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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars21
4.6 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CDChange
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on 29 November 1999
This disc and its sequel (Vol 2), provide a thrilling opportunity to hear the unique sound of Bulgarian women's choral music. The rhythms and harmonies in strong almost forced tones are mesmerising and at times spine-tingling in effect. This has been truly one of the 'discoveries' of my musical education, which has by no means been narrow! Thoroughly recommended to anyone searching for a new aural experience.
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on 15 February 2000
Traditional bulgarian choral music may sound like a minority interest but this is a cd which deserves an enormous audience. The sheer force of these relatively untutored voices, often singing acapella, is quite a hair-raising experience. The songs have touches of eastern european and arabic influences in a fascinating mix. This is mysterious and intriguing musica low-tec recording that still conveys powerful emotion
33 comments26 of 27 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 19 July 2011
After having heard my former piano teacher (who is Bulgarian) talk about the distinctiveness of Bulgarian female choirs, I thought I had to find out for myself what this is all about. Well let me tell you, from the opening track I was captivated by this unique sound. It's very hard to describe in words, but there is a direct and almost other-worldly quality about the singing which I found so beautiful.

The recording consists of a mixture of love songs, more austere (but harmonically fascinating) Thracian Chants, up-beat numbers with complex rhythms (often 5/7/11 in a bar) - one of my favourite being 'Svadba' (The Wedding). There is one curious track called 'The bleating sheep', which consists of a soloist imitating the sound of said sheep and some alien glissandi in the choir forming a curious background - weird at first but I found that I responded to it's uniqueness. It's certainly different!

I would recommend this wholeheartedly!
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on 11 August 2010
I have been a fan of Bulgarian choral music for a number of years, and this CD is very typical. To anyone who is not familiar with the very distinct sound, listen to some. You will be hooked!
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on 21 August 2012
Surely one of the most glorious expressions of the human soul is the harmony vocal: whether that's the Beach Boys, or Coope Boyes & Simpson, or the Watersons, or Crosby Stills & Nash, or umpteen bluegrass bands, or Jamaican rock steady vocal groups, or the descants on your favourite Christmas carols, or a couple of unbelievably young Swedish girls called First Aid Kit doing a wonderful and convincing take on Americana; but really, this is just better. Fabulous voices, whether soloists or as a choir, with harmonies so cuttingly close that they almost hurt; as several others have said, genuinely spine-tingling stuff. Not for everyone, not the easiest listening: but a little adventure in your musical purchases might well be richly rewarded...
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on 27 November 2010
While disc 1 is full of the spunky, folksy close-harmony I was hoping for (performed by Bilyana Vocal Group, Trio Bulgarka and the like), disc 2 is full of rather less energetic church music performed by Armsmusica Schoumen Chamber Music Collegium. It does not seem to belong under this Mystère title.

A lot of other discs are available with similar titles - Le Mystere Des Voix Bulgares Vol.1,Le Mystere Des Voix Bulgares Vol.2,Le Mystere Des Voix Bulgares 3. The tracks on disc 1 of this item appear to be different from the others. These titles include "Svatha", "Ah, Kolko Oidoh, Maro" and "Gel Vido, Gel Nedo".

If you like the sound of disc 1 (or even disc 2), then don't be afraid to buy this box set. But don't expect one disc to sound like the other.
33 comments8 of 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 29 January 2010
Superb music - haunting and enigmatic. First bought the album about 25 years ago when it first came out and have yet to find a better recording of Bulgarian music.
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on 6 November 2010
Half way through the third track, I spontaneously burst into tears and carried on sobbing like a baby for half an hour. Whatever it is, these haunting melodies somehow enable us to un-lock and feel raw emotion.... they seem to tap into something very deep about the human condition, that of love and loss. Also, the music is just beautiful, demonstrated in the singer's vocal range and complex harmonising. This cd is an absolute gem. I daren't listen to it in public in case I make a complete fool of myself, but it is quite unique and transcendental!
22 comments7 of 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 25 January 2010
I am writing this as I have been meeting my cousin who is a member of two or three choirs - so I was reminded of the time I saw this group at the Royal Festival Hall after listening to the CD. Fantastic CD, fantastic gig.
The music and voices are hauntingly beautiful. I cannot give enough praise for it.
If you have an interest in music generally and are looking for something a bit different, this will not fail you.
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on 2 April 2005
This is an album unlike any other. With no technical trickery involved, it is a haunting testament to the power and diversity of the human voice. If you've gotten as far as reading this review, just buy this now.
0Comment9 of 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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