Fel Es Egesz: Half & Whole
"Fél es Ègesz" means: "half and whole". A musical term. But in this case taking on more meanings. Half Folk, half Rock'n'Roll, half traditionally inclined, half in the musical here & now, half reflective and thoughtful; all that the Transsylvanians have long stood for. But lately their unmistakable sound has developed further and out of that has come two halves that make a whole: a double album. Two years of work have gone into this, their sixth album, of which the two halves are differentiated by their pulse frequencies. CD1 is for stagedivers. CD2 is for slowfolkers. Alongside their original compositions and the typical Transsylvanians interpretations of the traditional kind, there are arrangements of classical music (Bartók, Rimski-Korsakow), an excerpt from a Hungarian rock-opera, the Jimi Hendrix rock-classic 'Fire' and the infamously legendary film-song 'Gloomy Sunday'. Also the two greatest Hungarian poets of the 19th century, Arany János und Petöfi Sándor (Only the Good Die Young!), are invited to the party. Their poetry speaks directly to the Transsylvanians' collective soul of the fundamental things of life: love, freedom, death, nature and God. This you can hear in the angelic voice of Isabel Nagy as well as the infectious melodies and rhythms and the impassioned solos. The Transsylvanians' trademark of traditional elements rediscovered and revitalised with the power of rock and the freedom of punk is once again to be found on Fél es Ègesz. An album with a wonderful lightness but not a lightweight. Who or what are the Transsylvanians? The question is easier to ask than to answer. A band, of course, but a many faceted one. It all started in 1996, on the street. Since then the Transsylvanians have stayed true to their inimitable style. The devilish violinist Andras Tiborcz, responsible for arranging and composing, whom the public love to carry on their hands, comes from Hungary and Hungarian is the language of the band's songs. How fortunate that singer and double bass player Isabel Nagy is half Hungarian and speaks and sings the language perfectly. But whoever is now thinking of folklore and jolly violin solos is not getting the full picture, because the Transsylvanians rock as if they invented Rock'n'Roll themselves. Although they know and love to perform all the clichés of the genre - the stage-diving of the soloing violinist is just one example - they come across in their concerts as always authentic and so sympathetic that you feel as if they've been personal friends of yours for years. In more than 1000 concerts throughout Europe they have excited audiences of all kinds including housewifes, punks, senior citizens, children, hardcore bikers and executive businessmen, whose only apparent common denominator is the music of the Transsylvanians. Rousing and powerful, within a few seconds the ice between the stage and the audience is broken and it seldom lasts more than half a song before the whole room is dancing. The dedicated team of guitarist Hendrik Maaß, keyboardist Andreas Hirche and drummer Thomas Leisner bring the whole thing together. A five-piece party band with depth; a band between ska and Bela Bartok; a band who give new life to the old traditions, turning then to now. That's the Transsylvanians.