The prominent choir Bulgarian Voices – Angelite offers on its recording ”Heritage” the unique allure of traditional Bulgarian vocal music. The program comprises authored works created on the basis of traditional songs, originating from an abundantly rich folk tradition. This is a “home- coming” to the works of composers who have meanwhile been immortalized for having established a specific musical genre in the mid 20th. century – polyphonic songs for female folklore choir. When folksinging was transported from it’s village origins onto the stage, exquisitely arranged for womens’ voices, and with a deep sense of both Western European harmonization, while still preserving the characteristic modes, rhythms, and regional peculiarities of vocal style, a wholly new art form was born, at once both fresh and ancient.
Though the primal folk origins have been subjected to a dynamic musical transformation, the original energy and power is still vividly present in these new vocal works . The comparison between the chilling sound of diaphonic song patterns from the Shope region of Western Bulgaria, (Shopski pesni) and the richly chordal and chromatic textures of some of the authored works clearly manifests the dramatic differences of styles and approaches to the presentation of traditional folk melodies and rhythms.
The songs selected for ”Heritage” are among the most emblematic and frequently performed works of their authors – such as those by the genre’s founder – Philip Koutev ( Lale li si…) ; by Nikolai Kaufman – an eminent Bulgarian music researcher and composer (Bezrodna Nevesta, Dve Lazarski Pesni); and by the popular composer Petar Lyondev (Kafal Sviri, Ergen Deda). Particularly challenging the skills of both choir and conductor is the exceptional sound panorama of the song Mehmetio – composed by Ivan Spassov, which employs random and chance musical elements. This repertoire reveals the endless possibilities for arrangements and for various creative ideas, all evoked by the innate potential in Bulgarian traditional singing, as interpreted through the individual inventiveness of each composer.
It is not by chance that the program also includes two Orthodox Christian liturgical chants. Researchers of medieval music have discovered the influence on traditional singing of ancient clerical chants, which are also a precious heritage within the contemporary choir repertoire.
Through the singing mastery of The Bulgarian Voices – Angelite, each and every connoisseur of beautiful music will be able to unlock a palette of emotions and will feel the enchantment of a musical treasure emerging from the past and recreated in the present.
The universal fascination in the choir’s music goes back to its sensational first success in 1987. Since then the choir has given concerts worldwide, and has released 13 recordings. After their 30th anniversary in 2017 and a limited edition jubilee box (sold out), the choir presents with “Heritage” under the new conductor Katja Borulova a mixture of already-published as well as new pieces. The CD largely corresponds to the concert programme of the choir for 2019/20, which will lead the singers as far as Japan and China.
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