CD of the year!
Avi Avital's mandolin is pure magic! We got the album at a pre-sale and it makes our entire family dance and laugh almost every evening since. The pieces are so varied and each of them is unique, with so many different instruments and rhythms from different cultures, and all of it so full of joy, tenderness, nostalgia... When you listen to it peacefully, it takes you along to distant and deep places. We have voted it CD of the year...
The mandolin heard around the world
When one thinks of the mandolin in classical music, they usually start with the concertos of Vivaldi. In American music, the mandolin is often associated with bluegrass music. On this disc by Israeli-born virtuoso Avi Avital, many areas are explored both musically and geographically. Deutsche Grammophon released a promotional video to coincide with the release of this follow-up to Avital’s “Bach” album. Avital, a 2010 Grammy-nominee, explains in the video that this was a very personal album for him, because of the diversity of instrumentation and styles of music.
References to music of the Mediterranean are made in the video, so it should be no surprise that the music of Manuel de Falla should appear on this disc. However, Avital also explores works by Bartok, Villa-Lobos, and Piazzolla as well, along with traditional Bulgarian and Welsh melodies. In the famous aria (cantilena) from Villa-Lobos’ Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5, the usual orchestral performance becomes an intimate chamber for performance for mandolin, accordion, and double-bass. And “Hen Ferchetan” (the Welsh tune) is performed by Avital and harpist Catrin Finch.
Fans of the mandolin should snap this up right away; listeners who enjoy the mandolin and are interested in hearing it in music from varying parts of the world should also find great enjoyment in this CD, Avital’s second release on Deutsche Grammophon.
A total eye opener.
I got this CD from a friend who told me if I like Chris Thile then I would like this guy. He also pointed out that If you want to hear Classical done a different way this is also a great eye opener. This music is wonderful and the great stuff on the disc is the Bartok and the Piazzolla. Since I am a fan of both composers, hearing what he plays and interprets them is quite an eye opener. What makes this album unique is the fact the there is no one genre or style he goes for. It's almost like a classical mix CD that he curated or had his hand on. His blend of world music and classical is very unique and quite fun if you ask me. I gave this five stars because it's new and fresh without being to commercial like all that other stuff is out there. He knows how to play and really knows how to excite the listener to new levels of music to listen to.