Various Artists – Strunk Nad Oslavou – Strings over the Oslava River 2016 (Indies Scope, 2017)
In 2016, violinist Jitka Šuranská brought together an ensemble of string instrument maestros from various countries, representing diverse traditions. The concert at Festivalu Folkové prázdniny (Festival Folk Holidays) in Náměšť nad Oslavou by the Oslava River in 2016 was recorded and released under the title Strunk Nad Oslavou – Strings over the Oslava River 2016.
The festival team invited Germán López, one of the leading timple (a small Spanish guitar from the Canary Islands) players in the Canary Islands, Spain; talented guitarist Antonio Forcione from Italy; Senegalese kora virtuoso Seckou Keita; and Czech mandolin maestro Martin Krajíček.
The headliner quartet was enhanced with the addition of Spanish guitarist Antonio Toledo, violinist Juraj Stieranka, bass player Juraj Valencik from Slovakia, mandolinist Wolfgang Meyering and Jitka Šuranská on vocals.
The concert program included a set where each musician took the lead and then various pieces where the full ensemble played together. The result is a wonderful mix of solo work, dazzling interplay and superb ensemble creations. The musical influences include traditional folk music from the Canary Islands, Senegalese music, Czech folk tunes and world fusion, where various genres met and delivered a deeply satisfying mix.
The CD version includes a booklet with photos, liner notes and biographical profiles of the musicians in Czech and English.
Strunk Nad Oslavou – Strings over the Oslava River 2016 is an extraordinarily expressive album featuring superb timple, guitar, kora and mandolin performances.