koh 2 koh – part II

scene: romania, 1908.  characters: béla and his loveable sidekick zoltán.  synopsis: we follow the harrowing mountain journey of two young musicians on a quest to record native folk dances in remote transylvanian villages.  reads like a screenplay, right?… perhaps orlando bloom as bartók & jake gyllenhaal as zoltán?  well, i can’t make this shit up [oops, sorry again mary].  as unbelievable as it sounds, that’s exactly what béla bartók and zoltán kodály did when they were both passionate 20-somethings.  can you imagine lugging all that huge-ass equipment around in b.f.e. romania?!  oy, i would have loved to been there.  and get this: they later incorporated the gypsy music into their own classical compositions.  coming back from intermission, the crowd was treated to one of mr. bartók’s ethnomusicological gems, featuring a fully recharged, relocked, and reloaded jennifer koh on fiddle backed up by the best band in stumpland (sans cimbalom).  the second half of this rhapsody also features a tune that’s a deadringer for “simple gifts” – from here on out, i’m calling the piece bartok’s carpathian spring.

music by one more slavonic gentleman capped off the night: antonín dvořák’s symphony #7 (in d minor, for those of you working on your box scores).  its first half passes as thickly germanic and stormy; only in the last half does antonín fully get his slav on… a whirling polka connected to a melodramatic, czech-o-riffic march of triumph.  viva la vie boheme, indeed!

oh yeah, the classical beaver would be sorely negligent if it didn’t give a heartfelt shoutout to all the brilliant windfolk who totally blew it (in a very good way), and to jon “animal” greeney, a one-man drum circle displaying cylon-like precision in every frackin’ piece.

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2 Responses to “koh 2 koh – part II”


  1. 1 Nancy Ives February 23, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    Love it! “Carpathian Spring,” indeed. :>)


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