Concert review: Andrea Gerak & Barozda at Brugges Festival of World Music
Songs from Domahaza
"The Brugges Festival is a unique world music festival which remains faithful to its fixed principles, since years: discoveries and an ideal lustre climate create and present a beautiful mixture of well-known and unknown groups. The organizers are thus proud on the statement of the late Manos Hadjidakis: The Brugges festival are perhaps the smallest, but certainly the most beautiful festival of Europe. Which can be true also to the program of this year. The festival does not only offer double concerts on three evenings in a raw, but on Saturday and Sunday there are also more concerts to listen to. Definitely an eyecatcher amongst the concerts is the Hungarian Andrea Gerak who appears with the group Barozda one-off and for the first time in Flanders." - Folkroddels
After these expectations, this is how the audiance saw the performance of Andrea Gerak & Barozda:
"The whole concert was so beautiful that I had to cry even 4 times"
There were people coming from 400km distance, to listen to the Hungarian folk concert.
This review below appeared on the website of Hungarian community in Belgium
"Maybe it's not known to everyone of you that Brugges is my favorite city in Belgium. Although I've been there a thousand times, it always gives me something new, some surprise and I simply can't get bored of it. Now it wasn't any surprise, I played it safe. Last weekend Brugges became the capital of culture. Concerts, exhibitions everywhere.
I got the particular impulse to go to Brugges from Andrea Gerak. I met this lady through the internet and I knew that she was an expert interpreter of Hungarian folk songs from Transylvania, Moldava and Northern Hungary. When she wrote us that she would perform in Belgium, I planned a weekend trip to Brugges.
Based on the songs and photos on her website, I've written to you that Andrea is talented and nice. Well, I was a bit wrong here. I should have written that she is a God given talent and beautiful. She is always smiling and her voice fills the entire space. Such a true character as Sally Oldfield, Caren Carpenter, Enya or Márta Sebestyén.
The cultural centre called De Biekorf is just 2 minutes walk away from the main square of Brugges. At the beginning, the audience seemed indifferent, but right after the first song became attached to Andrea, and heartened her and the band - Hungarians from Transylvania - with enthusiastic applause. At the end of the concert, they hardly let them go.
Apropos: the band. The BAROZDA which is a band that was born exactly thirty years ago, by musicians in Transylvania who now live in Sweden, was worthy accompaniement for Andrea: József Simó (double-bass, founding member of Barozda) and his son, Csongor Simó (violin) are real professionals, as well as Lajos Toró (3-string viola, flute, jewish harp). They played excellent as accompaniement, just as well as by themselves. Great musicians gave a top notch concert. Away from home, it was nice to hear Hungarian folk songs live, and locals appreciating it very much made it even nicer.
You don't know what you missed..."
Thanks for all the applause, and the good job of leaders and volunteers of Brugges Festival!
We would be pleased to go back there next year.
In December, songs from the concert will be available on CD!
Text: Andy Pajala
Photos: Alex Toye