13.10.2015 – Fekete ejszaka borulj a világra
‘Tcha Limberger’s already extensive and engrossing career has been steadily building towards this smart recreation of 19th Century Budapest’s great era of Magyar Nota music. It’s an eerily elusive but tantalisingly familiar evocation of a genre once so dominatingly pervasive that Bartók found it almost everywhere he searched for roots. It was also the soundtrack of choice for Central European sophisticates, but over time it became almost too palatable, its rougher origins largely forgotten until Limberger’s rational, deeply affecting and revivifying examination.
He is an exceptional performer, but he is also a Sinti musician from Belgium, not a Roma performer from the Carpathian Basin. He is an outsider, who describes the Hungarian capital’s understandable headlong rush into the “glossy Western entertainment” of the west – and its simultaneous seeming rejection of vital traditions – as “a corruption of the mind”. But his homage to the city of his imagination is a triumph, while his musicians are deeply and innately devoted to his vision – expansive, but also articulately minimal when they need to be. All is technical brilliance and defiant passion.
Opener, Rácz Béla Emlékére, is a claustrophobic, lean and mournful tribute to a great Roma violin virtuoso. Szomorúan Zúg Búg A Szél is an interchange of emotional reflections and hurried familiar motifs, transporting before a disconcertingly deliberate failure to entwine brittle clarinet, pizzicato, a subversively distant and nostalgic cimbalom and general headiness. A brilliant manipulation of associations. Indeed, Limberger has talked about the “daring, courage and commitment” that the Roma have traditionally brought to their playing and the resulting “freedom” of interpretation.
Limberger’s obsession with Magyar Nota started as a teenager, beginning with a respectful mastering of the Hungarian language (no mean feat at the best of times, but made even more impressive through his learning in Braille). His vocals in Csókolom A Kis Kezedet (I Kiss Your Little Hand) are more resigned and honeyed than we are accustomed to, as bowed despair and convoluted band stretch across the full twelve minutes that they need, a melodramatic spine-tingle before triumphant clarinet sprints the whole to a shocking finish. Conceived in Bruges, imagined in Budapest, recorded in Abergavenny, this is an empathic evocation. The stylish sound of what was and what is not.’
|World Music Report USA
15.09.2015 – Fekete ejszaka borulj a világra
‘Despite the praise he receives from critics for his unbridled genius, it will probably be years before the world really catches up to Tcha Limberger. Just when you thought you came to terms with his wizardry on the guitar and his expressive Manouche music, he reveals his genius for czardas. Now you discover he is the master of czardas, but soon you find he has excelled at music of Kalotaszeg. You experience the thrill at this discovery but it isn’t long before he also has mastered the Magyar Nota style of Budapest with celebrated primas Horvat Bela. And now Mr. Limberger and his Hungarian Gypsy Orchestra. He has moved his reputation as the king of Gypsy music with the brilliantly produced Fekete éjszaka borulj a világra (Black night please fall over the world) his best record yet.
Tcha-Limberger-Budapest-Gypsy-Orchestra-New-CD-JDGSo Tcha Limberger’s stock has increased beyond all expectation after performance of the achingly beautiful Fekete éjszaka borulj a világra (Black night please fall over the world). Not many thirty- (okay) perhaps forty-something musicians can lay claim to capturing the heart of audiences in Britain and Europe the way celebrated Gypsy musicians of the past have done so. Certainly no one since even Birélli Lagrène ought to conquer America with such pomp and circumstance as Tcha Limberger. If this does not happen tomorrow it surely must in the months to come. A genius such as his will not be denied. And yet it will be years before we catch up to it this side of the pond.
But here, the true test of Mr. Limberger’s creative prowess is to be judged against his ability to sustain such lyrical and transcendent serenity over the course of an entire recording. That impression only intensifies as the colours grow richer with the progress of the album. This programme recalls both the nature of a tradition that swept Brahms and Bartok off their feet and I would even go as far as to say that in emotion and mood it is made of the same rich tonal colours of the great Lieder of the 18th and 19th centuries. Most remarkable of all Mr. Limberger’s vivid performances will drive many a musicologist to examine the traditional texts in order to appreciate the violinist’s sudden bursts of vocal colour. Moreover, throughout the programme Mr. Limberger gives the characters in the songs a near-physical presence.
The music here is luminous and in many respects the actual title song Fekete éjszaka borulj a világra (Black night please fall over the world) typifies this character. But this is also true of the rest of the music, which despite its impossible-to-pronounce Hungarian titles, still stirs the soul. It is Tcha Limberger who imbues the melodic lines of each of the songs with a wonderfully sustained quality. But it is also true of the quartet that the violinist fronts here who pull out all the stops at the right moments. As a group – and ultimately we must consider them so – the Budapest Gypsy Quartet (in solo and ensemble passages) creates plenty of drama and dynamic control in the songs that seem to bring a way of life considered almost dead, alive again.
Track List: Rácz Bela emlékére (In memory of Rácz Béla); Szomorúan zúg-búg a szél (The sad sound of the world); Fekete éjszaka borulj a világra (Black night please fall over the world); Klarinét szóló (Clarinet solo); Csókolom a kis kezedet (I kiss your little hand); Cimbalom szóló (Cimbalom solo); He lem lenne nepfény a virág sem nyilna (If there were no sunlight, flowers would not blossom); De szeretnék, de szeretnék (Oh how I would like, Oh how I would like); Cello szóló (Cello solo); Szakadozó, rongy vonódat mit sajnálod! (Don’t pity your old bow); Kiballagok a vasúthoz (I saunter out to the railway station).
Personnel: Limberger Tcha: violin; Ruszo István: violin; Olah Norbet: brácsa; Csikos Vilmos: bass; Fehér István: cimbalom; Lukács Csaba: clarinet; Szegfü Károly: cello.’
RAUL DA GAMA
|London Evening Standard UK
12.06.2015 – Fekete éjszaka, borulj a világra
‘Tcha Limberger is a magnificent violinist. Born in Belgium into the Django Reinhardt style of Gypsy swing, he’s become one of the most admired players of what the Hungarians call Magyar Nota – the urban style that used to be popular in Budapest restaurants.
The music has rather declined in popularity in recent years, but Limberger makes a brilliant case for it here. He’s assembled a fine band, including rippling cimbalom, played by Istvan Feher, and the brilliant Csaba Lukacs on clarinet. They both get solo moments. Yes the tone is romantic with swooning glissandos and quivering vibratos, but Limberger plays it with confidence and no trace of kitsch. The opening track is a homage to Bela Racz, one of the great Gypsy violin masters. The chamber-like Sad Sound of the Wind really highlights the integrity of Limberger’s style.
Sometimes it takes an outsider to see beyond the stereotypes and Limberger pays fine homage to Budapest’s rich Gypsy heritage..’
|Moors Magazine - HOLLAND
07.06.2015 – Fekete éjszaka, borulj a világra
‘Tcha Limberger is een Belgische zigeunerviolist die op allerlei fronten actief is, tot in de avantgarde toe, maar zijn grote liefde lijkt toch te zitten bij het traditionele, ouderwetse zigeunerorkest, want als je naar de muziek luistert die hij maakt met zijn Budapest Gypsy Orchestra kun je alleen maar constateren dat hier met enorm veel passie en liefde muziek gemaakt wordt in een oude traditie.
Ik betrapte me er bij het tweede nummer al op dat ik naar de muziek zat te luisteren zoals de man op de cartoon van William Steig (die bij Steig overigens van operazangeressen hield) – het is namelijk muziek om ouderwets bij te zwelgen – zo heerlijk melancholiek, lyrisch en gedragen, dat je bijna vanzelf meegaat en “aaaah!” roept. Limberger is niet alleen een virtuoze violist, hij zingt ook goed, en hij weet de passie en de melancholie van de csardas, laments en andere Hongaarse zigeunerstukken mooi te pakken.
Daarnaast heeft hij een stel Hongaarse muzikanten om zich heen staan die op cello, cimbalon, bas, klarinet, brácsa en viool met perfect diezelfde passie spelen. Dit kon wel eens de wedergeboorte betekenen van het ouderwetse zigeunerorkest, want deze muziek is in de handen van dit orkest volstrekt tijdloos en zonder meer subliem te noemen. Muziek om heerlijk bij te zwelgen.’
‘Tcha Limberger is a Belgian gypsy violinist active on all fronts, even in the avant-garde, but his great love seems to be the traditional old-fashioned Gypsy orchestra, because if you listen to the music he makes with his Budapest Gypsy Orchestra you realise that here are musicians who play with enormous passion and love for the old tradition.
Already, whilst listening to the second track, I caught myself listening like the man on the cartoon by William Steig (who incidentally loved female opera singers) – it is in fact music to revel in – old-fashioned, so deliciously melancholy, lyrical and lofty, you almost automatically go “Aaaah!” . Limberger is not only a virtuoso violinist, he sings well, and he knows the passion and melancholy of the czardas, addressing beautifully the laments and other Hungarian Gypsy pieces.
Besides that, he is surrounded by Hungarian musicians on cello, cimbalom, bass, clarinet, violin and brácsa who share the same passion. This could well mean the rebirth of the old Gypsy orchestra, because in the hands of this band, this music is simply timeless and sublime. Music to indulge in, absolutely delicious.’