Bulgarian Women’s Chorus sings “O Susannah”

July 13, 2006

voix.jpgThis is one of my favorite vocal ensembles in the world. I’m not going to tell you that THIS song (“O Susanna”) is my favorite song they do by any means, but if you’ve never heard them, you’ll get a rough idea of what they sing. (This was all I cd find on YouTube.) You can buy their first two CDs which are both under the title “Le Mystére des Voix Bulgares.” There is also a CD of a 1993 performance in Norway that is available commercially. Here is athis website for a few more recordings. Here is a Bulgarian website where you can download a few mp3s.

One of the great songs by the late Philip Koutev, a brilliant composer and choral arranger, is called “Polegnala e Toudora.” David Crosby turned me on to this amazing song in the early 80s. This performance is not from the first album, this seems to be a later recording, but you will still hear an amazing song.

[audio:http://rogerbourland.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2006/07/toudora.mp3]
“Polegala e Toudora” by Filip Koutev, sung by the Bulgarian Women’s Chorus

I’ll never forget the last time I heard this group. It was at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles in the mid-1980s. We were up in the nose-bleed seats, row XXX. It was half way through the second half. An small ensemble of eight women came out and sang a long plaintive an highly ornate folk arrangement. Suddenly, there was an earthquake. I swear to you, being at the top, I saw a sine wave slowlly move across the balcony. People, especially in the balcony, were terrified and got up and ran. The poor octet on ground level seemed oblivious to the quake but looked baffled as to why there were so many people in the balcony were suddenly leaving. They looked at each other: “are we singing flat?” “is the microphone off?” They finished the number. We stayed and moved forward into better seats and came home satisfied with a great concert and an amusing LA story.

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