Na Trapeza - Theodosii Spassov
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Theodosii Spassov & Nikola Iliev
Na Trapeza (Gega New, Bulgaria)

The Bulgarian kaval master and clarinetist come together in a series of amazing, sometimes difficult, duets. All compositions by Spassov and Iliev, with a lot of brilliant improvisation.

1. Kakvo mi chudo stanalo - 8'27''
2. Clarinet solo - 10'57''
3. Gano, Gano - 2'09'' (MP3 sample)
4. Kine le - 10'36''
5. Chorbajiyskata - 5'00'' (MP3 sample) 6. Kaval solo - 10'51''
7. Kakvo mi chudo stanalo - 15'04''

The record label says:
Theodosii SPASSOV, kaval & Nikola ILIEV, clarinet
A chance meeting thousands of kilometers away from Bulgaria provoked this abundance of sounds and ideas, this musical "conspiracy" between two musicians belonging to two different generations yet equally sharing their love for the traditional Bulgarian folk music. This meeting gave birth to the programme entitled NA TRAPEZA , recorded in the St. Cyril and St. Methodius Church in New York in January 1999.

Nikola Iliev (clarinet) belongs to that generation of musicians who grew up with the music of the wedding orchestras. Together with this, he received classical music education, at first at the Plovdiv School of Music and after that, at the State Academy of Music in Sofia as pupil of Prof. Petko Radev (a soloist of long standing in the Milan La Scala and the Sofia Philharmonic).

Theodosii Spassov (kaval), on the other hand, graduated from the school of folk singing in Kotel and from the Academy for Music and Dance Art in Plovdiv. The two performers are representatives of two different systems of education and schools of playing! And while Nikola Iliev introduces in traditional music the classical sound-production (the clarinetists from the older generation play with an open tone, reminiscent of the bagpipe and the zourna) and elements from the European form-building, Theodosii Spassov follows the same process, yet in the reverse direction - from the pure, unsophisticated folk music to jazz, pop music and even to classical musical forms.

NA TRAPEZA is a unique professional achievement because of the spontaneity of the idea and its practical realization, the incredible synchrony in the two performers' musical ideas and the brilliant improvisations. The uniqueness of the release lies in the fact that the musicians have never rehearsed or discussed the music they perform. The recorded melodies date as far back as their childhood although they have never played together. Moreover, the traditional accompanying band has also been excluded. The two players take turns in the performance of the leading melody and harmony

NA TRAPEZA is like a reunion between friends, who have not seen each other for a long time and have too many things to share!
"Theodosii Spassov Is unquestionably the greatest virtuoso of Bulgaria's shepherd flute, the kaval, and in his hands the simple tube of wood pierced by holes Is capable of an astonishing range of sounds, effects and endless subtleties of phrasing. On the first of these CDs he is joined by clarinetist Nikola Iliev to produce a demonstration of what can be done with Bulgaria's na trapeza ('music for listening') tradition, using the most restricted of means.

Each player gets a chance to explore the capabilities of their instrument in sustained solos, and they combine in duets where extraordinary extemporised meditations on song-tunes give way to intricate, high-speed dance melodies played in Immaculate unison or precisely realised harmony. The echoing spaces of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church in New York where the disc was recorded complement the sound and feeling of the two musicians beautifully. It's a splendid, restful and intelligent piece of work which repays repeated listening..." - KimBurton, Songlines

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