It has been event after joyous event, at Festival of Voice. I’ve given many a spiel prior to each of my reviews, so here I’ll just begin.
As I journeyed back to the cathedral, I cursed traffic whilst on the bus and simply did not want to be late for the Grammy award-winning Le Mystere Des Voix Bulgares. I darted to Llandaff and, amazingly, found a spare seat in the front row. The women of the choir arrived in the most remarkably colourful dresses, native to Bulgaria.
For a brief while, life seems ok. These outstanding ladies bring their unbridled musicality, rich in their country’s orthodoxy and remarkable history. It’s not in a classical vain, nor totally folk. It is simply their own outstanding style that makes it instantly recognisable. The music is full of asymmetric meters and a feel for the east, such is the influence of the Ottoman Empire on eastern Europe.
The songs are steeped in story telling and are often very funny. A special moment is when the women briefly gossip between the songs, adding to the honesty of the music. In some brief moments, a lady would squeal or blurt out a line, leaving us rather amused. The venue is also perfect, as the acoustic of the cathedral is usually exceptional. The voices rose up and melted our hearts in their depiction of village life, farce like situations and declarations of faith.
The deep spirituality is evident in every note and a real sence for the love of music making is marked in the smile of every singer.
This festival has just been a marvel.
True musicianship & an evening to cherish.
Rating: 5 stars