This was a gift to my husband. I ordered it on Saturday and to my amazement it arrived Monday morning (free p and p) and he really likes it. It's beautifully played and incorporates so many types of music.
So I never thought I would fall in love with a mandolin album - but somehow it has happened! Avi Avital is so talented and musical - his playing is truly magical and his interpretations are stunning.
I have two favourites on this CD. One is the Csardas, which has been brilliantly converted from a piece I am more familiar with hearing played on the violin. In this piece, he is performing it with Richard Galliano on the accordian. It has a sense of fun and the brilliance associated with this piece of music, but at the same time a finesse that must only be able to come with highly honed technique on his instrument! My other favourite recording on the CD is played with the harpist Catrin Finch (another fabulous performer in her own right). The piece of music is called Hen Ferchetan, which is traditionally a Welsh folk song.
This is a joy of a disc. I tried it on the strength of Avi Avital's Bach disc (Bach) which I enjoyed and showed him to be a fantastically talented mandolin player. I think this is even better - the varied and extremely interesting programme makes it a fascinating as well as a very enjoyable listen.
Avital himself is superb. He is a genuine virtuoso with a real feel for what he's playing, so as well as some high-speed fireworks (which aren't overdone) we get a lot of genuine artistic interpretation. The works are always interesting and very varied from slightly louche, slinky dancing in the Piazzola to atmospheric spirituality in the Bloch, for example - and thoroughly enjoyable thoughout. I wasn't at all sure about the idea of Dvorak's American String Quartet arranged for mandolin, violin, viola, cello, double bass and accordion (!) but it's a delight, and the closing duet with the great harpist Catrin Finch is simply fabulous.
I'd suggest listening to a few samples and then snapping this up. It's is a group of fantastic musicians playing great music in an original and hugely enjoyable programme. Very warmly recommended.