Oskorri - The Pub Ibilitaria 8
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The Pub Ibilitaria 8
Elkar (www.oskorri.com)

cd cover This is the eighth in a series of public participation concerts by the legendary Basque folk group Oskorri. The Pub 8 was recorded St. Thomas Day (December 20, 2003) at the Pio Baroja Plaza in Bilbao, with the help of an audience of thousands of Basque folk music enthusiasts.

Like the previous seven Pub Ibilitaria CDs, this is a collection of folksongs sung in Euskara. Oskorri singer Natxo de Felipe leads the audience (really a massed choir) with the help of the band, with the musicians usually low in the mix, except for the punctuation of the dultzainas.

The songs, and their origins, are both well-known and unknown. The recent Hispanicization of much of the Basque region (especially from 1937-75) threatened to push much of this material into near-obscurity. The idea behind this series is to develop a body of Basque folksong that everyone can learn to sing and carry on to the next generation and beyond.

These are simple, wonderful tunes. Of particular note is "Hondarribia Herri Txikia" with its catchy, complicated little melody. "Loreak Udan," a song of unrequited love from 19th century Basque bard Bilintx, is here too (Kepa Junkera fans may know his nice duet on this song with Benito Lertxundi: this version is very different).

As well as the love songs, there is also history and war. There is a Carlist song from the 19th century ("Ai, ai, ai mutilak") and a silly/ironic Spanish Civil War song from the 20th ("Gerrako gure Ibilerak") dealing with the retreat from the fascists in 1937. Basque patriots will love "Gauden gu Euskaldun" with its call for the seven Basque provinces to unite and live as Basques forever.

The package (as usual) includes a playback disc (with the music track only), sheet music, lyrics and song translations into Spanish and French. - David Cox

Available from cdRoots

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