"I loved the film "The English Patient" in which the voice of Marta Sebestyen added greater depth and mystery to the character, Count Almassy. I awakened to the beautiful traditional music of Hungary and searched for CDs after hearing her entrancing voice for the first time. Since then, I found and bought, "Boheme" by Deep Forest, "Apocrypha", "Morning Star" with Muzsikas, "The Bartok Album" also with Muzsikas ... and this wonderful CD. She is also the featured vocalist with Vujicsics, a Hungarian ensemble which plays exclusively Serbian and Croatian instruments and music.
This CD is one of her best. The songs are ethereal and encompass a variety of regions and styles. She sings in Hungarian, Serbian, Croatian, Hindi and English. I have read that "Repulj Madar, Repulj" (Fly Bird, Fly) is among the oldest Hungarian traditonal songs and was written on the pentatonic scale. It is sensational. "Szol A Kakas Mar" from Transylvania is a wonderful example from this region. One very haunting example is "Szombat Este Bucsusztato" (Farewell to Shabat) which is of Jewish heritage. The most memorable are the songs with two word titles ... "Istenem Istenem" (My God, My God), "Tavasz Tavasz" (Spring, Spring), and "Szerelem Szerelem" (Love, Love). Each one is deeply soul-searching and mysterious. They will remain in the heart and soul of the listener for a long time. Erika Borsos (erikab3)"
You don't have to be Hungarian to enjoy Márta Sebestyén
Leon A. Goldstein | Fayetteville, NC | 12/19/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"You don't have to be Hungarian to be intrigued by the characteristic down beat of the melodies. The CD is worth buying just for "Szeress Egyet, S Legyen Szép" (Track 9) To call "The Best of Marta Sebestyen" haunting is no exaggeration."
C. H Smith | Bowling Green, Kentucky United States | 12/10/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Marta Sebestyen has slowly but surely made her way to the very top as an international folk performer--a position she had achieved even before her exposure in the film "The English Patient." This collection does a good job of setting in front of those who still don't know about her what the fuss is about. Most of what she sings is, of course, in unfamiliar foreign languages, but don't let that bother you: she has a great, strong, and dramatic voice capable of lots of twisting and turning, and enough range to not be forced into taking shortcuts. The closest English-singing artist I can think of to her is Maddy Prior, of Steeleye Span fame: Prior has more range and power on high notes, but Sebestyen has the edge in grittier and deeper emotion-requiring material."
Unratable Marta Sebastyen
Mark F. Braun | Norridge, IL | 05/22/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Having heard Marta Sebastyen both on CD and live, she is an acquired form of hypnotic sounds: both of a world long gone and a culture that miraculously survives through some great, great musicians. Haunting and a wonderfully fresh experience for an American boy. Start here and if you are still curious, keep following; I did and don't regret it."