Can music transcend? Ensemble “Basiani” was created in 2000 with the blessing of Ilia II - Catholicos Patriarch of All Georgia.
UMS is pleased to introduce to Michigan audiences the highly praised all-male choral/folk music ensemble, Basiani, from the Republic of Georgia. The extraordinary program performed by Basiani is representative of Georgia’s musical heritage and comprises samples from almost every geographical region of the Republic. It is an exceptional, highly memorable performance that embraces the range and variety of Georgian folk culture and its distinctive, highly developed forms of polyphony – a central aspect of the cultural legacy that led to UNESCO’s designation in 2001 of Georgian folklore as a masterpiece of the spiritual treasury of the world’s “non-material” culture (which includes folk traditions as a bearer of cultural heritage). Basiani’s members are young singers from various parts of Georgia; most come from families of traditional singers.
Commenting on their 2010 appearance at Lincoln Center as part of a Mostly Mozart program, James Oestreich wrote in The New York Times that Basiani’s performance of “Georgian polyphony descended from an ancient tradition… stole the main show [at Alice Tully Hall]…. The ensemble, singing in close harmony, presented sacred and folk music displaying polyphonic devices ranging from simple drones to intricately interwoven melodies, which often crossed or combined to produce harmonies pungent to the Western ear.” UMS looks forward to sharing the vocal mastery of this magnificent musical ensemble in a program of discovery and revelation.
Mravalzhamier (“Long Life”): Table song from Kakheti Province
Chona: Ritual song from Kartli
Kali gadmodga mtazeda
Shen khar venakhi (“You Are a Vineyard”): From Kartli-Kakheti
Shen khar venakhi: From Guira Region
Shen Gigalobt (“We Praise Thee”): From Imereti Province
Angelosi ghaghadebs (“The Angel Cried”)
Ganatldi, ganatldi (“Shine, shine the New Jerusalem”)
Jvarsa shensa (“Thy cross”): From Kartli-Kakheti
Netar ars katsi
Odoia: Work song from Samegrelo Province
Khasanbegura: Historical ballad from Guria Region
Chela: Bullock-cart-man’s song from Samegrelo Province
Chakrulo: Table song from Kakheti Province
Naduri, Shemokmedura: Work song from Guria Region
Program Book [PDF]
The all-male Ensemble is part of the Tbilisi Holy Trinity Cathedral Church choir, performing Georgian folk songs and chants by researching and reviving them from the ancient unique phonological and notated recordings. Its members are young singers from various parts of Georgia; most come from families of traditional singers. They came to awareness in the U.S. at the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York City in 2010 with rave reviews from The New York Times and Wall Street Journal.
This performance marks the UMS debut of Basiani.