antal Rácz—zither
Levente Szórényi—drums, bass
Szabolcs Szorényi—bass
Zoltan Zsuráfski—dance effects

Produced by:

Levente Szórényi

Comments:

This is a delightful and enjoyable album. I like it as well if not better than the cds that have appeared under Márta Sebestyén's name. Good songs, great musicians, and very interesting vocals. (Neile)

Morning Star

Release info:

1997—Rykodisc—HNCD 1401

Availability:

Wide in U.S.

Ecto priority:

Recommended for fans of traditional music

Group members:

Márta Sebestyén—flute, vocals Sándor Csoóri——fiddle
Mihály Sipos—fiddle, violin
Péter Eri—bass, fiddle, mandolin, lute, viola, bells
Dániel Hamar—bass, hammer dulcimer

Guest artists:

Rácz Antal—zither, citera
Andras Berecz—throat singing, khoomei
Zoltan Farkas—percussion, drums, sound effects
Katalin Gyenis—vocals
Anna Helbich—vocals
Laszlo Porteleki—violin Antai Racz—zither

Produced by:

Dániel Hamar and the Muzsikás band

Comments:

Apparently this is an album of studio recordings of their best-received work from their concerts. If you like world music, especially Eastern European, you will love this. They are great live. Márta Sebestyén's voice is strong throughout. Not sure why I'm not more excited by this, though—I prefer The Prisoner's Song or Blues for Transylvania or Márta Sebestyén's early solo work. (Neile)

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Entry last updated 2015-05-24 16:49:59.
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