Cantaloupe, 1 CD
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Iva Bittová, the unparalleled Czech violinist/singer/composer, has teamed up with the dynamic Bang on a Can All-Stars for an unforgettable recording. Her first major US release since her eponymous debut on Nonesuch in 1998, Elida (the name is a brand of soap from the composer's childhood) finds Bittová using the All-Stars as her orchestra. Sweeping piano lines meet full string ensemble settings, while clarinet improvisations meet electric guitar noise. The music is sophisticated, direct, yet also edgy and nostalgic. Elida mixes Eastern European classical music and folk traditions with angular string writing and heart-breaking Czech vocal melodies.