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‘Makedonissimo’, meaning ‘very Macedonian’, sees pianist Simon Trpčeski take a detour from Beethoven and Brahms to celebrate the music of his homeland. Trpčeski takes listeners on a joyous tour through the incredible rhythms and haunting melodies of the Macedonian folk music tradition in which highly intricate, jazz-influenced riffs and harmonies are seamlessly interwoven. Inspired by Trpčeski’s passion for the folk traditions of his homeland Macedonian composer Pande Shahov (b. 1973) created a six movement cycle he called Pletenki (Plaits). In these new arrangements Shahov merges his own sound world – one which is influenced by impressionist attitudes to resonance and jazz harmony – with Macedonia’s traditional music. This project had its world premiere in May 2017 at the Ludwigsburg Festival, Germany and went on to wow audiences in the UK (London, Liverpool, Birmingham), Slovenia (Ljubljana), France (Lille), Poland (Warsaw, Szczecin, Gdansk, Katowice), the Netherlands (Amsterdam), Serbia (Belgrade) and South Korea (Jeongseon, Wonju, Chuncheon). Led by Trpčeski on piano the quintet of virtuosi musicians comprises Aleksandar Krapovski violin, Alexander Somov cello, Hidan Mamudov clarinet, saxophone, kaval and Vlatko Nushev percussion.

"Contrasting between energetic dance and tender ballad, the music here is at the same time great fun and movingly expressive."
MusicWeb International
"Editor's Choice: Listening to this joyous, madcap album from the Macedonian pianist and friends feels like eavesdropping on an uproarious late-night jam-session, but in fact almost everything here is composed by Trpčeski's compatriot Pande Shahov, and it's life-affirming stuff. "
Presto Classical
"4* The compositions are most powerful when working against the grain of the song, as in a remarkable version of 'Maleševka' ..."
"Performance 5* / Recording 5* ... an immensely enjoyable, foot-tapping listen ... imaginative, intricate and wonderfully warm-spirited this is a joy of a disc."
BBC Music Magazine
"... it's the rhythms – and their harmonic by-products – that get you ... It is frequently as delicate as Mozart chamber music. Listen carefully and you hear the light-fingered brilliance of Trpčeski's playing"
"They manage to combine the looseness of improvisation and folk music with classical precision and delicacy. Attractive music and an intriguing project."
International Piano
"The folk music of his native Macedonia is brimming with rhythmic vitality and modal beauty.(…)Makedonissimo strikes a balance between tradition and originality. Whether given a haunting and poignant melody, a nostalgic, lyrical ballad, or a whirlwind of vigorous, celebratory dancing, the musicians bring strong feeling and unfettered joy to the music. I highly recommend this album to any music lover. "
American Record Guide
"The music here is an enticing mix of jazzy high energy and plaintive lyricism. (…) Don't miss this. It will brighten your world at a time that urgently needs such a salve."