APPALACHIA WALTZ brings together classical musicians and classic Americana with an enjoyable result: a discovery of the wealth and integrity of American folk music. Featuring classical virtuosi Edgar Meyer and Yo-Yo Ma with fiddler Mark O'Connor, a passionate advocate and composer of traditional Texas fiddle music, this Sony Classical release explores the vitality of American fiddle music in new compositions and arrangements, many by O'Connor himself.
The tunefulness of each track is striking, while the range of expression is reassuringly broad, from serene ("The Green Groves of Erin/The Flowers of Red Hill") to jaunty ("FC's Jig" or "Chief Sitting in the Rain"). One can imagine different scenes while listening, as the titles of each track and the music suggest images in the course of a day, from different but familiar places, as if part of a greater American musical story. Particularly wonderful is the interaction of the three musicians (fiddle, cello, and string bass), who mine real gold as they cover this canvas, both complex and, at times, refreshingly simple.