Pancho Vladigerov

Pancho Vladigerov is listed with just those two names in the New Groves (so that's what he gets catalogued as on this site), though Wikipedia lists him as Pancho Haralanov Vladigerov before proceeding to give four variations of spelling of his surname. Both the middle name and variant spellings are dispensed with here, as they seem unnecessary for the purposes of distinguishing him from any other composer!

He is usually listed as a Bulgarian composer, though in fact he was born in Switzerland (in 1899) to a Bulgarian father and a Russian Jewish mother (and his mother's father had actually come from Odessa which, these days, would be considered part of Ukraine). Definitely of Eastern European origin, therefore, he died in Sofia, Bulgaria in 1978 (which is moderately curious, as my 1980 edition of the New Groves lists him as still living: I guess it takes time to collate and proof-read a large encyclopedia like the New Groves!)

To these ears, he often sounds like a Bulgarian version of Eric Coates: light, easy, pleasant. Do not be fooled, however: he is generally regarded as the most influential Bulgarian composer of all time (in a way that Eric Coates definitely isn't for the English!) and was admired by the likes of Richard Strauss and Dmitri Shostakovich (also unlike Eric Coates!) In any case, the New Groves calls him a 'spontaneous and expansive musician', writing a large amount of music in 'almost all genres'. Of his music itself, it says it is "high-spirited, colourful, lustrous and abounding in pathos", with much of it inspired by (or directly quoting) Bulgarian folk tunes. It is not normally the stuff of your twelve-tone nightmares, put it that way 🙂

There aren't a lot of recordings of his music: most of that which exists these days are re-masterings of a bunch of recordings made in the late 1960s and early 1970s by 'Balkanton', which is of middling recording and performance quality at best. One made in 1964, for example, is in mono: I think that is probably the latest date for a mono recording in my entire music collection!

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Music Plays from my collection
(since January 9th 2021)

Date of PlayTime of PlayGenreCompositionLengthPlay Count
Date of PlayTime of PlayGenreCompositionLengthPlay Count