Thursday, July 14, 2016

Dances to Music Arranged by Boris Karlov

I knew nothing of the real life of a musician, but I seemed to see myself standing in front of great crowds of people, playing my accordion.
Lawrence Welk

My mother used to watch the Lawrence Welk Show on TV. The show never interested me because Welk was not into Bulgarian folk music. He was more into polkas, waltzes and ballroom dances. Back in those days I thought an accordion was an instrument of torture.

Today's post features music and dances connected with the great Bulgarian accordionist: Boris Karlov, 1924-1964.

His music will live forever as long as there are people who like to dance Bulgarian horo played on the accordion. If you go on YouTube, there are numerous videos of his compositions.

Video #1 features George Terzieff leading Dudino Horo and Kyustendilsko Horo (not be be confused with Kyustendilska Rachenitsa,a totally different dance that Karlov also arranged). Both are from the Shope region of Bulgaria, and very fast.

I couldn't find any dance videos with Kyustendilska Rachenitsa. This tune is very popular at our dances, so here it is, played by Karlov himself:

Video #3 is another Karlov piece. The Bulgarians call it Pazardishka Rachenitsa; we know this dance as Gjuesevska Rachenitsa.  This is a particularly fast and difficult dance from the Shope region.You can always tell, with the Dunav group anyway, how difficult a dance is going to be by the number of people dancing.  Here there are only two: Yehuda and Mika.

The Dunav website is an excellent source for dances from the Balkans and the Middle East.

In Video #4 the dancers use Karlov's version of Eleno Mome, also known as Elenino Horo.  There are many different tunes for this dance, some for accordion, some for brass band (look up Diko Iliev on YouTube) and even vocal versions (see Songbook for Nearsighted People).  Although it's only 2 1/2 minutes long, it's very fast and requires aerobic endurance.

Remember what I said about the number of dancers?  This time there are five, so this dance is relatively easy.  It is also very popular.

If you enjoyed this you may also like:

Dances Inspired by Elena

The Legacy of Boris Karlov, Bulgarian Folk Accordionist

Variations on the Bulgarian Folk Tune Gankino Horo

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