Pancho Vladigerov Reissue Series Leads With Piano Concertos

In his native Bulgaria, composer and pianist Pancho Vladigerov is considered a national treasure. A treasure, perhaps, that was a little too closely guarded until now. For some reason, it’s always been difficult to access Vladigerov’s music outside of his Bulgaria.

Thanks to Capriccio, the world will finally discover what it’s been missing. This release is the first of an 18-disc series of Vladigerov’s music, licensed and remastered from Bulgarian recordings made in the 1970s.

That’s fine with me. This is music that deserves to be heard. Vladigerov synthesized his native music with classical forms to create a unique musical style. In many ways, his music reminds me of Bohuslav Martinu, who did the same with Czech music.

But Vladigerov’s use of multi rhythms, modal harmonies, and Bulgarian folk melodies is unique. The piano concertos provide an excellent introduction to his style.

These are big, expansive works that superficially resemble Rachmaninov’s or Medtner’s concertos. Vladigerov was an exceptional pianist, and he gives full reign to his imagination in writing the solo parts.

These concertos are all performed with his son, Alexander Vladigerov conducting the Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra. The younger Vladigerov knows his father’s music well, and his direction provides consistency across the performances. The orchestra does, too, but the recordings vary in quality.

The composer is the soloist for the final concerto, No. 5, written in 1963. His performance adds additional insight into the work, and Vladigerov’s aesthetic. Unfortunately, it’s also the concerto with the poorest recording. To my ears, it sounded too compressed with a lot of detail missing.

Nevertheless, the performance (indeed all the performances) are expressive and exciting. Bulgarian music lovers have long enjoyed Vladigerov’s music. It’s past time to share it with others.

Pancho Vladigerov: Piano Concertos 1-5
Teador Moussev, Ivan Drenikov, Krassimir Gatev, Pancho Vladigerov, piano
Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra; Alexander Vladigerov, conductor
Capriccio C8060
3 CD Set

More Recent Posts

  • New Blues News – 1/19/2021

    New Blues Releases – 1/19/2021 Danny Brooks & Lil Miss Debi – Are You Ready? The Mississippi Sessions (Hill House): “Texanadians Danny Brooks and Lil Miss Debi (formerly of Toronto Canada) met Tom Easley of AVA Entertainment in 2019 and discussed making a record, making a real recording, blending old school with new tricks and […]

  • New Jazz Adds – 1/19/2021

    New Jazz Adds – 1/19/2021 Michael & Peter Formanek – Dyads (Out Of Your Head): “Michael and Peter Formanek started making music and improvising together before Peter started school. Regular visits to their home from friends and colleagues like Tim Berne, Jim Black, Marty Ehrlich and many others only served to normalize this as being […]

  • Arnold Rosner Requiem — Timeless

    Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

    Toccata Classics has done a real service to music with this recording. It’s one of Arnold Rosner’s most substantial works. And, unfortunately, one most likely to only be heard through recording rather than live performances. The Requiem is a massive work. It contemplates death through a variety of traditions: Zen Buddhism, the Jewish Kaddish, the […]

  • Classical Interviews – Caroline Schetlick

    Caroline Schetlick, a recent UVA graduate focused on orchestral and choral conducting, spoke with WTJU about getting interested in conducting, putting together her DMP, and Holst’s ‘The Planets’. These interviews air as part of WTJU’s Classical Sunrise, weekday mornings from 7-9am. Getting into Conducting Distinguished Majors Program The Uniqueness of Conducting UVA Professors Impact on […]

  • Classical Interviews – Arthur Zanin

    Charlottesville Symphony’s Principal Trumpet, Arthur Zanin, spoke with WTJU about discovering their orchestral passion, the versatility of the trumpet, and the significance of music in education. For more on Arthur Zanin, For more on the Charlottesville Symphony, visit: How I found the Orchestra The Different Sounds of the Trumpet Practicing for Trumpet The […]