Few people have as much right to claim they are world musicians as Ferenc Snétberger has. Hailing from a Sinti/Roma family in Hungary, Snétberger played Gypsy guitar at an early age, learned classical guitar as a teenager, studied jazz guitar later at the Ferenc Liszt Academy, Budapest and adapted Brazilian and Spanish techniques to his playing. Carrying in his bag the passion of tango, Indian music and the admiration for Egberto Gismonti, Jim Hall and Johann Sebastian Bach, Snétberger knew from the start that he would never want to play without improvising but keep his exquisite classical touch whatever he would do. "I am a jazz guitarist but also a classical guitarist", he says. "Folklore - that's my childhood and youth, my roots. The touch is more classical, the sound is jazz. I don't have a recipe for this mixture, I put it together unconsciously." Since living in Berlin, Snétberger has become one of the few truly distinctive voices on contemporary guitar, a border-crossing virtuoso of a rare kind. An obvious choice to step in for the late Charlie Byrd in the 'Great Guitars' band and a welcome celebrity at the Budapest Music Academy, he also frequently appears in ethnic-oriented musical contexts.
Presenting him as a mature composer in different settings, "For My People" is unlike any of Snétberger's earlier recordings. The solo pieces are elegant bows towards Spain and Latin America featuring Snétberger's improvisational fantasy combined within clear playing concepts for the classical guitar. The sensational duo suite with trumpet virtuoso Markus Stockhausen, a son of the famous composer, surprised the creators themselves upon listening back. After the first rehearsal, the two of them put aside the written parts and improvised like one man. However, the most significant and elaborate piece on the album is Snétberger's Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra in three movements. Dedicated to the memory of his people, the Roma and Sinti, the concert is inspired by the soulful melodies of Gypsy tradition. A vital statement against human suffering, "In Memory of my People" was written on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camps. Snétberger improvised his own part within the frameworks of the score and presents his instrument as a mighty concert voice.
3. Gond Nélkül
5. Hallgató (Adagio - Allegro)
6. Emlékek (Adagio)
7. Tánc (Allegro furioso)
9. Vals Criollo / Vals Gitano
Ferenc Snétberger - acoustic guitar
Markus Stockhausen - trumpet (# 2 & 4), flügelhorn (# 3)
The Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra
Liszt Ferenc Kamarazenekar, Budapest: (# 5-7)
Concert Master: János Rolla; Violins I: János Rolla, György Lovas, Zoltán Tfirst, Péter Hamar, Lili Áldor; Violins II: Kálmán Kostyál, Zsuzsa Weisz, Péter Gazda, György Kiss, Éva Isépy; Violas: Mihály Várnagy, Attila Lezsák, András Pista; Cellos: Mária Frank, Otto Kertész, Anna Sándor; Double Bass: Alajos H. Zováthi