The Budapest Klezmer Band comes from the heart of Europe, from the very geographic location where Klezmer music originates. The Band's performance is an exciting musical experience in traditional Jewish folklore.'
The band is led by composer, arranger Ferenc Jávori, who was raised on Klezmer music in Munkács (Munkacevo, nowadays part of Ukraine). He learnt his trade from some of the last surviving musicians there, where music was an integral part of Jewish life. The BKB play Klezmer music that is seeped in traditional Jewish life and folklore.
Other members of the band are also exceptional musicians, being graduates of the Franz Liszt Academy of Music of Budapest.
01. Le chajem Rebbe
02. Klezmer Five
03. Solom alejxem
05. Sha sha di Schwigern Kumt
06. Dem Rebin
07. Yiddishe Tango
08. Terkish Dance
09. Fraytik oyf der nakht
10. Di Sapozhkelekh
12. A Lidele is Idis
Ferenc Jávori - leader, piano, voice
István Kohán - clarinet
Katica Illenyi - violin, voice
Anna Nagy - accordion
Gábor Tamás - trombone
Gábor Kiss - double bass
Balázs Végh - drums, percussion
Ghymes Ensemble was formed in 1984 at Nitra University of Pedagogy in Slovakia. Initially they played Hungarian folk music but are now extending their repertoire to include music originating in other parts of Eastern and Southern Europe.
They have their own unique style which is continually developing. In addition to the traditional instruments played (violin, viola, dulcimer, bagpipes, contrabass, lute, kalabash zither, Turkish pipe), they also incorporate the saxophone, drums and synthesizer.
They say their objective in the music is to find a commonality between different people, races and religions of the world, and this is why they explore and develop the folk music of different countries. As their band member Andor Buják stated 'If the musicians open up their hearts on the stage, the audience can feel it. That's real magic for us.
"Mainly ... we play "Ghymes music" because unfortunately no other group plays this kind of music... It is true that from Tűzugráz we have used more electrical instruments and more drums, but this began already on the previous album, Üzenet [Message]. We will not change drastically, but every time we release a CD we feel we must add something and make it different from earlier albums. I hope we will be able to add something to every album. If not, we will stop playing."
The music is original, it is nostalgic and captures a feeling of ancient roots and a certain rebellious, revolutionary, heroic spirit. The connection with the past, the sense of belonging to the tribe is over-powering ...it is visceral music. Most of it sounds as if it dates back to the medieval and renaissance era. A few tracks sound as they can be traced to the very ancient past, when the Hungarian tribes camped out, after traveling several hundred miles. It seems as if they are recalling their journey of several thousands of miles -- as the pentatonic scaled Hungarian music is played, there are echoes that vibrate way back to Central Asia. The music is haunting and poignant. The lyrics are poetic and starkly beautiful in their simplicity. Much of it, covers the feelings of how the common people may have felt about life, love, hope. There are references to the king, youth, hopes, dreams, and even how human life resembles that of monkeys ... These highly talented musicians express themselves in poetic artistic terms. They expand their musical horizons back to the past with ease and produce astonishing results. Any person of Hungarian ancestry will be captivated by the music. It is even more impressive if one understands the Hungarian lyrics. The themes within the songs and the sound of the traditional musical instruments leave a powerful impact on the listener ...
Track #1: I get the feeling that the ordinary people, the peasants are paying homage to their king, when in their hearts, they just want to live and be free. There is a veiled reference to the king not caring for his dogs, who are bone-bare and have blood-shot eyes. The youth are shouting near the castle, which is left unprotected, without a moat. Essentially, the king is left "naked", he is being threatened, which I interpret as he could be deposed, if living conditions do not improve. The king declares war oblivious to the effect it has on the people. Another evocative song starts out with a chant as if one were hearing a Catholic mass, it sets the feeling and tone for the rest of the piece, which is soul searching and original. One of the most impressive tracks is
#4 "Koldusok" ("Beggars") in which an elderly man, possibly the father, is admonishing his son to not steal, there is a dialogue between the young man and his father that is touching, and heart-wrenching. It reveals the dire circumstances of the beggars who want to live like others, have children, but worry about where their next meal is coming from, in fact the father tells the son, don't spend money on masses for my soul, after I die, buy food, buy sausages instead. The father asks the youth does he not fear he will go to hell. The youth replies, I just want to live ...
Other tracks have strong Balkan rhythms and melodies, possibly with a Turkish influence, played on Hungarian instruments. This whole CD is amazing -- the musicians use bagpipes, saxophone, drums, cimbalom, plus a few other traditional instruments to create moods of nostalgia that remain with the listener, long after the music has stopped playing. This CD receives my highest recommendations.
02. Kötve vannak szárnyaim
03. Militaris congratulation
05. Ifjú szívekben élek
07. Szerelmes dal
09. Pozsonyi blues
10. Új esztendõ
Andor Buják - viola, flutes, clarinet, saxophone, bass, voice
Krisztián Buják - bagpipe, clarinet, flute, voice
Gyula Szarka -voice, bass, guitar
Tamás Szarka -voice, violin, guitar, drum, koboz
László Hobó Földes - voice
László Béhr - cimbalom, voice
Péter Farnbauer - keyboards
Bernadett Kiss - voice