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Transsylvanian Folksongs

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Transsylvanian Folksongs
Transsylvanian Folksongs


Artists' greatest inspiration often comes from sources that once surrounded them in their native communities. Pianist Lucian Ban, violist Mat Maneri and woodwind master John Surman come from different backgrounds but are connected by their focus on improvised music along with their appreciation of folkloric and classical styles.

Their mutual interest in the work of Hungarian composer and ethnomusicologist Béla Bartók led to their new recording, Transylvanian Folk Songs, an assortment of arrangements of folk songs collected by Bartók in Ban's native Romania.

In the early 1900s Bartók was introduced to the folk music of the Romanian people in Transylvania. His immediate infatuation with the music led him to a lifelong pursuit to record and catalog these beautiful regional pieces. Bartók spent eight years traveling the Romanian countryside recording and transcribing these pieces, which he would spend the rest of his life collating into six catalogs containing over three thousand tunes, simply entitled Romanian Folk Music. The composer's own compositions would be influenced at every level by his folk studies.

A century later, these three outstanding improvisers - Mat Maneri, Lucian Ban and John Surman - draw fresh inspiration from the music that fired Bartók's imagination, looking again at the carols, lamentations, love songs, dowry songs and more which the composer collected, in the period between 1909-1917.


  1. Name
  2. The Dowry Song
  3. Up There
  4. Violin Song
  5. The Return
  6. The Mighty Sun
  7. What A Great Night This Is, A Messenger Was Born
  8. Carol
  9. Bitter Love Song
  10. Transylvanian Dance
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