Radosov

Láska a Vojna

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AllMusic Review by

Radosov's first album reveals a talented group of Central European folk music. The instrumentation is of a cimbalom band (cimbalom, clarinet/flute, and a string quartet) and a strong focus is put on ensemble singing. The repertoire for this album consists of traditional songs of love (láska) and war (vojna). Two female vocalists have been brought in to answer the male parts in five of the songs. The other tracks feature the sextet's all-male choir. The mood of the album shifts back and forth between lightly medieval songs and march-like anthems -- with lots of nuances in between. Highlights include the driving "Studená Rosenka," the gracious "Pres Horicku" (with Veronika Ulmanová taking the lead vocal part), and "Rozmarné" where Radosov members Cenek Ríha, Petr Vyoral, Roman Plasiryba, and Jirí Matela take turns singing the lead part. The recording is nicely detailed, although there is occasionally an excessive use of reverb in the group singing. Radim Havlícek's arrangements often draw on the classical tradition of the string quartet but do so without turning the folk tunes into sterilized highbrow versions, as can testify his feverish violin playing and the heartfelt group singing in the closing "Ked' Som Na Tu Vojnu," an irresistible dance number. Láska a Vojna compares favorably to Hradistan's best albums.

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