MAGIC OF BULGARIAN VOICES

MAGIC OF BULGARIAN VOICES
Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Kolarac Hall at 8pm
BULGARIAN NATIONAL FOLKLORE ENSEMBLE FEMALE CHOIR
Conductors: Georgi Genov and Elena Kouteva

Teodora took a nap – Philip Koutev (1903-1982)
Soloists: Sorina Bogomilova, Katja Aleksieva, Milena Stavreva i
Tanya Prvanova

Two hymns from the Bulgarian Chant, arranged by Philip Koutev:
Cherubic Hymn and Do not hide your face from me

Two hymns from the Common Liturgy No. 2 – Dobri Hristov (1875-1941):                                  
We bow down before your cross and Yelici

We sing to Thee from the Liturgy of St John Chrysostom No. 1 – Dobri Hristov

Kunda the dog
Neli Andreeva, vocal; Ivan Peychev, kaval (folk clarinet)

Lord, have mercy – Dimitar Tpkov (1929-2011)
(after Russian manuscript of Bulgarian chant)

We sing to Thee - Iordan Goshev (1960)

Young girl is praying to God – Neli Andreeva and Georgi Genov
Soloist: Neli Andreeva

Intermission

Are you a tulip, a hyacinth or a rose – Philip Koutev

Dimyaninka – Philip Koutev
Nina Arnaudova, vocal; Ivan Peychev, kaval

Little chick is singing, talking – Krassimir Kyurkchiyski (1936 – 2011)

Denka – Krassimir Kyurkchiyski
Soloist: Desislava Petrova
Ivan Peychev, kaval

Kojilio – Georgi Genov
Soloist: Neli Andreeva

Young Malin fell ill – Georgi Genov

What do I hear – Georgi Genov
Soloist: Darina Dzhambazova

Uncle’s horses – Georgi Genov

Folk songs from the Shoppe Region
vocals: Sorina Bogomilova, Katya Aleksieva, Ralica Atanasova, Sofiya Ilieva, Monika Hristova

Mehmet, You sweetheart – Ivan Spasov (1934 – 1996)
Soloist: Neli Andreeva

Two Koleda songs, arranged by Elena Kouteva

From the sounds of the wondrous landscapes of the Pirin and Rhodope mountains to the world stages and international glory crowned with the Grammy Award.

There are very few music lovers today who have not been smitten by the interpretations of the Bulgarian national music, but it was actually Philip Koutev who, back in 1951, had the rare courage to try and fulfil his lifelong dream, to unite on stage the various segments of the rich Bulgarian tradition of the national music and traditional dances with the harmonies and arrangements that accentuate the wonderful shades and timbres of the sounds and irregular rhythms.
The members of the ensemble were originally recruited from the smallest villages throughout Bulgaria. The first performance of the “Philip Koutev” Folklore Ensemble was in Sofia in 1952. The specific colour and technique of the Bulgarian chant, brought to stage for the first time in the history of professional choirs, immediately imposed an impressive effect onto the audience.
The ensemble was an instant success and soon its formula became a model for other ensembles that were formed elsewhere in the country, becoming recognisable worldwide. An excellent example of the popularization of the Bulgarian music is the grand success of Marcel Cellier’s project “Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares” (The Mystery of Bulgarian Voices). Several songs that are performed by the “Philip Koutev” Ensemble are included in their first two CDs, one of which subsequently won a Grammy in 1989. The extent of the success of the project was also visible later on, through the use of these recordings in other media, such as the “Alone in the Dark” video game.
The closest and most devoted friend, assistant and follower of Philip Koutev throughout his life was his wife Maria Kouteva, while his daughter, Prof. Dr. Elena Kouteva, became the chief artistic director of the Ensemble in 1994.
Chronologically speaking, there have been three basic stages in the development of the “Philip Koutev” Folklore Ensemble: the “classical” stage which spans from the years of its foundation up to 1982, when Philip Koutev passed away, very closely connected to the name of the founder, his works and his personal devotion and involvement with the Ensemble’s establishment; the “post-classical” stage, marked by the work of the Chief artistic directors and composers Mikhail Boukureshtliev and Stefan Dragostinov, artistic manager Teodosi Spassov, Maria Kouteva (philologist and folklorist), conductors and composers Krassimir Kyurkchiyski and Mikhail Yordanov, many choreographers and artistic directors who enriched the repertoire of the ensemble with the authentic interpretations of the Bulgarian folk music and dances, as well as with the arrangements by Bulgaria's most esteemed composers. The third and newest phase is most prominently represented by the stylistic and genre crossovers of the late 20th and early 21st centuries that are based on the rich and soulful Bulgarian music traditions, reflecting old time village life and the intermingling of cultures on the Balkan Peninsula through the centuries, by developing its own polyphonic sound while encountering the Western harmonies.
The current repertoire of the ensemble has been developed throughout the years based on the three main performing groups – the Female Folk Choir, the Mixed Folk Dance Group and the Folk Instruments Orchestra. The masters in the orchestra, playing the traditional Bulgarian folk instruments gayde (bagpipe), kaval (wooden flute), gadulka (vertical fiddle), and tambura (long-necked lute), the brilliant dancers, and the singers with the amazing vocal techniques have formed and persisted in working wholeheartedly to perfect the “Philip Koutev” Folklore Ensemble, bringing it fame and acknowledgement worldwide. They have given over 7000 performances in over 50 countries.

Prof. Elena Kouteva, Ph.D has been the director of the Bulgarian National Folklore Ensemble “Filip Koutev” since 1994.
She graduated from the Moscow State Conservatory in 1969, specializing in music theorz. She defended her PhD thesis in music theory. In 1998 she became professor of the National Music Academy “P. Vladigerov” in Sofia, where she taught music analysis and history of music theory systems. In parallel to that she worked as the senior research fellow of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences – Institute for Art History (Department of Ethnomusicology) until 1994, where she researched theoretical aspects of old monadic musical cultures (Bulgarian, Gregorian and Byzantine monody), as well as contemporary music phenomena concerning the Western European and Bulgarian professional music from the second half of the 20th Century onwards.
In 2005 she obtained the Professional Diploma in Management and the Certificate in Management from the Open University – UK and from the School of Management of the New Bulgarian University in Sofia.
She is the author of scientific research papers, studies and monographs on music theory and on problems of terminology in the fields of contemporary Bulgarian and Western European music, old music cultures and Bulgarian folklore.

Georgi Genov began his professional career as a teacher and conductor of the Philip Koutev National School for Folk Arts (NSFA) choir in the town of Kotel, where he worked during the period 1974 to 1980. Later he was conductor of the Folk choir with the Committee for Television and Radio (until the end of 1989) and they gave concerts and made recordings for the Bulgarian National Radio (BNR).
Some of these recordings were included in an album of the series of three The Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices produced by Marcel Celier, which won the Grammy award.
In 1987 the Jaro company recorded a concert by the Folk choir in Germany and the LP released as Cathedral concert became very popular in Europe and the United States and was nominated for the Grammy award in 1989.
In 1995 Georgi Genov accepted the invitation to become conductor of the choir of the Philip Koutev National Folk Ensemble and within a very brief period of time he restored its brilliance and high professional level by both specific work with the choir and by enriching its repertoire with his own songs and arrangements.
Georgi Genov has been Senior editor of the Bulgarian Folk Music section of the Bulgarian National Radio.

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