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Album Review

Papasov,Ivo/Yuri Yunakov – “Together Again ” – [Traditional Crossroads]

Max Level   2/28/2006   CD, International

Papasov (clarinet), the world’s best-known proponent of “Bulgarian wedding music”, joins with Yukanov (saxophone) and a handful of others (accordion, guitar, bass, drums) for this energetic album of traditional songs from Southeastern Europe. Possibly because of its multi-national origins, (Balkan, Turkish, Gypsy, and other influences) this style of music was officially banned in socialist Bulgaria for many years, and there were no public performances; yet it thrived, fortunately for us, in private settings such as weddings and baptisms. This music is full of rapid, twisting melodies and crazy key changes, usually at a full-speed-ahead tempo, and these players are mind-blowing virtuosos.

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