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In Memory of Folk Singer Stefka Sabotinova

Photo: BTA
On April 2 2010 Radio Bulgaria celebrated in its program the 80th anniversary from the birth of the Thracian singer Stefka Sabotinova. She became world-famous with her participation in the CD of Marcel Cellier entitled “The Mystery of Bulgarian Voices” and also in the soundtracks of many film productions. Four months after her 80th anniversary, on July 30th Stefka Sabotinova passed away.

The renowned singer dedicated her entire life to folk music and her repertoire with Aegean Thrace songs was a most valuable contribution to Bulgarian folklore inheritance. Listen now to an old record with the voice of the singer, telling the story of her life with folk music.

“I was born in the village of Rozov kladenec next to the town of Stara Zagora. I have lived in Sofia since 1951 and I have sung in the “Filip Kutev” folklore ensemble since 1954. After spending 14 years there I became a soloist at the “Folklore Music” section of the Bulgarian National Radio and later – a vocal of the Folk Songs Ensemble at the radio.

My repertoire consists of folk songs from Aegean Thrace. I learned them when I was a child. I used to live with my grandma and she taught me those songs.”

A key moment in the folk singer’s career came when French producer Marcel Cellier became interested in her song “Prituri se planinata”. The lyrics are dedicated to the power of mother’s love. The beautiful melody was arranged decades ago by composer Filip Kutev and later sounded in some world-famous film productions. Stefka Sabotinova told us more about it:

“At first the song “Prituri se planinata” was noticed and awarded at the folk music radio contest in Bratislava. Marcel Cellier was there, he enjoyed the song and that made him come to Sofia. He asked the BNR to let him record Bulgarian folk music and to listen to other songs of mine. Thus my solo performances “Prituri se planinata” and “Mar Stanke le” were included in the first CD from the “Mystery of Bulgarian Voices” series. Later Mr. Cellier sold the “Prituri se planinata” song to film productions. The Canadian movie “Jesus from Montreal” was among them.”

Let’s listen now to the original version of the song from the Rozov kladenetz village that became world famous.

English version: Zhivko Stanchev

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