Music of Bulgaria

Bulgarian music is part of the Balkan tradition, that stretches across the Southeastern Europe and feature its own distinctive sound. Bulgaria’s ancient style of singing, famed throughout the world for its haunting vocals and exquisite harmonies, surely follows in the tradition of Orpheus. It is also thought that Bulgaria’s unusual uneven rhythms may derive from Thracian music. Traditional Bulgarian music has had more international success, due to the breakout international success of Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares, a woman’s choir that has topped world music charts across Europe and even farther abroad.Bulgarian vocals are said to be “open-throated”, though this is somewhat of a misnomer. Singers actually focus their voices in a way that gives the sound a distinctive “edge”, and makes the voice carry over long distances.

THE MYSTERY OF BULGARIAN VOICES – LE MYSTERE DES VOIX BULGARES Female Vocal Choir used to be known all over the world as The Bulgarian State Television Female Vocal Choir is an ensemble of rare artistic gift and enormous popular appeal. The choir truly represents one of the most amazing success stories in music. Created in the early fifties the choir’s first mission was to record authentic and arranged music for multi-voice choral folk songs to be recorded and broadcast first on the radio and later on TV. The Mystery of Bulgarian Voices Ensemble under the direction of Prof, Dr. Dora Hristova for many years now performs in an exotic multi-voice style beautifully arranged songs, combining folk melodies with sophisticated harmonies and compelling rhythms. The repertoire of the choir is drawn from arrangements created by the Bulgarian most esteemed composers like Philip Koutev, Krassimir Kyurkchiyski, Nikolai Kaufman, Petar Lyondev, Ivan Spassov, Stefan Moutafchiev, Kiril Stefanov, etc. “These are the singers that won the Grammy Award and endorsement from such pop superstars as Paul Simon, Linda Ronstadt, George Harrison, Bobby Mcferrin, Midori and many others all over the world. They create a crossover sensation everywhere they perform as listeners of all music faiths gather in the presence of sounds more strangely wonderful than almost any they have heard before…Everyone could consider himself richer in spirit for having heard Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares” (Chicago Tribune). The singers of Le Mystere Des Voix Bulgares Choir transform sounds into strange vocal colors as if something other than human voice, perhaps some foreign instrument is playing. The singers “jubilate, shout, ornament, form fast and perfect glissando, let one crazy rhythm follow another and make their voices built the most darling cords” and “suddenly a listener believes he has heard an archaic world of sounds from times long ago”, another sees “the marriage of the avant-garde and the Middle ages”.

The Mystery of Bulgarian Voices Choir consists of 23 women vocalists, one (or two) male soloist(s) plus 5 men musicians (optional), conductor Prof. Dr. Dora Hristova and manager Mrs. Kalina Barova. The most famous songs of the Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares are DILMANO DILBERO (Wonderful Dilmana), DANYOVA MAMA (Danyo’s Mother), DUDA E BOLNA (Duda Lays Sick), BOGORODITSE (Virgin Mother), POLEGNALA TODORA (Todoora’s Dream)…

“Bulgarian music is stunningly beautiful, the voices are exceptional, the melodies are extraordinary and I think people are just stunned by it. The asymmetric meters are very compelling and the vocal style is just magic”, says Duran (The New York Times).