Bordered by Italy, Austria, Hungary, Croatia and the Adriatic Sea, the tiny nation of Slovenia is home to cultural traditions that reflect the extraordinary diversity of the region and include influences from Istria, Austria and Germany. Released in 2007, ARC's collection Traditional Music of Slovenia combines lovely a cappella harmonies (Vokalna Skupina Lan and Kresnice) and intimate vocals (Klarisa M. Jovanovic) with folk ensembles ranging from the at times Irish-sounding Brina and the friendly multi-instrumental Katalena to full-fledged Tamboura (Tamburasi) groups Vodomec, Tamburasi Kud "Oton Zupancic" Gradac and Viniski Tamburasi . By far the most unusual selection is track four, a wackily humorous instrumental by Franc Sutej-Jazo that defies adequate description. While a more in-depth examination of Slovenian music would include polkas, waltzes, chamber music, avant-garde experimentation, jazz, techno, and rock, this folksy little package is highly recommended as an introduction to this richly endowed portion of the former Yugoslavia.
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