Let us start with the not unreasonable question, “What is a tambura?” Well, I think I know, but let me Google that for you.
“The is a stringed instrument that is played as
a folk instrument in and .
It has doubled steel strings and is played with a plectrum, in the same manner
as a .”
young musicians from Slovenia and is among the top tambura orchestras in Europe. They
are a professional orchestra formed in 1997 and have 600 + performances in the
bag and many awards to boast of – as they should boast – they are excellent. Tonight their programme extends from Bizet and Rossini through to Morris Albert (yes, “Feelings”) and David Lee Roth’s amalgamation of “Just a Gigolo/I Ain’t Got Nobody”.
let the music play.As they take the stage you can see that the tamboura comes is several sizes and shapes, from the mandolin-like smaller instruments, but with longer necks and six strings, to the small and large guitar-like instruments played à la mandoline rather than guitar. The combination of sounds is immediately arresting. Yes, the sound is like mandolins but with a fragility and a softness.
consisted of many “I don’t know what it’s called, but I can di-di-li the next four bars” tunes. Tchaikovsky’s
(or Čajkovski’s – a much more sensible spelling) Romanca, Bizet’s Carmen and even Khachaturian’s Sabre Dance, which is just a perfect piece for these instruments. At a guess I would say the music that inspired Adam Khachaturian was played on instruments like these,
Ottoman Empire via the Steppes and Cafe de Paris and somewhere on a Mediterranean island where there is a third man … probably called Zorba. This is a European music – as European as anything from Vienna, Salzburg, London or Paris.
This was a very enjoyable concert by highly accomplished musicians playing beautifully together.It was a rewarding way to spend a Saturday night. And when the orchestra are in full swing, this is Festival.