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Artes Records ARCD4060

Duo is well-named, as it contains two artists, two traditions and two CDs. While Walther and Treyz are founding members of Cara, who perform Scottish and Irish music, they have also recorded German dance music and songs. This release brings the two interests together, with an adept mixture of German and Celtic/American music on fiddle, guitar, accordion and vocals. The project is the result of two weeks in a three-century-old mountain hut in the Alps, where they arranged and recorded all the material. The intensity of their time together comes through in the tight arrangements, and the immense beauty of the upland meadow is reflected in the grand palette of the diverse material.

The first CD (German material) includes several poems set to new music, and tunes mostly from the late 1700s (from the Dahlhoff Collection, which was only recently made available). They include soaring major key tunes about dancing with abandon, and more sedate minor key laments about the Grim Reaper. They also include a wonderful, jaunty piece written for Gudrun’s goddaughter (Carlotta’s Jig).

The second CD (Celtic/American material) includes two songs important in the Newfoundland tradition (Maid On The Shore and She’s Like The Swallow), Bill Staines’ classic, Roseville Fair, and some wonderful sets of tunes. They have great lead lines on the fiddle and the guitar provides a dancing bass foundation and lots of space in the open tunings.

This is grand music indeed, mature and seasoned. With its solid playing, artful arrangements, and fine dynamics, it is a glorious set of CDs.

Ivan Emke

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This album was reviewed in Issue 122 of The Living Tradition magazine.