Ensemble “Rustavi” Administration Press Release, November 27th, 2020
Connecting with the 50th anniversary of the Ensemble “Rustavi”, there has been published a very important anthology – “400 Georgian Folk Songs”.
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The newspaper “Rolling Stone”
Twenty-two-year-old Ensemble “Rustavi” is the leading men’s choir of the Soviet Georgia. Their wonderful repertoire consists of centuries old Georgian folk songs. At the very beginning, one could hear the sonority of their tunes when countrymen cultivated fields and crossed mountains, got married and worshipped God. Ted Levine, together with the founder of the choir Anzor Erkomaishvili, chose 14 songs from 100 recordings made by the Ensemble “Rustavi” in its homeland. The songs were chosen for the LP record “Georgian Songs” produced in America. Levine says, “table songs” are more popular in today’s Georgia.
But as “La mastere de woix” produced by the Bulgarian women’s group and Japanese Ryuichi Sakamoto’s “Neo ceo” of 1988 show – many Asian or European nations don’t cede their singing relics. The tunes are kept alive by the musicians who perform the songs the way one could think they never became outdated. The Ensemble “Rustavi” also performs old songs in a new, contemporary way due to well-chosen variants.
The singers of the Ensemble “Rustavi” express a wide scope, amazing diversity. The songs which are characterized by inner strength and elegance make a special impact and impression – such songs are “Lazhghvashi” and “Khasanbegura” where two vocal groups deepen and elaborate each other’s singing by turns. The “Rustavi” introduces the listener to the structural diversity of native folk music, high inspiration which are expressed through the chorals distinguished for their spiritual sacred nature as well as exquisite traveling songs.