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Rough Guide:  The Music of Eastern Europe
Various Artists
Rough Guide: The Music of Eastern Europe
Genres: Folk, World Music, Jazz, Pop
  •  Track Listings (15) - Disc #1

As with most of the Rough Guide music releases, this one casts a wide net, hauling in innovative folk groups like Musikas and Taraf de Haiduks, edgier jazz from Ferus Mustafov and Ivo Papasov, and new musical excursions by...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Various Artists
Title: Rough Guide: The Music of Eastern Europe
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: World Music Network
Original Release Date: 9/29/1998
Release Date: 9/29/1998
Genres: Folk, World Music, Jazz, Pop
Styles: Europe, Continental Europe, Eastern Europe
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 605633102420

As with most of the Rough Guide music releases, this one casts a wide net, hauling in innovative folk groups like Musikas and Taraf de Haiduks, edgier jazz from Ferus Mustafov and Ivo Papasov, and new musical excursions by bands like Zsarotnok. The set also includes well-known vocal groups like the Mystery of Bulgarian Voices ensemble and Trio Bulgarka. There are some surprises, too. Apparatschik offers a folk-punk sound somewhere between the Pogues and Spike Jones. The "Oriental" brass band Kocani plays Macedonian Rom music with verve. Poland's incredible fiddle orchestra, the Trebunia Family, will be a new surprise to almost any North American listener with its raw power, and Albanian lute player Mark Pashku's 1965 solo recording is superb. Brief but descriptive liner notes tell you what you need to know and no more, but the Rough Guides are meant to help you explore, and they give you the source material to begin your journey. --Louis Gibson

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CD Reviews

A musical Iron Curtain?
Savka | Vancouver, Canada | 04/05/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)

"This collection was one of the first Rough Guides I wasn't thoroughly impressed by, for various reasons.Although the tracks were acceptably varied to include different musical dimensions of Eastern Europe, there was a vast amount of terrain left uncovered by this CD. The disc also suffered from a surfeit of brass bands, consequently neglecting many other styles. The problem here is not so much the compilation itself, but the sheer depth and diversity of Eastern European music, the polyglot progeny of a major cultural collision: Turkish, Semitic, Slavic and Hellenic with a dash of Asiatic Magyar thrown in for good measure.
Being of Yugoslavian origin, I am very familiar with Eastern European music and particularly that of Hungary and the Balkans, and can attest to the fact that the tracks barely offer a fleeting glimpse into the immense beauty and variety of this region's musical heritage. Notable omissions include the Hungarian folk ensemble Muzsikas, and indeed any examples of Hungarian/Transylvanian dances or csardas, along with the absence of tambura ensembles from Croatia or Vojvodina (tambura music is among the most exuberant and melodically exquisite of the region, and remains largely unknown in the West), and also the omission of polkas, of which many superb examples can be found in the Czech and Slovenian repertoire. Russian instrumental works, particularly balalaika pieces, were absent, as were the melancholic Islam-flavoured vocals of Bosnia. The point is, if you enjoyed this CD, great, but this is barely the beginning of the Eastern musical saga, and I urge you to dig deeper and wider in order to really get a feel for the music. Discs I recommend to get you started are The Bartok Album, by Muzsikas; The Incredible Music of the Gypsies, a compilation by Manteca; and Songs and Dances from Croatia, a compilation from Dinaton."
Exploding Balkan Extravaganza!
Erika Borsos | Gulf Coast of FL, USA | 04/08/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Any CD on which Marta Sebestyen sings first shows exceptional good taste but when she sings in Bulgarian, well that is *really* extraordinairy. She sings "Devoiko Mome" like a native. This CD is jam-packed with the best music that the Balkans have to offer played by the brightest and most talented musicians and singers in the region. The diverse regional styles & variety of instruments played on this CD attests to the fact that "Rough Guide" producers know what they are doing.

This CD has everything: the brass band music of Kocani Orkestar (Macedonia), the cimbalom playing of Kalman Balogh (Hungary)(although it is a Romanian piece he is playing), the beautiful and mysterious voices of a Bulgarian Women's Choir, a Daichovo Oro played by a folk orchestra, Bulgarian wedding music by the master, Ivo Papasov, and last, but not least, my favorite, "The Mountain Pacular" played by Zsaratnok & the ever-talented Nikola Parov. The clarinet improvisations on this track are incredible. Track # 8 amazes me, because although a Polish band, the violin playing is definitely in the Hungarian style, which leads me to believe there was a lot of sharing of music across the borders. This CD is a gem beyond description - dont' pass it up! Erika Borsos (erikab93)"
A soul-searching sonic journey through Eastern Europe...
Veggiechiliqueen | 10/14/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"A few months ago I started looking for Roma (Gypsy) music. There were many different collections that I considered buying, such as "Rough Guide:Music of the Gypsies" and Putumayo's "Gypsy Caravan." However, I fell in love with this CD from listening to soundclips online.The CD opens with the phenomenal track "Devoiko Mome" by Hungarian songstress Marta Sebestyen (the artist who performed such haunting melodies in "The English Patient"). The wooden flute is raw and soulful, the strings have a rough, mourning quality, and combined with Marta's voice this is easily the best track on the album. The rhythm is lilting and soothing even though the tone shifts between melancholy and joyous.Also featured are the excellent Roma musicians Tarif de Haidouks, and the now-famous "Mystère des voix bulgares" with their unearthly acapella arrangements of traditional folksongs. I am not familiar with the rest of the artists although all of the songs are performed beautifully.This is an excellent introduction to Eastern European and Roma music for a great price...cheaper than Putumayo's sampler and IMHO with better music to match."