Nougat is a musical duo based in Melbourne, Australia.
Ruth Roshan (mandolin, vocals) and Tania Ravbar
Costantino (guitar, vocals) play exquisite original pieces and fresh
arrangements of music from around the world, particularly from Spanish
and South American traditions. Tania Ravbar Costantino
is a guitarist and composer of exceptional ability. She has post
graduate credentials from the Victorian College of the Arts and won
first prize in the Australian Guitar Competition (1990). Tania has a
deep appreciation for, and understanding of world music (especially
Spanish and South American styles). She uniquely combines her
classical and technical discipline with her love of world music for a
beautiful and evocative result. Ruth Roshan is a
master mandolinist and has played mandolin professionally since a
teenager. Whatever the style or tempo, Ruth will play with a great
deal of musicality and with unique style, showing the (often
underrated) instrument’s potential. Ruth is also a capable singer,
with a gentle, sweet voice.
Nougat - Illusions
by Chris Spencer
Nougat comprises mandolin player Ruth Roshan and guitarist Tania Ravbar Contantino.
They have released a double album, dividing their work into two – interpretations or covers of classic works, and a cd of originals.
I’m so ignorant of classical music and acoustic works that I failed to recognise any of the tunes Nougat have recorded.
Perhaps dear reader you are not: some of the traditional tunes include “Misiriou”, “The Trees They Do Grow High”, “Port ui Mhuirgheasa” and “Tarantella”.
Songs I should know include “Godfather theme” and “One Note Samba”.
Other interpretations include songs written by Stanley Myers, Paco Pena, Joaquin Rodrigo and Violetta Parra.
On 3 of the 11 songs Ruth and Tania alternate singing and Livia Judge assists on flute on 2 others.
I found the 2nd cd of originals much more engaging, probably because the duo enlisted the assistance of more guests and they are prepared to be more adventurous in their selection and execution of songs.
“Recuerdos de la Penas” is an upbeat tune with a Sth American feel that Tania relates in the liner notes is “based on an extended Andean carneval rhythm.”
“Quiet Whispers” is almost a lullaby while “Last Drive in Marseilles” is probably my choice as the best song on the album, with its gypsy/Russian arrangement and featuring the musicians from Klezmeritis adding violin, accordion and double bass.
“Illusions” includes a recitation of a poem read by Alex Pinder; Pinder also recites a Michael Leunig prayer on the closing “Death of an Infant”; “Classical Fantasy” features an excerpt from The Flower Duet and vocals of Louisa Hunter-Bradley.
“Bezan” is inspired by a Persian dance melody, while “Chimes Lament” is played on “domestic wind chimes”; “Code 9: Police in Trouble” is an ambitious portrayal of a brawl which escalates after police are called.
While not my first inclination to put in the cd tray, there’s enough challenges, particularly on the originals cd to sustain interest.
If you appreciate acoustic guitar and mandolin, consider giving purchase a serious thought.
This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 26 November, 2008.