Sunday, November 16, 2014

Variations on the Bulgarian Folk Tune: Dospatsko Horo

Today's music features different versions of the music for the Bulgarian folk dance Dospatsko Horo.  Like many Bulgarian dances, it's named after a town,  Dospat, in the Rhodope region of southern Bulgaria.  Dospatsko was originally a men's dance.

The video below is from the Chinese "Bonding Folk Dance Class" and uses the music familiar to recreational folk dancers.

Here is the entire piece; the artist listed is the orchestra of Anastas Naumov.  The dominant instrument here is the gadulka, a Bulgarian version of a fiddle, with the gaida and kaval in the background. You get to watch some beautiful scenery at the same time.  You can even dance to it if you want.

Version two is a modern and mellow Dospatsko, from a Bulgarian dance music album.  The dominant instrument here is the kaval.

I have heard many different renditions of Dospatsko on YouTube. Some are good and some are just awful, like version #3, which sounds like elevator music.  I know art is subjective, but this album cover is ugly!

It took some time for me to warm up to version # 4, which is the most unusual Dospatsko I've heard. It was recorded in a synogogue in Poland with excellent acoustics, and played on a cello, accordion, organ and a kaval. The music alternates between being slow and fast, solemn and dramatic. This version isn't meant for dancing but it's definitely worth a listen.

If you enjoyed this you may also like:

Bulgarian Folk Dances Named After Cities and Towns

Variations on the Bulgarian Folk Tune Gankino Horo

Modern Versions of Traditional Bulgarian Folk Songs Part One and Part Two

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