Ökrös, undoubtedly one of the leading folk music ensembles today, play mainly Transylvanian folk music. Led by the brilliant violinist Csaba Ökrös, they are one of the best interpreters of this type of folk music and on this new release are joined by other musicians of equal excellence: Kálmán Balogh on Cimbalom, Aladár Csiszár on violin, and Ágnes Herczku on vocals.
The theme of this recording is one of the most famous Hungarian folksongs. The song "I Left My Sweet Homeland" became the most important symbol and "song of belonging" to Hungarians living in Hungary. Also to the millions of emigrants who were forced to leave their homeland; and to other millions who, due to the turbulent border changes of the twentiest century, found themselves in their own homes as "citizens" of an alien land.
"The Ökrös Ensemble, led by the brilliant violinist Csaba Ökrös, are probably the finest interpreters of Transylvanian village music in the world. On I Left My Sweet Homeland, the five regular members of the ensemble are joined by Aladár Csiszár, a Gypsy violinist who is one of the last great players of traditional village music; Ágnes Herczku, a young singer who is one of the leading figures in the Hungarian folk music revival; and Kálmán Balogh, one the most accomplished cymbalom players in Europe. On tracks such as "Rábaközi Karéj, dus, Csárdás és Friss," a collection of dance tunes that features the ringing tones of Balogh's cymbalom, or the "Máramarosi Román és cigány Dallamok," a medley of Gypsy tunes, the band navigates the intricate rhythms and complex melodies with aplomb. But the finest moments on this collection come when Herczku steps up to the microphone. Whether she is singing a lively melody like "Csingerálás (The Gypsy Jumping Dance)" or the moving a cappella lament "I Left My Sweet Homeland," she infuses the music with a passion that is rarely equaled."
1. Gyimesi keserves
2. Csabai (Mezőség) keserves, szökős, ritka és sűrű magyar
3. Magyarszováti, széki csárdás
4. Rábaközi karéj, Dús, csárdás és friss
5. Csiszár Aladár nótái (Asztali és forduló)
6. Máramarosi román és cigány dallamok
7. Kalotaszegi mulató nóták, invirtita és cel iute (forgatós és sebes), szapora és keserves
8. Csigány csingerálások
9. Elindultam szép hazámból...
Csaba Ökrös - violin
Miklós Molnár - violin
László Mester - violin, violas, drum
László Kelemen - 3 stringed viola
Róbert Doór - double bass, guitar
Ágnes Herczku - voice
Aladár Csiszár - violin
Kálmán Balogh - cimbalom