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Monday, December 15, 2008


Last night we went to hear Mariza, the most famous living fado singer and probably the best, too, in the National Palace of Arts here in Budapest.

We were sitting in the very front row, in complete awe of her voice and stage presence. She looks striking, with her cropped bleached hair and tall, skinny figure, dressed in black. She made such a great atmosphere--by the end she had us all on our feet, clapping and dancing.

I am still amazed that such a fragile-looking person can pull out such a mighty voice. I mean, she practically doesn't need a microphone; in fact, one of the 'bis' songs she sang unplugged (accompanied by an acoustic and a Portuguese guitar) and it was very powerful.

The concert hall was packed, to my surprise, since I never expected that many people to be into fado (not your standard contemporary music fare). I myself discovered her music by chance, browsing through the world music section of a Borders bookstore in Oxford, some years ago. I had a vague memory of hearing her name mentioned here and there in connection with the BBC Radio 3 Music Awards, but I had not heard her before.

I got the disc as a gift for Ruslan and we've both been hooked every since. So to have a chance to hear her sing live makes for a very fitting--and very special--birthday present. The wait was more than worth it.

1 comment:

Elisa said...

Svet was amazed by her in London too...