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Samples & Downloads
The Way of the Birds (I for soprano, flute and violin
(1991) [10:28]; II for soprano and chamber ensemble (1996) [10:04];
III for soprano, clarinet, violin, cello and percussion (1998) [6:43])
Footnote (...und Isolde/ns Winkfall Lassen...) - an
imaginary interlude to the second act of Tristan und Isolde
based on the poem A Prayer by James Joyce from Pomes Penyeach
(1924) for sprechstimme and chamber ensemble (1991) [15:08]
Tanya Kazandjieva-Chauche (soprano), Christo Pavlov (flute), Ludmil
Nentchev (violin), Mila Pavlova (flute), Kostadin Yotsov (oboe),
Rossen Idealov (clarinet), Stoyan Pavlov, Maria Palieva (percussion),
Roumen Kroumov (piano), Yossif Radionov (violin), Angel Stankov
(violin), Alexandra Docheva (violin), Gheorghi Stoyanov (viola),
Kalina Krusteva (cello), Nadja Dimitrov (piano)
rec. March 1991, August 1995, August 1996
LABOR RECORDS LAB 7068 [57:31]
The Labor label – rather like their ‘cousin’ Innova - can be
relied on to take the way less frequented. Arnaoudov’s melody-based
uncluttered and aerated music fits this bill to a tee.
The Bulgarian Gheorghi Arnaoudov has written works for orchestra,
chamber group and solo instruments and voice. He has had a special
interest in distant history with settings of old Bulgarian texts
from the early Middle Ages “as well as Orphic texts and rituals, studies of sound and fiction based on Gothic and
Renaissance music”. Add to this musical theatre works, incidental
music for plays and film music.
All four sound-poems presented here are the outcome of the composer’s
collaboration with the Bulgarian choreographer Mila Iskrenova
in various dance events with the Arabesque Dance Company, theatre
actors, and students from the New Bulgarian University.
A graduate of the Bulgarian Academy of Music "Pancho Vladigerov",
Arnaoudov tends towards meditative music conveying a sense of
stasis and contemplation.
Stillness and medieval-tinged mystery pervade The Way of
the Birds I. The lightly applied soprano voice of Tanya
Kazandjieva-Chauche is intimately painted in amid the slowly
intoned bird-song susurration of the two instruments. Mysticism
is intensified in The Way of the Birds II. The soprano
sings and whispers amid the confluence of pattering percussion
and delight-dancing violin figures; the latter sounding like
a marriage between Bartók and Hovhaness. The voice line in The
Way of the Birds III speaks of some elysian highland scene.
One sometimes catches a slow breath of Appalachian mists and
forests counterpointed by tabla-like percussion and something
close to the sound of the cimbalom. All three works are based
on medieval Bulgarian love texts from the time of the Bulgarian
National Revival - around the 17th and 18th centuries.
FOOTNOTE (...und Isolde/ns Winkfall lassen...) is for voice
(Sprechstimme), cello, and chamber orchestra. The words are
breathily and seductively intoned rather than sung by Kazandjieva-Chauche
who is central to all four works. As with the other works here
the music is more tonal than atonal. It draws no rigid lines
in its pursuit of a sort of prayerful yet sensually unhurried
intensity. The textures established by the bigger chamber ensemble
have a degree more complexity but the results are still pellucid
Arnaoudov’s pursuit of materials from ancient folk sources has
certainly not produced desiccated academic results. That’s for