Le Mystere Des Voix Bulgares Vol. 3

Thanks to testimonials by everyone from Paul Simon to Robert Plant (or maybe in spite of them), Bulgarian women’s choral music became the hippest thing since chocolate chip cookies a couple of years ago. Remember Le Mystère de Voix Bulgares (”The Mystery of Bulgarian Voices”) and its Grammy Award-winning follow-up, Mystère Vol. II, both recorded by Swiss fan-turned-producer Marcel Cellier and released on Elektra/Nonesuch? Now comes Mystère 3 on PolyGram (Nonesuch declined it), proof that you can have too much of a good thing. Where the first two volumes mainly featured the country’s best group, the Bulgarian Radio and Television Female Vocal Choir (RTVB), this one spotlights the Choir Trakia, whose younger-sounding voices provide a more Munchkinly take on the unique Bulgarian vocal tradition, which might be described as artfully sustained yelling in close, often dissonant, harmony. The problem here is the music: More recently written, many of these songs are at once more arty and less appealing than the older, more folksy-sounding ones. Hardcore Bulgarophiles will want the album regardless, but if you’ve never heard this music at all, try either of the earlier Mystère albums to see why these women knock everybody out. B

Le Mystere Des Voix Bulgares Vol. 3
  • Music