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Theodosii Spassov releases Belezi (Scars) album

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Leading Bulgarian shepherd’s flute player and composer Theodosii Spassov has released two albums with original music: Belezi (Scars) and O'Maino Horo (Enchanting Chain Dance).

What unites the two albums is the style – all pieces are based on folk music themes and are composed or quoted by the leading musician. At a cursory glance Theodosii Spassov revisits his creative beginning. He has done this with gratitude to the people who have inspired and loved him. This journey back though clearly outlines the major leap that has taken place overtime in the sphere of folklore and its recreation. With his very first appearances as a student, Theodosii Spassov was impressive with his innovative creativity.

For the album Belezi Theodosii Spassov teamed up with the Bulgarian National Radio Folk Music Orchestra. The program dedicated to the BNR 80th anniversary was presented in 2014 at Lumiere Hall in Sofia.

Снимка“This is a token of special attention to folk music and the way I imagine its sound today. This is my way to give attention to my ancestors and to the masterful makers of various instruments which I play in the album. The booklet to the CD features their CVs in Bulgarian and English. We often forget that we hold in our hands their children and they love to listen to their sound that carries the spirit, thought and heart of the instrumentalist. All the three instruments that I use have history. I play a slow tune using a unique kaval (shepherd’s flute) made by Ivan Neshev. It is made of boxwood with bracelets of antler, and that is rare today. There is another kaval – made by Slavi Ivanov – which you can hear in Beekeeper’s Ratchenitsa Dance. It is a present I received from the son of kaval player Stanil Payakov, one of the pioneers of adapting folklore music for the stage.”

“There are very good masters who make traditional instruments but I have a soft spot for the instruments made by Zhechko Marinov.  I feel very comfortable when I play them, they seem very close to me,” Theodosii Spassov says.  

Most of the pieces from Belezi the musician performs with the kaval of this craftsman. The instrument is made of ebony. “I received the material from the 90-year-old luthier who even refused to give his name. he had learned that I would give a concert in Varna, and sent an envoy with a bag that had an oboe billet in it. So, a wonderful instrument was made from this gift and it seems the spirit of the luthier still lives in it.”

The pieces in Belezi have been written for the Bulgarian National Radio Folk Music Orchestra with conductor Dimitar Hristov. “I have thought of each musician and soloist – how they would play this music, how they would feel. I know them in person and am haopy to see their development”, says Theodosii Spassov. The layouts of the two albums are by Ivo Hristov and the recordings were made at Studio 1 of the Bulgarian National Radio. Two years passed from the first night of the album Belezi in Sofia and its release. It was a time of difficult moments in the private life of Theodosii Spassov. “I lost my parents and realized that all I have composed, and my entire attitude to folklore had been connected with them. I realized that my music is dedicated to them, to my wife and son and to my friends. I remembered my grandparents and my first steps in folk music in the village of Belitsa. I recalled the excitement at the BNR studio in Plovdiv where I made recordings as a student. In fact my entire career is connected with the National Radio. So I concluded that these are the scars left on me and captured in my music.

English Daniela Konstantinova


Music: Theodosii Spassov presents the album Belezi

1.  Danube Blues, featuring special guest Peyo Peev, rebec

2.  Beekeeper’s Ratchenitsa Dance

3.  When it happened so

4.  Vara Varvara


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