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Karl Swoboda - Pop Goes the Zither
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Philips Records PHS 600-183

Fly Me to the Moon (In Other Words)
The Girl From Ipanema
Hello Dolly
Exodus
Tennessee Waltz
A Hard Day's Night

Alley Cat
Take Five
If I Had a Hammer
Java
Moon River
Days of Wine and Roses


This album introduces us to a young man that has mastered the art of relating the
known with the unknown, the old and the new and in doing so, generating the
pleasure and excitement that only comes from such a clever marriage. With an
ancient instrument, the Zither - that's right, a Zither - and a fresh new approach
Karl Swoboda has spanned time itself to capture the music of the moderns in pop
music from Mancini to the Beatles.

A solo instrument in the hands of a talented musician has exciting possibilities. Add
to this some good pop tunes and a big band sound and you have the ingredients
for a totally unbelievable musical experience. If a performer can be said to have
wide dimensions, and Karl Swoboda you'll soon agree certainly has, then, when
placed in this now setting of caressing rhythms and the moving color tones of a big
band, those wide dimensions become - dimensionless. The music of the Zither
usually evokes a mood much like that of a Spanish Guitar and generally has no
single melodic line. In this album you'll hear for the first time not only a melodic tone
but an exciting modern one. This big band full of lusty reeds, hardy trumpets, and
rich warm strings offers a perfect springboard for Karl's wonderfully fresh new
sound. This album will prove to be truly a milestone in musical accomplishment and
listening pleasure.

Born in Vienna in January of 1937, Karl picked up the Zither at the age of nine,
about twenty years ago, the virtuosity of his style and the broad spectrum of his
repertoire indicate his time has been well spent. His studies brought him to the
Conservatory of Vienna from 1953 to 1956.  After entering and winning an amateur
contest which had an appearance on American TV (The Ted Mack Hour), as first
prize, Karl Swoboda came to America.  Returning home after the stateside trip, Karl
became a regular performer on Austrian TV. His unigue and modern approach to
the Zither has landed him appearances on British, Belgium and Luxembourg Radio
and TV. This album already is a hit in Continental Europe and is destined to equal if
not greater success here in America, for like his music Karl Swoboda's talent has
international appeal.

It's true that music is an international language, but it is also an art form which
means it lends itself to individual interpretation. When a musician can interpret the
way he does various types of music with tasteful sensitivity, he becomes an artist.
Just listening to Karl capture with thoughtful precision the wonderful Bossa Nova
beat of The Girl From Ipanema is a clear indication of what the remaining tracks
will confirm. He is a talented artist. For a young Viennese to understand modern
American music is expecting much, but when you hear that razz-ma-tazz feeling he
gives Hello Dolly, you'll know you can expect much more. The only way for you to
fully realize how and why Karl has practically the whole of Europe standing on its
ear, is to lend him yours. Just when you feel you've heard the "absolute end,"
musically the next tune begins.

Karl's interpretation of the Tennessee Waltz shows the understanding a Viennese
musician has about waltzes. But the American folk flavor he develops in the music
shows the understanding only Karl Swoboda has about music, an understanding he
repeats over and again throughout this album. From the gingerly constructed melodic
line of Alley Cat thru the polyrythmic Paul Desmond's Take Five and that wonderful
sing-a-long favorite If I Had a Hammer, he sets an amazing musical pace and feeling
that will live with you long after the sounds have died in your speakers.

In this tremendous recording the music of some of the top pop composers is given
new life from an ancient instrument and a young creative artist. This album
conceptually is a first with its new approach to the Zither and its exciting approach to
the music, but ideally, it can't be the last. The final comment you'll make after hearing
the last track is more! - more! - more!












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