Tara Fuki
The Best of Tara Fuki
Indies Scope, 2015

At once classical and folk, Tara Fuki is a duo consisting of Andrea Konstankiewicz-Nazir and Dorota Barová, both conservatory-taught cellists.  With almost two decades of success behind them, they have toured almost everywhere in Europe and have recorded five very successful albums.  They have been so popular in album and tour that their latest release is a best of, a reminiscence rather than a milestone, and while not usually my hard and fast rule or my favorite way to experience music when I have the opportunity to hear an artist’s original intentions in context, this is quite good (And admittedly, I have violated that rule several times over with my nerdist’s completist box sets of several artists.).

Rarely does the music become classical or cello-like, but when it does it has quite a profound affect, and ironically it is in “Tango” where it is noticeable, (though not so ironic when you consider the musical virtuosity of tango music in general and Piazzolla as a composer of Tango, among other great artists.).  And while a seemingly simple melody, it would probably fit nicely into a repertoire of tango vals at a dance, though probably not traditional by any stretch, but neither are many latter day tango composers who work exclusively in the genre.

While I don’t speak Czech, the passion of the performers and the songs are readily apparent so this is hardly more than a personal handicap and a desire to be able to speak more than the English I was born into and conditioned with and the Spanish that I will master sooner than later.  “Sen” begins with a quiet passion and intensity and minimal instrumentation that begins to build at the song’s climax in “typical” East European fashion. While rare, I hear a tiny bit of Rromani influence buried within the tracks as well, which is always refreshing for me to hear.

After five successful albums, the duo is bound to undergo some evolution as they are influenced by other genres, their conservatory training notwithstanding and most people would seem to think.  Musical education and training engenders an appreciation for the masters as well as the ability to embrace non traditional sources of ideas. “Czerwone jabluszko” seems to embrace that sense of evolutionary adventure with electronic elements, but they are not out of place.  They fit organically within and without.

If you like world and folk, this is something you will probably enjoy, and if you appreciate musicians that stretch themselves a little with new interpretations of traditional folk and new originals that seem to fit like a pair of gloves, you will appreciate this, too. Unrelatedly, I look forward to an opportunity  to see Tara Fuki in concert in the future.

7 March 2016

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