Zurgó was formed in 1993, in Budapest, in Hungary.
The members' aim is to collect the music of the "csángó" - a Hungarian minority living in Romania - to present it in concerts and thus preserve it for the coming generations.
In 2004 the Zurgó became the first Hungarian folk group to be given the Bezeredj Award of Ministry of Cultural Heritage, and in 2007 the Zurgó was awarded the title Béla Bartók Prize by the Advisory Board of Hungarian Arts Award.
"On the present album we invoke Gregorian melodies, ballads, laments and love songs, dance melodies of medieval, renaissance and modern origin, recalling the festivities, joy and sorrow of generations that have passed. All this is music of the Hungarian speaking minority in Moldva (Moldavia), Romania, the Csángó people, that we have been collecting from their elders and their grandsons and granddaughters. The past has a message for the present in all these wonderful melodies, the heart of time is beating in them."
The Zurgo Ensemble on this CD release present the music and traditions of the ‘Csango’ Hungarians living in Moldavia. Since 1992 they have collected dance music and songs from the Moldavian Csangos and play them on traditional instruments such as the violin, kaval, kobza, whistle and drum etc. In their native Hungary they are regular performers of their art and have appeared on many radio and television programmes.
Moldavia is the territory, beyond the East Carpathian mountains, belonging to Romania today, where there were Hungarians arrived in several waves. From the 13th to the 18th centuries there were several migrations of Hungarian settlers to Moldavia. Their descendants are the people we call 'Csango' today.
They established their own settlements in Moldavia and have preserved their independence from the Orthodox Moldavian Romanians. Thus their culture has medieval European and Asian elements as well as Romanian, Balkanian, Slav and Turkish ones due to living close to those peoples. This is true for the music, as well as the dances, that are diverse even in their forms: beside round and pair dances, the so - called chain or line dances are also characteristic. Gregorian melodies, laments, ballads and new-style folk songs can be found in their culture as well as chain and line dances of ancient origin, the renaissance 'kettős'- a walking and fast couple dance-and the 19th-century Hungarian csardas.
On 23rd May 2001, the Permanent Committee of the General Assembly of the European Council accepted the Finnish Tytti Isohookana Asunmaa's report which stated that the Csangos of Moldavia speak a former version of Hungarian and have archaic traditions, colourful folk art and culture which are of special importance for Europe.
01. Magyaros - Old Hungarian dances
02. Antaloké - Two Antals' melodies
03. Györgyi Ilonával - At the end of the garden...
04. Nunta - Wedding (5'48")
05. Vőlegénysirató - Mourning song
06. "Fenn a csillag, fenn az ég..." - Stars and the sky above
07. "Szeretőm e táncba..." - My lover in the dance...
08. Márton víg Gergele - Gergely's song
09. Juhajgatás - Shepherd's song
10. "Ha folyóvíz volnék..." - If I were a river...
11. Kyrie eleison
12. Havajgatás - Consolation
13. Szép asszonyok éneke - Song of the witches
Lídia Draskóczy - fiddle
Andrea Navratil - voice
Félix Benke Ágoston - drum, jew's harp, leaf whistle
László Demeter - koboz (lute)
Bercel Nagy - wooden whistles, tale-teller
Csaba Sófalvi Kiss - wooden whistles, kaval
Mária Petrás - voice
Géza Fábri - koboz, voice
The band was formed in 1987 in the most underdeveloped - and culturally most authentic region of Hungary - in Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg county. Their name, PARNO GRASZT means WHITE HORSE: “White” as the symbol of purity, “Horse” as the symbol of freedom.
The core of the band consists of nine musicians, the expanded number is eighteen - including ten dancers of three generations – with ages from 10 to 72.
If a guest visits their small village in time of wedding, christening, funeral, ball or any other kind of ceremony, he will experience that the whole population takes part in the band - the instruments go from hand to hand and everybody is a dance master. Maybe this spirit of living tradition makes their concerts such a frenetic celebration.
The band adapted almost every Gypsy folk song from different parts of Hungary and also from the neighbouring countries. They play different communities' authentic music with the aim to save the traditions, the musical and dancing culture of the Gypsy society and to share them with the audience.
The band represents a special dialect of Gypsy music. Besides the typical tunes they take over Hungarian melodies into their songs. They have not only performed but also created folklore during the recording of their albums. They use traditional instruments like guitar, double bass, tamboura and also unique ones like spoons, water can, 'oral bass' and the taragot. These instruments are only known in original Gypsy folk music. The songs reflect a wide range of emotions of Gypsies.
Their first album was released in May 2002 by the renowned Hungarian folk label, FONÓ RECORDS. Not long after the official release the album hit Nr. 7 on the WORLD MUSIC CHARTS EUROPE which was at least surprising since never before any Hungarian bands got into the Top Ten. Since then the songs of Parno Graszt are being played continouosly by numerous European world music radio stations.
01.Rávágok a zongorára
02.Tu zsanesz - Te tudod
03.Zsotar - Elmegyek
04.Majdik aba szokero - Majd megnézem, mit csinálok
05.Kodi phenel mange - Azt mondja nekem
06.Odi phenel cino savo - Azt mondja a kisfiam
08.Te na mero - Ne haljak meg
09.Khade sukar - Igy szép
10.Dikho aba le cserhaja - Nézem a csillagos eget
11.Khele le cinisej - Tancol a ciganylay
12.Ratyake phiro - Este járok
13.Sukar szi muri romnyi - Szép a feleségem
14.Retyija pijo - Pálinkat iszok
15.Vojake save - Jókedvű fiúk
16.Cirde muri giji - Húzd el a notámat
17.Ande gava - Jarom a falut
18.Dhukal muro jilo - Fáj a szivem
19.Parno graszt - Fehér ló
21.Szaszman Devla Piranyi/Volt szeretőm
József OLÁH (tamboura, guitar, vocals)
Géza BALOGH (guitar, vocals)
János JAKOCSKA (guitar, vocals)
János OLÁH (double-bass, vocals)
István NÉMETH (water cans, oral bass)
Sándor HORVÁTH (vocals, spoons)
Krisztián OLÁH (accordion)
Mária BALOGH (vocals)
Mária VÁRADI (vocals)
László FEHÉR - taragot
Kálmán BAKOS - viola