A journey from East to West
Founded in 2013, the Aliada duo quickly attracted attention and performed in many countries, including famous concert halls such as Carnegie Hall, the Tonhalle in Zurich, the Wiener Musikverein and the Hermitage Theater in Saint Petersburg.
Eager to continue sharing their music with audiences around the world, Michal Knot and Bogdan Laketic set out in this new album to discover the musical landscapes of the Eastern European and American hemisphere.
The two musicians migrated from their Eastern European homes – Poland and Serbia – westward to Vienna, a city that has embodied the fusion of East-West for hundreds of years. Their Slavic passion and curiosity is mirrored in their musical repertoire, including new arrangements as well as new pieces written particularly for this program, meant to explore the frontiers that distinguish various musical genres.
"This CD is like a travel journal that begins in Eastern Europe and journeys westwards. It is also a very personal and emotional journey for us as we are going back to our childhoods and back to the music of our eastern European homelands." - Bogdan Laketic
An album rich in musical experiences
The album consists of virtuoso pieces such as Stravinsky's Danse Russe, Grieg's March of the Trolls, Gershwin's Allegro ben ritmato e deciso and Milhaud's Fascinating Rhythm or Scaramouche, admirably demonstrating the verve and technical mastery of the two musicians. The duo also shines in the interpretation of calmer and more atmospheric pieces such as the traditional Nordic song Drømte mig en drøm i nat (I had a dream last night), Gershwin's Andante con moto or Copland's Embittered. Other songs like Polska, based on a Scandinavian tradition, or the two traditional Balkan songs, bring even more colors to an album rich in musical experiences.
"We really wanted this album to tell a story. It's a story of change, of journey, of constant movement which connects each composer and every piece on this CD." - Michal Knot
The piece Coffin ship by Tomasz Skweres is the only original composition for saxophone and accordion. The title of the piece refers to the infamous transatlantic ship transporting people who were escaping the Great Irish Famine in mid 19th century. "When performing this piece it is always very hard to not let emotions overcome you" confie le duo. "Each time we play “Coffin Ship” we think of all the people who lost their lives searching for dignity - the fundamental right of every human being."