Guest artists:
Richard Galliano · Catrin Finch
Giora Feidmann
Int. Release 17 Jan. 2014
1 CD / Download
0289 479 1069 5
A Captivating Musical Journey

Track List

Sulkhan Tsintsadze (1925 - 1992)
Miniatures On Georgian Folk Themes


Avi Avital, Simone Bernardini, Amihai Grosz, Zvi Plesser, Klaus Stoll, Itamar Doari

Béla Bartók (1881 - 1945)
6 Romanian Folk Dances, BB 68, Sz. 56

Arranged By Arthur Willner

Avi Avital, Kammerakademie Potsdam

Traditional Bulgarian

Avi Avital, Itamar Doari

Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887 - 1959)
Avi Avital, Richard Galliano, Klaus Stoll

Astor Piazzolla (1921 - 1992)
Avi Avital, Giora Feidman, Richard Galliano, Klaus Stoll, Itamar Doari

Manuel de Falla Matheu (1876 - 1946)
Siete canciones populares españolas

Arranged By Efraín Oscher






Avi Avital, Efrain Oscher, Sacha Rattle, Ralf Benesch, Sarah Verrue, Zvi Plesser, Klaus Stoll, Itamar Doari

Vittorio Monti (1868 - 1922)

Avi Avital, Richard Galliano

Sulkhan Tsintsadze (1925 - 1992)
Miniatures On Georgian Folk Themes


Miniatures On Georgian Folk Themes


Miniatures On Georgian Folk Themes


Avi Avital, Simone Bernardini, Amihai Grosz, Zvi Plesser, Klaus Stoll, Itamar Doari

Ernest Bloch (1880 - 1959)
Baal Shem - Three Pictures Of Hassidic Life

Avi Avital, Simone Bernardini, Amihai Grosz, Zvi Plesser, Klaus Stoll, Sacha Rattle, Sarah Verrue

Ora Bat Chaim
Avi Avital, Giora Feidman, Richard Galliano, Klaus Stoll, Itamar Doari

Antonín Dvo?ák (1841 - 1904)
String Quartet No.12 In F Major, Op.96 "American" B. 179

Avi Avital, Simone Bernardini, Amihai Grosz, Zvi Plesser, Klaus Stoll, Ivano Battiston

Traditional Welsh

Avi Avital, Catrin Finch

Total Playing Time 1:05:57

. . . this sophomore effort from DG and Avital sounds crackerjack . . . it is good to see fresh life coming from some of the less well-known instruments.

. . . Avi Avital collects treasures from around the world and performs them in stunning arrangements with friends from chamber and world music. His rendition of Bartok's "Romanian Dances" is revelatory, as are the percussion-driven dances that reveal the affinity of the mandolin with the Middle Eastern oud.

. . . [the six Bartók miniatures] are deftly managed . . . the most satisfying piece is Piazzolla's rhythmic "Fuga y Misterio" with clarinet, accordion and double bass operating as equal partners.

Avi Avital's programme of music for solo mandolin boldly bypasses the obvious with playing of sheer brilliance . . . he has come up with this fascinating programme that shows how broad his tastes are and how adaptable the mandolin can be . . . [all pieces] are presented in a new and scintillating guise. The famous aria from Villa-Lobos's "Bachianas Brasileiras" No 5, here with the orchestral texture distilled down to a solo accordion and double bass, is one such haunting transformation. Vittorio Monti's sizzling "Csárdás", again with Richard Galliano's accordion adding a pungent flavour of its own, is an instance where Avital has craftily reimagined the original violin part . . . The fact that Dvorák's so-called "American" Quartet is full of Czech inflections comes across with special emphasis in this arrangement of its finale for mandolin, string quartet and accordion, and elsewhere, in Bartók's "Romanian Folk Dances" and Falla's "Siete canciones populares espanolas", you cannot help thinking that the composers would readily have crafted them for mandolin if someone had suggested it. With four Georgian miniatures by Tsintsadze, a traditional Bulgarian piece and a lovely Welsh folk song in which Avital joins the harpist Catrin Finch, this is a kaleidoscopic United Nations of a disc, played with finesse, energy, virtuoso fingerwork and a captivating heart.

Avital's follow-up to his superb recording of Bach concertos only confirms what we already knew: that here is a musician who recognises no boundaries except those of good taste, and who has the artistry to persuade listeners to follow him anywhere . . . Avital explores traditional music as seen through the lens of "classical" composers, an exploration to which both Avital and the mandolin are ideally suited . . . This is as true in a wild Georgian, Romanian or Bulgarian dance courtesy of Sulkhan Tsintsadze, Bartók or "trad" as it is of a soft, dark Spanish song from Falla's "Siete Canciones populares españolas" or the gorgeous setting of "Hen Ferchetan" by Avital and harpist Catrin Finch, with which the recording ends. And through it all, again, is Avital's mandolin, not just singing but laughing and crying in equal measure.

. . . [the collection] stands out for several reasons, . . . [for example for] the arrangements, some of which are by Avital himself: they surround the mandolin with delicate little groups of strings and/or harp, accordion, clarinet, and percussion. The effect is to set off many of the quieter mandolin effects, all of which are very elegantly executed, quite clearly. Major credit is due to Deutsche Grammophon's engineers, working at the Siemens-Villa Konzertsaal studio in Berlin, but Avital himself contributes a kind of confidence that makes you forget you're listening to a mandolin playing all kinds of things it wasn't designed for. His version of Astor Piazzolla's "Fuga y misterio" provides fresh evidence of the adaptability of that composer's music to almost any medium . . . A must for mandolin lovers.

Avital's abilities are never in question, and he has chosen well-suited collaborators with whom he has a palpable rapport . . . In faster-paced dance music, the arrangements are especially engaging. Bartók's "Romanian Folk Dances" stand out, including the playfully halting sash dance, the hearty polka and the whirlwind of the impeccably played "fast dance." The compact and intricate "Sachidao" by Georgian composer Sulkhan Tsintsadze builds beguilingly on a bright modal melody, and Bloch's "Nigun" receives a soulful, impressive performance. When the mandolin is called on to take the part of a sustained voice, as in Villa-Lobos' "Aria," the tremulous, fast-vibrating sound the instrument produces feels less natural, but still intriguing.

Mandolin virtuoso Avi Avital's "Between Worlds" is a delight. Avital has great sidemen, led by Richard Galliano on accordion. They are warm and witty and unconventional . . . They trade witty duets in a Piazzolla piece and fill a traditional Bulgarian dance with an infectious joy . . . The thread that holds this disc together is that all the composers represented . . . were all inspired by folk music. Avital and his friends help you see why.

. . . the performances and arrangements here are so fresh and novel that everything sounds new . . . Avital is joined by a formidable line-up of soloists . . . the different instrumental combinations -- from mandolin and harp to mandolin and orchestra with, variously, winds, strings and plucked and percussion instruments -- bring much colour and vibrancy to the mix. But it's the performances themselves that will win over even the staunchest purist, with Avital's sheer brio (the Bartók and Tsintsadze), melodious cantabile (the Falla and the Villa-Lobos) and everything in between proving as utterly persuasive as his expressive meticulousness on his previous recording devoted to Bach. Add to that the considerable contributions of Galliano et al and you have a recording that, rather than falling between worlds, embraces all worlds.

He does not care about the way in which music is judged and graded, but finds his own interpretations and translations, operating within his own personal triangle made up of his own individual experience of life, the history of his instrument and the unique message of each of the pieces that he has chosen to record for this CD. Avi Avital trusts his own feelings . . . Avi Avital finds new things to say without having to invent them, discovers unheard-of ways of making us hear things we've long heard together, and ignores every canon without provoking his listeners even for a moment . . . On Avi Avital's world map, all these heterogeneous points produce a sense of geographical balance. Astor Piazzolla, Béla Bartók, Heitor Villa-Lobos and Manuel de Falla jointly navigate Captain Avi's gondola around the seven seas. In his quest for a harmonious balance of opposites he blossoms into an incorrigible romantic with a matter-of-fact eye for what is feasible, a true Renaissance man of the 21st century . . . Yes, Avi Avital is a master of his instrument, but in reality he is much more than that -- a hero of music who extends his field of endeavour both backwards into the past and forwards into the future in order to make this planet a little bit better through his highly personal utopia of musical sounds.

. . . a globe-circling program of delightful music that is truly between worlds. Assisted by such virtuosos on their own instruments as Richard Galliano and Giora Feidman, the ensemble creates a wonderful feeling of world music from different areas and time periods. They are passionate about everything they play and that comes across in this most listenable CD.

This is a terrific showcase for Avi Avital's virtuosity and warm-hearted artistry. It is a real United Nations of a disc -- from Dvorák to the Georgia of Tsintsadze, from Bloch to Bartók and Bulgarian folksong, showing how expressively versatile the mandolin can be. Avital's finesse and fast fingers work wonders.

Schon der Auftakt mit der Miniatur "Sachiado" des Georgiers Slukhan Tsintsadze geht regelrecht in die Beine . . . seine Fundstücke sind so mitreißend arrangiert, dass Belá Bartóks "Rumänische Volkstänze" oder Astor Piazzollas "Fuga y Misterio" ebenso grandios klingen wie die Klezmer-Improvisation nach Freilach Bat Chaims "Freilach Ron" (mit dem Klarinettisten Giora Feidman). Beim Hören von "Between Worlds" kommen einem viele Bilder in den Sinn -- nur eines gewiss nicht: Das vom Mandoline spielenden Gondoliere.

Achtsaitige Farbenspiele . . . Dem Israeli ist das scheinbar Unmögliche gelungen: Bei Avital setzt die Mandoline zu ungeahnten Höhenflügen an . . .

. . . [Avital lotet] alle Möglichkeiten seines Instruments zwischen klassischen und folkloristischen Stücken [aus] . . . Als Meister seines Fachs erweist sich Avi Avital im Stück "Csárdás" von Vittorio Monti, in dem er mit atemberaubender Geschwindigkeit die Tremolos hinschmettert und dem Gassenhauer mit seiner liebevollen Interpretationen tatsächlich noch neue Facetten abgewinnt. Einfach, wunderschön und voller Rhythmus sind die "Rumänischen Folktänze Sz. 56" von Bartok . . . Mit "Between Worlds" setzt Avi Avital zwar ein Kontrastprogramm zu seinem ersten Album, er wird aber nie beliebig, sondern zeigt vielmehr, wie ihn folkloristische und klassische Musik gleichermaßen inspirieren.

Mandolinenmusik als verzupfte Langeweile, das war einmal. Wenn sich der Virtuose Avi Avital die kleine, etwas unförmige Schwester der Gitarre vorknöpft, strömen klangvolle Sturzbäche über den Zuhörer . . . Die rumänischen Volkstänze von Béla Bartók . . . etwa blühen unter seinen Fingern zu solch filigranen Preziosen auf, dass man sie als maßgeschneidert für sein Instrument empfindet . . . Die "Aria" von Villa-Lobos spielte er mit dem Akkordeon-Könner Richard Galliano und dem Kontrabassisten Klaus Stoll ein, die "Siete Canciones Populares Espanolas" von de Falla mit einem treibenden Septett . . . Das hört sich dann raffiniert und folkloristisch zugleich an, der Virtuose glänzt nicht allein mit seiner Technik, er dient der Eleganz -- es klingt immer noch ein wenig wie Urlaub unter südlicher Sonne, aber immerhin im Rahmen einer Bildungsreise . . . [Tsintsadze]: Meditativ und melodiös gestaltet Avital [die Stücke mit sicherem Zugriff] . . . Der letzte Satz aus Anton Dvoráks Streichquartett No. 12 . . . eignet sich einfach zu gut für eine klangsinnliche und technisch perfekte Mandolinenversion.

Mit "Between Worlds" werden Komponisten geehrt, denen die Verschmelzung unterschiedlicher Kulturen gelungen ist. Aber auch die Interpreten -- Avi Avital, Giora Feidman und Richard Galliano -- bringen ihren musikalisch-kulturellen Hintergrund auf sensible Art mit ein. So kann zum Beispiel in Piazzollas "Fuga y Misterio" ganz selbstverständlich mit jazzigen Passagen oder Klezmer-Interpretationen gespielt werden, ohne dass es artifiziell wirkt . . . "Between Worlds" ist eine gelungene CD mit leidenschaftlichen Musikern, die man aber dringend auch live erleben sollte!

Avi Avital ist ein grandioser Rhythmiker und er hat unter anderen den legendären Klarinettisten Giora Feidman als Compagnon gewonnen: Was soll da noch schief gehen?

Es wartet auf diesem . . . Album reichlich unbekanntes Land . . . Zugleich lassen uns viele Bearbeitungen staunen, was möglich ist, wenn Freiheit regiert: in Dvoraks "Amerikanischem" hören wir den jungen Meister ebenso wie mit Piazolla, de Falla und Bartoks rumänischen Volkstänzen. Ein Album für Weltmusikfreunde mit klassischer Neigung. Zumal es Gaststars wie Giora Feidmann adeln.

. . . mit einem erlesenen Ensemble von Spezialisten, von denen Avital und sein Freund Giora Feidman nur zwei sind und die allesamt mit großem Musikantentum und hörbarem Spaß ans Werk gehen. Ein überaus sinnliches Programm , bei dem vor allem die Stilsicherheit der Interpreten beeindruckt -- man geht hier tatsächlich auf eine Reise von einer Welt zur anderen. Ein etwas anderes Album -- sicher -- aber nicht nur deswegen etwas ganz besonderes.

Wirklich schöne Musik . . . Avi Avital macht schnell klar, dass die bauchige Schwester der Gitarre weit mehr als nur ein bisschen Kling-Klang verbreiten kann: Denn der Israeli ist nicht allein ein begnadeter Virtuose, sondern auch ein Künstler, der den Swing hat . . . da Avital den Rhythmus im Blut hat, tanzen die folkloristischen Stücke wie von selbst.

Viele kurze Stücke, viel schmissige Virtuosität, viel melancholische Gesanglichkeit.

Klangabenteuer . . . Der Musiker Avi Avital entlockt der Mandoline völlig neue Töne . . . genial anders . . .