Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Rajko Folk Ensemble

That evening, after a good Hungarian pizza dinner, we stayed in downtown Pest for a program of Hungarian/Gypsy folk music and dancing, by the Rajko Folk Ensemble. Granted, it's a touristy sort of thing, and occurred in a beautiful little Rococco (!) theatre (shells and cherubim everywhere), but the music--partly classics (Lizst, Brahms), partly traditional and Gypsy--was electrifying, as was the dancing. The orchestra consisted of nine violins, a clarinet, a bass, and a cimbalom. I have never heard anyone get more out of a violin than these folks--nor clarinet, nor bass--and, until that evening, I had never seen anyone play the cimbalom.  Interestingly, particularly in the Gypsy pieces (they spell it Gipsy, FWIW), I thought I heard some elements of Bartok, who was a student of Hungarian folk music. Anyhow, it was a great experience.
Applause after one of the dances

This guy was the leader of the band and did incredible
things with the fiddle

More dancin', more fiddlin'


And dancin'

Curtain call

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