Traditional music? The term suggests constancy and permanence: familiar tunes and homely songs. The melodies of the past seem to offer a stable foothold, in opposition to the ever faster innovations of the present.
However this nostalgia is an illusion, a false idyll. Many of the musical styles we now perceive as traditional were originally radical and modern. They resulted from dramatic changes which shook the 19th century European world and turned it upside down. The industrial revolution triggered technical innovations and social change on a massive scale. New instruments were invented: the accordion, mouth organ, concertina, banjo and saxophone, plus brass instruments equipped with valves like the trumpet and tuba. Later, factory production turned these new musical instruments into relatively cheap mass produced items which many people could afford.
Christoph Wagner collected for this WERGO CD a wonderful musical patchwork of styles and traditions.
Ireland – Cashin, Cawley & Ford: Bashful Bachelor + Sunshine Hornpipe
Scotland – William Hannah's Band: Scottish or Foursome Reel
England – Jack Armstrong and his Northumbrian Barnstormers: Morpeth Rant
France – Jean Pradal et Martin Cayla: Polka Piquée
Portugal – Ermelinda Vitória: Fado da Minha Aldeia
Spain – La Niña de los Peines: Sevillanas
Mallorca – Agrupación Folklórica de Valldemossa: Parado de Valldemossa
Norway – Gjermund Haugen: Markensmandagen
Denmark – Folkedanseorkestret: Hattemageren
Germany – Münchner Original-Terzett Georg Weinschütz: Tegernseer Landler
Switzerland – Urnäscher Streichmusik & Jodler Quartett: Alpufzug
Austria – Volkssänger-Familie Simboeck: Innviertler Landler
Italy – Nullo Romani: Buon principio d'anno
Sardinia – Efisio Melis: Mediana in re maggiore
Sicily – I Quattro Siciliani: Camporeale Bello
Finland – Erik Kivi: Punaliivi
Belarus – Gregory Matusewitch: Yiddisher Wulach
Poland – Eduard Mika i Tadeusz Zadroga: Staropolski kujawiak
Czech Republic/Slovakia – Sió Aladár és Zenekara: Mindenféle Szerelemnek
Hungary – Olah Lajos: Biró uram és sárga cserebogár
Serbia/Croatia – Verni's Troubadours Tamburica Orchestra: Micika Polka
Albania – Riza Hakdin Me Shoket: Çelni ju moj lule çelni
Greece – Georgia Mittaki & Laikis Orchistras: Tha horepseis gero
Romania – Orhestra Traian Lặscut: Doina şi Ardeleana de la Sibiu
Ukraine – Ukrainska Orchestra Pawla Humeniuk: Zaporozec Polka
Russia – Sisters Fiodorov: Kukushka
World Music – What Is Distant? What Is Near?
World Music is a not uncontroversial term for the rich variety of musical culture of our planet, and it comprises not only the musical traditions of the rural parts of Africa, Asia, and Latin America but also those of the high cultures of the Indian subcontinent, Japan, and China as well as the popular music of urban metropolises throughout the world today.
This edition of CDs, most of which were produced in cooperation with Berlin’s House of the Cultures of the World and the Music Department of Berlin’s Ethnological Museum, mixes up the categories of “foreign” and “familiar” not only by bringing closer things that are unknown and unfamiliar but also by revealing the familiar in the foreign and the foreign in the familiar.
The encounter with the varied musical ideas that exist outside of our own culture has made us more aware of our own categories and shown us that we can no longer operate with a single compulsory aesthetic but that we must instead speak of innumerable distinctive aesthetics. This conclusion is supported both by the extraordinary recordings and the high quality of the booklet texts on the WELTMUSIK label.