Classica Cubana - Maiburg

Classica Cubana - Maiburg

MDG Scene  910 1536-6

Stereo/Multichannel Hybrid

Classical - Crossover

Joaquin Clerch (guitar)
Pancho Amat (tres)
Anette Maiburg (flute)
Alexander Raymat (percussion)
Omar Rodriguez Calvo (kontrabass)

This is a declaration of love for Cuba, a homage to the tres as the archetypal Cuban national instrument, and it is a memorial to Maria Eugenia, a beloved wife who died far too early: Pancho Amat, together with the Cuban guitarist Joaquín Clerch, presents the music of his Caribbean homeland. As "Cubana Classica" these two world-famous musicians have recorded an (SA)CD with friends, bringing the rhythms and feel of Cuba to Europe in a most impressive way.

The tres is like a small guitar, with three pairs of strings. Initially, the instrument was widely used on the sugar plantations, before becoming very popular in Cuba's villages and cities. Now it is an integral part of Cuban folk music. The "son Cubano", the traditional style of music, is central to the culture, though this recording also includes the Rumba, Chachacha and Mambo.

Pancho Amat is the world's leading tres player. He can conjure up an inimitably transparent sound from the instrument, while having a sensitive ear for degrees of dynamics. The tres, a childhood gift from his father, became his friend; through it, he got to know his homeland and his compatriots, it led him to the love of his life, and to his musical counterpart on guitar, Joaquín Clerch.

On some pieces, the ensemble is expanded to a quintet, with Anette Maiburg contributing a soft, sensitive and unbelievably supple flute timbre, the classical European antithesis to Omar Rodriguez Calvo (what double bass solos he produces!) and Alexander Raymat on percussion. An entertaining and refreshing programme in excellent recording quality and seasoned with a hint of "Havana".

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Reviews (1)

Review by John Broggio - January 22, 2009

For a relaxing break, well from almost anything serious (music or otherwise) this is a delight; it is the Cuban equivalent to Balalaika Favorites - Osipov State Russian Folk Orchestra.

Superb playing is in evidence throughout, with Anette Maiburg fitting in well with the Cuban musicians although she is a little stilted when one compares the almost infinite subtleties that the others bring to the music; numbers with less or no flute are very definitely more idiosyncratic. Very little of the music is upbeat, rather it is what one could imagine being performed by a group of friends on a lazy afternoon. There is a mixture of purely instrumental music and vocal music (tracks 1, 5, 8, 11, 13 and 14) which is sung by Clerch and Amat. One of the few quicker numbers is 4 "Capullito de alelí", which if you're not tapping your feet along ask someone to take your pulse! The singing is appropriately rough and ready - but never coarse to the point of being unpleasant.

The sound is beautifully clear (probably due to the size of forces being able to overcome the 2+2+2 configuration in a normal multi-channel set-up) and one feels that the performers could be passed a Mojito...

Recommended for reminders of a warm summers day...

Copyright © 2009 John Broggio and


Sonics (Multichannel):

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