Music by Roumi Petrova -
'... splendid performances from start to finish.'
Eastern European folk music characteristically incorporates uneven metric structures, and successful composer/violist, Bulgarian-born Roumi Petrova includes these irregular rhythms in five works ( quartet, suite, poem, pictures and sonata; 1999-2003) heard on her privately produced CD featuring the Forte String Quartet.
Roumi Petrova graduated from the Academy of Music and Dance Art in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. She completed her masters in music at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, and today lives and works in New York.
Says Petrova -- 'Irregular rhythms acted on me like Bacillus Bulgaricus' (her opening item); 'the live culture living in the milk, waiting for the right conditions to turn it into a tangy yoghurt.'
Indeed these pleasing, even catchy, melodic inventions bask comfortably against a backdrop of multiform yet easy Bulgarian rhythmic constructs. In addition, the regular 'classical' string ensemble lends the pieces an aura of benign civility.
From the wistful opening of Bacillus Bulgaricus (2003) Petrova's compositional skills are never in doubt; however her ability to ensnare the listener is less certain. Following a catchy Menuet and melancholy Aria this work concludes with a bland Gypsy Dance
[listen -- track 4, 2:04-3:12].
Rodopa Suite (Southern mountain region -- 2001), was composed as a wedding present and its Fughetta
[listen -- track 6, 1:17-2:16]
quotes a charmingly soulful peasant song 'Zashto ma rodi, Maichinko, takava bela, chernoka'. The short suite undoubtedly evokes the gaiety and buoyant spirits of a village folk wedding.
Copyright © 12 October 2005
Howard Smith, Masterton, New Zealand