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Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

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Arco Diva

Tilia
Petr VYROUBAL (b 1975)

Nepi, Jano arr VYROUBAL
Smrtí tanec arr VYROUBAL
Na kopečku stojí borovička arr VYROUBAL
Koulelo se koulelo arr VYROUBAL
Valachica
Osud lidský
Lidové motivy
U Třebone na tom mostě
U našeho Bárty
Velebný pane
Počkej má milá
Pĕknĕ se zelená
Píseň Tobiášova
Jaroslav KRČEK (b 1939)

Tři tance ve starém slohu
Otmar MÁCHA (b 1922)

Zpěvy Horňácka
Tilia (Marta Dunová, mezzo-soprano) Jitka Kubková and Simona Ševčíková, violins; Radka Heřmanská, viola; Markéta Krausová, cello; Lada Zradičková, flute and recorder; Jaroslava Tajanovská, oboe and recorder; Miroslav Baloun, percussion; Petr Vyroubal, conductor and double bass
Recorded at the Domovina Studios, Prague, October 2002
ARCO DIVA UP 0058-2 231 [52.55]

 

Tilia’s group photo – nine young musicians in jeans and white t-shirts, full of navel exposure and daringly open to the waist (chaps only) – gives a new slant to their musical ethos. Though some might call it folk music the producer and sleeve note writer Jiří Štilec prefers it to be seen in the contemporary continuum of World Music. Well I won’t argue with him and I’d be the first to complain if these talented musicians were corseted in Moravian finery and buckle but the fact remains that if you begin an album with Nepi, Jano you summon up the spirit of Bohemian and Moravian folk music in no uncertain terms, the better, one supposes, to enrich and enlarge it in the tracks that follow. All of them, I have to say, congenial, imaginative and deliciously engaging.

Tilia are essentially a classically oriented folk string quintet with an augmentation of wind and percussion; the singer is mezzo Marta Dunová. They enliven the repertoire through acute choice of subject material and imaginative orchestration and colours. So Smrtí tanec has its fare share of medieval inflexions, martial percussion and lusty recorders whilst Na kopečku stojí borovička (as with many of these numbers the arrangement is by conductor and bass player Petr Vyroubal) is an old style song enlivened by counterpoint and variation of instrumentation. Marta Dunová certainly has a big voice, though she can scale it down charmingly, as in the next song. Vyroubal’s Valachian dances are laced with humour and he draws out a Renaissance feel in Osud lidský (they’re notably successful in suggesting links and correlations between music of different times). Their evocation of these seventeenth century tunes is vibrant and lusty but also clear and technically adroit. Jaroslav Krček’s Three Dances in the Old Style date from the 1980s and were partly inspired by Dürer’s The Ship of Fools. They are crisp and perky and delightfully shaped, laced with drone fiddle and sparky first violin line; the third grows in restrained fervour, over a plinking percussion, with its folk drive rooted deep in historicity. Otmar Mácha contributes the Songs of Horňácka, ebullient and reflective arrangements. For lovers of fun and charm try the fluty airiness of them or the quirky finality of the last, Zahraj ně, hudečku!

Excellently produced and recorded (in the Domovina Studios, no less) this is a really enjoyable and imaginative disc. Whatever you want to call it, wherever you expect to find it in the record racks, you’ll have a lot of fun with Tilia.

Jonathan Woolf



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