Ian Maksin: Zaria

Renowned cellist Ian Maksin releases his latest album, Zaria—aptly named after the ancient Slavic goddess of the sunrise or, coincidentally, the “Golden Woman” of Persian mythology—in dedication to his growing legion of international fans and the many cultures they represent. Audiences around the world have responded with overwhelming approval of his ability to revive beloved traditional, folk and popular music with soulful appreciation and classical virtuosity. Zaria, then, is his grateful acknowledgment for their support, and his contribution to the musical cultures of the world. American blues, tango and Eurasian folk are performed with due respect toward each.

The pieces he has chosen eloquently and lovingly narrate an anthem to world culture and human diversity, unified by his superb mastery of the cello, and further enhanced by Maksin’s expressive vocals, sung in a remarkable array of six languages. Minimal seasoning is added in the form of percussion, acoustic bass and the Middle Eastern oud.

Listeners are taken on an ecumenical tour of ballads, chants and universal classics that span from East to West—from folk music of Persia, through Russia and the Caucasus then on through the Balkans and into Europe and the Americas. Throughout this exquisite mix of Eurasian folk dance, Sephardic traditional singing, flamenco, tango and blues, the virtuoso cello serves as the unique and unifying centerpiece.

Rating: A

In A Word: Worldly