WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Song To My Love / Maria Jeleztcheva Wildhaber, Tania Tachkova


Release Date: 08/10/2010 
Label:  Msr   Catalog #: 1363   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Parashkev HadzhievPancho VladigerovTraditionalMarin Goleminov,   ... 
Performer:  Tania TachkovaMaria Jeleztcheva Wildhaber
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 47 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  
On sale! $18.98
CD:  $11.99
In Stock



Notes and Editorial Reviews



SONG TO MY LOVE: Bulgarian Songs and Dances for Solo Bassoon and Piano Maria Jeleztcheva Wildhaber (bn); Tania Tachkova (pn) MSR 1363 (47:26)


HADZHIEV Hey, Stoyane. VLADIGEROV Early Morning. Song to My Love. GOLEMINOV Wept My Sweetheart. PETKOV Yana. TRADITIONAL Read more Gankino Horo. Are You a Tulip, Hyancinth, or Rose? Wedding Ratchenizza. Gagaushko Horo. Zlato Girl. Gornodikansko Horo. Kopanizza. Grape-picking Horo


Two of the headnote entries— Early Morning and Song to My Love, from which the album takes its title—immediately caught my eye for being by a composer, Pancho Vladigerov, I’d encountered for the first time reviewing a cello recital by Diliana Momtchilova in Fanfare 33:5. I remarked at the time that there was something about the name that conjured images of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza adventuring in the Balkans, but come to find out Vladigerov (1899–1978) was “arguably the most influential Bulgarian composer of all time, and one of the first to successfully combine idioms of Bulgarian folk music and the West European art music tradition.” Here, not nine months later, Vladigerov, who for my entire life up until less than a year ago I’d never heard of, suddenly turns up again. Funny how that happens.


All of the pieces on the disc have been arranged for bassoon and piano by Maria Jeleztcheva Wildhaber, but her booklet note, which helpfully describes the narrative of each number, does not specify the original medium from which the arrangement was made. Eight of the 13 items are drawn from traditional Bulgarian folk song or dance sources; and four of those eight are identified as horos , of which, as a bit of cursory research quickly made clear, there was to be no short and simple definition. Yes, the horo is a dance, and yes, the “o” ending is likely the Slavic equivalent of the “a” ending commonly encountered in the Jewish hora , but the Bulgarian version of this folkdance does not seem to be restricted to a specific formularized pattern.


According to a Wikipedia article on the subject, “There are more than five types of horo that are usually danced at every wedding. They differ by the rhythm of the music and the steps taken. There are no two horo dances with similar steps. There are probably over 100 types of horo dances in the Bulgarian folklore.” In yet another article, I learned that the most distinctive feature of Balkan folk music in general is the use of alternating meters and asymmetrical beat patterns that “do not follow any exact rational proportions,” and that are often resistant to the simple proportional notation of our Western metric system. A good example is the very beautiful title number, Song to My Love , which in its metric fluctuations between twos, threes, sixes, and something in between, sounds almost ametrical.


Harmonically, however, there is no ambiguity. Whether slow and contemplative or fast and celebratory, there is a strong tonal underpinning to the music, and the overall language is romantic with an accent that, to my ear, sounds alternately Greek and Turkish, not surprising, I suppose, given Bulgaria’s proximate geographical location to those countries. Listen, for example, to Zlato Girl, which, for some reason, conjured in my mind Turkey’s minarets and the muezzin’s call to evening prayers. According to Wildhaber, the piece is actually a song about a beautiful young girl being courted by her suitor. But that’s the beauty of music without words; our imaginations are free to take flight.


Besides the pieces identified as “traditional” and the two by Vladigerov, there are three others attributed to Bulgarian composers not likely to be familiar—Parashkev Hadzhiev (alternately spelled Hadjiev), Marin Petrov Goleminov, and Dimitar Petkov. Hadzhiev (1912–92) studied under Josef Suk before entering the State Musical Academy in Sofia as a pupil of Vladigerov. On Vladigerov’s recommendation, Hadzhiev traveled to Vienna for lessons with Joseph Marx, completing his studies at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik. On his return to Bulgaria, he became one of the country’s leading opera composers. His opera Lud gidiya (The Madcap) is generally regarded as the best example of Bulgarian comic opera. That comic element can be heard in Hey, Stoyane , the piece by which Hadzhiev is represented on this disc. The music portrays the rather oafish attempt of a young vegetable cart driver clumsily trying to woo the attentions of a young girl.


Goleminov (1908–2000) was a composer, conductor, violinist, and pedagogue, the son of an attorney who studied law before turning to music. He taught composition, orchestration, and conducting at the State Academy of Music in Sofia, and served for two years as rector of the Sofia Opera. An oboe concerto, a cello sonata, a couple of string quartets, and handful of other works by Goleminov have been recorded and are listed at ArkivMusic. Wept My Sweethheart on this disc tells the age-old story of the young maiden pining for her lover, except that in this touching version of it, she ties a garland of primrose and lilac around the neck of a nightingale and bids it fly away to him. The bird finds its target, and the young man places the garland next to his heart.


Petkov (1919–97) has perhaps the most impressive pedigree of the three. After graduating from the State Academy of Music in 1952, he enrolled at the Moscow Conservatory, where he studied under Khachaturian. He did two stints as director of the Sofia Opera, was appointed first secretary of the Bulgarian Embassy in Prague, vice-president of the Art and Culture Committee (present-day Ministry of Culture), and from 1972 to 1980 he chaired the Union of Bulgarian Composers. His compositional output is quite substantial; it includes stage works; oratorios, cantatas, numerous orchestral and chamber works, more than 1,000 choral and children’s songs, and a considerable volume of music for film. Hardly any of it, however, as far as I can tell, has been recorded. Perkov is represented on the current CD by Yana , described by Wilhaber as the prettiest girl in town and hardest worker in the fields, who entrances the men with her singing and dancing. One wonders what miracle beauty products she uses to maintain her good looks; toiling in the soil under the punishing sun isn’t usually prescribed for soft skin and unblemished complexion.


This is Wildhaber’s CD debut, and though I’m a bit suspicious of Yana’s natural beauty, there’s no question as to the beauty of Wildhaber’s playing. The bassoon may seem an unlikely candidate to express the more amorous and intimate sentiments of some of these numbers, but Wildhaber proves again and again her ability to transform this goose of the orchestra into the most graceful of swans. Not a single piece on the disc is without interest, and Wildhaber and Tania Tachkova bring out the characterful flavors, both poignant and pungent, in each of them.


Not to slight Wildhaber’s partner on this recording, pianist Tachkova, also of Bulgarian birth, likewise came to the U.S. to do her graduate work, receiving her D.M.A. at New York’s State University at Stony Brook. She too has appeared as soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician throughout the U.S. and in Europe. A staunch advocate of contemporary music and recipient of many awards, grants, and scholarships, Tachkova currently serves on the faculty at the Bloomingdale School of Music. This is a fantastic release, one I can only urge upon you with the strongest recommendation.


FANFARE: Jerry Dubins
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Hey Stoyane, for bassoon & piano by Parashkev Hadzhiev
Performer:  Tania Tachkova (Piano), Maria Jeleztcheva Wildhaber (Bassoon)
Period: Modern 
Date of Recording: 2008-09 
Venue:  Firehouse 12 Studio / Studioteo / Woolse 
Length: 2 Minutes 7 Secs. 
2.
Early Morning, for bassoon & piano by Pancho Vladigerov
Performer:  Tania Tachkova (Piano), Maria Jeleztcheva Wildhaber (Bassoon)
Period: Modern 
Date of Recording: 2008-09 
Venue:  Firehouse 12 Studio / Studioteo / Woolse 
Length: 3 Minutes 16 Secs. 
3.
Gankino Horo, for bassoon & piano by Traditional
Performer:  Maria Jeleztcheva Wildhaber (Bassoon), Tania Tachkova (Piano)
Date of Recording: 2008-09 
Venue:  Firehouse 12 Studio / Studioteo / Woolse 
Length: 2 Minutes 11 Secs. 
4.
Are you a Tulip, Hyacinth, or Rose?, for bassoon & piano by Traditional
Performer:  Maria Jeleztcheva Wildhaber (Bassoon), Tania Tachkova (Piano)
Date of Recording: 2008-09 
Venue:  Firehouse 12 Studio / Studioteo / Woolse 
Length: 7 Minutes 32 Secs. 
5.
Wedding Ratchenizza, for bassoon & piano by Traditional
Performer:  Tania Tachkova (Piano), Maria Jeleztcheva Wildhaber (Bassoon)
Date of Recording: 2008-09 
Venue:  Firehouse 12 Studio / Studioteo / Woolse 
Length: 3 Minutes 7 Secs. 
6.
Song To My Love, for bassoon & piano by Pancho Vladigerov
Performer:  Maria Jeleztcheva Wildhaber (Bassoon), Tania Tachkova (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Date of Recording: 2008-09 
Venue:  Firehouse 12 Studio / Studioteo / Woolse 
Length: 2 Minutes 44 Secs. 
7.
Gagaushko Horo, for bassoon & piano by Traditional
Performer:  Maria Jeleztcheva Wildhaber (Bassoon), Tania Tachkova (Piano)
Date of Recording: 2008-09 
Venue:  Firehouse 12 Studio / Studioteo / Woolse 
Length: 4 Minutes 34 Secs. 
8.
Zlato Girl, for bassoon & piano by Traditional
Performer:  Tania Tachkova (Piano), Maria Jeleztcheva Wildhaber (Bassoon)
Date of Recording: 2008-09 
Venue:  Firehouse 12 Studio / Studioteo / Woolse 
Length: 4 Minutes 30 Secs. 
9.
Gornodikansko Horo, for bassoon & piano by Traditional
Performer:  Tania Tachkova (Piano), Maria Jeleztcheva Wildhaber (Bassoon)
Date of Recording: 2008-09 
Venue:  Firehouse 12 Studio / Studioteo / Woolse 
Length: 3 Minutes 56 Secs. 
10.
Wept My Sweetheart, for bassoon & piano by Marin Goleminov
Performer:  Maria Jeleztcheva Wildhaber (Bassoon), Tania Tachkova (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Date of Recording: 2008-09 
Venue:  Firehouse 12 Studio / Studioteo / Woolse 
Length: 3 Minutes 31 Secs. 
11.
Kopanizza, for bassoon & piano by Traditional
Performer:  Maria Jeleztcheva Wildhaber (Bassoon), Tania Tachkova (Piano)
Date of Recording: 2008-09 
Venue:  Firehouse 12 Studio / Studioteo / Woolse 
Length: 3 Minutes 6 Secs. 
12.
Yana, for bassoon & piano by Dimitar Petkov
Performer:  Maria Jeleztcheva Wildhaber (Bassoon), Tania Tachkova (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Date of Recording: 2008-09 
Venue:  Firehouse 12 Studio / Studioteo / Woolse 
Length: 4 Minutes 4 Secs. 
13.
Grape-picking Horo, for bassoon & piano by Traditional
Performer:  Tania Tachkova (Piano), Maria Jeleztcheva Wildhaber (Bassoon)
Date of Recording: 2008-09 
Venue:  Firehouse 12 Studio / Studioteo / Woolse 
Length: 2 Minutes 40 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title