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Fusions of Western classical music with the indigenous folk music of non-European countries are not unprecedented. Last year the Ethiopian pianist Girma Yifrashewe won praise for the compositions on his Love and Peace CD, where he adapted ideas derived from 19th-century Romantic repertoire to the pentatonic scales of Ethiopian folk music. Tanya Ekanayaka’s Reinventions is similar in principle, and even more steeped in Romanticism; however, she draws on the folk music of her native Sri Lanka and has devised a highly idiosyncratic method for blending it with her European sources. Ekanayaka composes around Western classical music motifs, incorporating a variety of traditional Sri Lankan tunes. Melodic fragments of great beauty float through this music, but are soon lost amid Ekanayaka’s rhapsodic flourishes, the rippling arpeggios and flowery filigree, of which she seems excessively fond.

GUY RICKARDS Read the full review on Agora Classica


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