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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Oana Cătălina Chiţu

Divine: Romanian songs from the repertoire of Maria Tănase (1913-1963) (Asphalt Tango)

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The Romanian regime of Nicolae Ceausescu had its own ideas about music and apparently didn't care for the passionate Eastern (Gypsy?) sounds of torch singer Maria Tănase, a star before the Communist takeover. On Divine, Romanian expatriate Oana Cătălina Chiţu, singing now in Berlin as part of an emigre Balkan cabaret scene, works to revive Tănase's memory. Divine is a collection of songs from Tănase's repertoire, sung in the slow burning, minor key of desire to accompaniments that replicate the past or engage with it in contemporary terms.