Goran Bregovic and Bulgarian singers balkanized Australia

See the article in the Sydney Morning Herald:

Fiery Balkan hotpot has flavours to suit most palates
by John Shand, reviewer
October 16, 2008

AFTER 2? hours one was grateful Goran Bregovic had brought on only a tumbler of what looked like scotch rather than a bottle. Otherwise he may have played his marvellous music all night. As it was, the concert contained as great a breadth as any I can recall: symphonic music, choral music, Balkan folk, pop, tango, a close relation of punk rock and a distant one of jazz. It all pointed to Bregovic’s larger-than-life skills as a composer and the fact that many pieces were written for films.

Four months after Emir Kusturica’s No Smoking Orchestra played at the Concert Hall, here was the man who composed the scores for such Kusturica films as Underground in a performance called Tales And Songs For Weddings And Funerals. The Bosnian was one of 37 people on stage, including a string section, a male choir, a Balkan brass band, two female singers and the remarkable Alen Ademovic, who not only deployed a vast, resonant and emotive voice, but also played accordion and, more often, created furious and irresistible drumming.

The energy set this concert apart as much as its scope. It exploded off the stage and engulfed the room, astutely tempered by Bregovic’s sophisticated and nuanced writing for strings and choir. The latter made the hairs on the back of the neck tremble with every entry, the mighty chords underpinned by one bass voice that must have sent ripples clean across the harbour to Kirribilli.

Bregovic sat throughout, idly playing electric guitar, casually conducting those behind him with an outstretched right hand and always smiling. Often providing backing vocals, he took the lead for the gentle pop of In The Death Car, sung with unwavering charm. The brilliant soloists included Bokan Stankovic on bagpipes, braying trumpet and sprightly wooden flute, and Stojan Dimov creating almost miraculous inventions on clarinet and alto saxophone.

This wonderful night was opened by the Martenitsa Choir, local champions of Bulgarian women’s singing for 18 years. Tonight’s final show should not be missed.

For me, the pleasure of forwarding this article to the attention of my readers. Yet, another master performance, with serious influence by the Bulgarian singers, who I already wrote about several times.

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5 Responses to Goran Bregovic and Bulgarian singers balkanized Australia

  1. Xavier says:

    That same ensemble performed in Monterrey Mexico on September 2007. It’s a great pleasure to remember that beautiful experience, thanks to your post.

  2. They will perform again there next year! Hope to see you around!

  3. Xavier says:

    Wow, by “there” you mean Monterrey Mexico, or Sydney Australia?

  4. Xavier says:

    Glad to know. I certainly be there. 🙂

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