Folk World Svjata Vatra “Svjata Vatra” CD review by Eelco Schilder 2006

Svjata Vatra “Svjata Vatra”
The first thing that I notice about this cd is the beautiful cardboard packing it has. Nice print and really taken care of. If the music is as nice as the sleeve… Svjata Vatra is founded by the Ukrainian musician Ruslan Trochynskyi, who was a member of the Haydamaky group, a once legendary band. He started to play with students of the Viljandi culture academy in Estonia. The result is this group Svjata Vatra in which Trochynski, together with three other musicians, bring both the Estonian and Ukrainian tradition alive. The basics are the Ukraine oral tradition and the Estonian runo songs and bagpipe tradition. They mix these styles in a very effective and creative way. The cd starts with a beautiful song called Esimene mida ma. A sad accordion, a mystical flute and intense vocals make this a very melancholic song. Followed by the dance tune Tantsulugu which has a nice brass sound with some Celtic touches. Great is also the Estonian Ma olin enne nuori miesi, which is so typical for the Estonian area that it will not easy be mixed up with any other style. This song contains some nice, very earthy male harmony vocals and has a strong drive. On the Ukrainian traditional piece, Kelle hobune seal seisab, you can hear the same typical Ukrainian melancholic as in the opening tune. This song is very nice and brought right out of the heart. Voortants is a dance out of the Estonian bagpipe tradition with uplifting percussion. Almost at the end of the cd the group makes a short trip to Armenia with the Armenian traditional song Armeenialugu. A very nice tune with more oriental influences, clearly from another part of the world than Ukraine and Estonia, but a strong addition to the cd. So I can conclude that it’s not only the sleeve that is beautiful. Svjata Vatra recorded an intriguing cd of high quality. I think they found a perfect balance between Ukrainian sadness and Estonian down to earth mentality.
Eelco Schilder

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