Pop/Rock/World CD Reviews

Citerissima = Folk music, classical arrangements, and blues – Hungaroton

Whither the Zither? Fans will drool, others shake their heads.

Published on September 24, 2011

Citerissima = Folk music, classical arrangements, and blues – Hungaroton

Citerissima = Folk music, classical arrangements, and blues – Ferenc Tury, zither/ Gergo Karolyi, guitar/ MR Symphony Orchestra/ Zoltan Gyore, conductor – Hungaroton Classic 18202, 65:53 [Distr. by Qualiton] ***1/2:

Do you know what a zither is? Well, why should you? It’s essentially a boxed musical string  instrument (according to Wikipedia) found in Slovenia, Austria, Hungary, northwestern Croatia, the southern regions of Germany, alpine Europe and East Asian cultures, including China, where it first gets mentioned in 433 BC. It also appeared in the book of Daniel in 606, so the thing has quite an ancient pedigree. Whether its sound is something accommodating to music lovers today is largely a matter of cultural taste. But I can’t imagine a better case being made for it than by Ferenc Tury, who plays with an authority and a highly technical and nuanced manner that comes across in every track. Here he gives us folk music (the best), classical music (not so great), and some blues which amazingly really work well…strange, but well. [The autoharp is a sort of semi-automatic-shift zither...Ed.]

There is really not a lot to say—I can’t state that this will get a lot of play time as I don’t find the instrument all that attractive, but many do, and for those this will be a major release. If you are one of them you can be sure this well-recorded album will afford hours of pleasure.

—Steven Ritter




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