Le Mystere Des Voix Bulgares

April 18, 2007

Here are three songs sung by the Bulgarian State Television Female Vocal Choir on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show. The first two songs are Philip Koutev arrangements and the third is a silly little arrangement of “Oh Susanna.” I need to hear this music from time to time, and this morning was one of those times.

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Michael Kaulkin: About the Composer » Blog Archive » Bulgarian Rhythms
April 19, 2007 at 10:38 pm

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mjleach April 18, 2007 at 8:37 am

I lived in Köln for a couple of years in a tower attached to a church, which had an art gallery in its balcony. One day when they were changing the artwork I heard the Bulgarian singers. I went to the balcony to congratulate the person for having such good taste. When I got there, I saw that it was the actual choir singing in full costume and not a recording. They were performing for an audience of about three, probably either for a writer or an agent. They performed three sets, complete with costume changes. Their manager was introducing each piece in French, which I fortunately understand a lot better than I did German at that time. One of the pieces he introduced as “singing about the rising sun,” and I swear, it really did sound like it! After they finished singing, I rushed downstairs to see if I could talk to them, but they had already left and were on a bus, and the church was empty as if they’d never been there. The whole experience was sublime and surreal.

Roger Bourland April 18, 2007 at 4:18 pm

mj: Wow what a privileged recital for you!

I remember having an earthquake during a performance of theirs in LA (at the Wiltern)and I swear, the whole wooden balcony moved like a wave before me (I was in the nosebleed seats). People were terrified and began running to the exits. Half of us waited it out as the gals didn’t stop, but looked perplexed as they were chortling out their intricate Bulgarian embellished counterpoint watching people in the balcony flee to the exits. The first floor hadn’t felt the earthquake as vividly as we did in the balcony, so none of them left. THAT was a bizarre memory!

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