Album: Viktoria Mullova, The Peasant Girl (Onyx)
The jazz leanings of her husband's quartet, the Matthew Barley Ensemble, exert perhaps too great an influence over this set from violinist Viktoria Mullova, which mingles gypsy-influenced jazz compositions by the Modern Jazz Quartet and Weather Report with several of Bartók's folk-derived pieces and Zoltan Kodály's three-part "Duo for violin and cello".
The latter's astringent, bare-wire tonalities are the standout here, aptly described by Barley as not so much classical influenced by gypsy music, as gypsy music with a smart set of clothes. There are rewarding moments elsewhere – notably in "For Nedim" – but the album could profitably have been pared back to a single disc.
DOWNLOAD THIS: Duo for violin and cello; Duos with improvisations; For Nedim; Dark Eyes
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