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Wild folk

Gilles Apap's new Bach and Mozart CD, reviewed by KEITH BRAMICH

Apapaziz    GKJ00103

Gilles Apap and the Sinfonia Varsovia - Mozart - Bach - Kreisler. © 2003 Apapaziz productions

Back in 2001, Basil Ramsey reviewed young French violinist Gilles Apap's No piano on that one for M&V [listen], and then last year we read Jennifer Paull's detailed appreciation of Vivaldi's Four Seasons (Gilles Apap and the Colours of Invention) [listen]. I was lucky enough to hear and enjoy both these Apap CDs. This latest disc is somewhat different, in that the Apap hallmarks, including whistling, folk music from around the world (India, Ireland, Romania and more), and a certain freedom with classical music ('Hey, Where's Mozart?', Apap remembers one man screaming, and 'Send the clown outside' shouted another, during a concert in Nice) -- appear only at the end of this disc, in Apap's folk cadenza to the final Rondeau of Mozart's Concerto in G K216, and on five bonus tracks, featuring many extra folk musicians, which elaborate on the Mozart cadenza idea. These pieces, hidden from the CD's track list, are mostly rather fun.

Before all this, though, we get to hear Apap as a 'serious' violinist, playing straight Bach, Kreisler and Mozart with Warsaw's Sinfonia Varsovia, and making a cracking good job of it [listen -- track 4, 4:40-5:36]. The recording was to begin a film project to record unique interpretations of great violin works by young violinists. Yehudi Menuhin, music director of the orchestra from 1985-99, was to conduct, but passed away three days before filming was to start, and so here, Apap leads from the violin.

The folk cadenza, a free, eight-minute romp through a surprising variety of musical styles and periods [listen -- track 7, 9:41-11:01], is the decisive point on this CD. Mozart, with his dancy finale, gives Apap the excuse (as if he needed one), and this is the launch pad for the wild folk evening which continues from the last advertised track (Varsovia Breakdown by someone writing under the pseudonym of Sheila Pop -- try pronouncing the name with a French accent!). My only criticism of all this is that the music occasionally gets sacrificed for the sake of the jokes and gags (in the Indian variation, especially, to my ear) but Apap certainly makes his point that the boundaries around what he calls 'this strange classical world' should loosen up a touch.

Copyright © 19 July 2003 Keith Bramich, Croatia


Gilles Apap & the Sinfonia Varsovia - Mozart - Bach - Kreisler

GKJ00103 DDD Stereo NEW RELEASE 70'46" 2003 Apapaziz productions

Gilles Apap, violin, viola and coughs; Sinfonia Varsovia; Saravanapriyan Sriraman, violin; Muruhan Rathinam, mridangam; Chris Judge, guitar and coughs; Tom Lee, bass and coughs; Mike Mullins, mandolin; Jim Wimmer, mandolin; Tom Wolverton, banjo and coughs; Eddie Rockett, bones & bodhran; Evin Wolverton, coughs; Lana Wolverton, coughs

J S Bach: Concerto in E BWV1042; Kreisler: Praeludium and Allegro; Mozart: Concerto in G K21 (last movement folk cadenza by Gilles Apap); Sheila Pop: Varsovia Breakdown; five extra folk tracks



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Record Box is Music & Vision's regular Saturday series of shorter CD reviews