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Polyphonic drinking songs and choral music

Duration:
1 hour
First broadcast:
Saturday 15 December 2007

Since gaining independence in 1991, Georgia has been a land of political disorder, culminating in the peaceful Rose Revolution of 2003. Lucy Duran travels to this little-visited country to find out how its ancient musical traditions have fared after decades of occupation and instability.

Music recorded on location for the programme includes lively polyphonic drinking songs and the beautiful choral music of the Georgian Church.

Lucy interviews Rob Parsons, the BBC's former Moscow correspondent, about Georgia and its polyphonic music. At an outdoors dinner party at Rob Parsons country house in Kakheti, Lucy listens to the magical polyphonic acappella singing of the eight singers of Tsinandali performing traditional Georgian songs, while enjoying exquisite traditional food and wine. She also admires the beautiful scenery of the valley and the Caucasian mountains, the highest in Europe (yes, higher than the Alps…).

Music and featured items

20 items
Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes
  • Music Played

    • Image for Teatralebi Ensemble

      Teatralebi Ensemble Shen Khar Venakhi (Thou art a vineyard)

  • Lucy Duran meets Rob Parsons

    Lucy Duran interviews Rob Parsons about Georgia and its polyphonic music.

  • Typical urban Tbilisi song.

    Eldar Shoshitashvili and his Ensemble sing a typical urban Tbilisi song.

  • Music Played

    • Image for Eldar Shoshitashvili and his Ensemble

      Eldar Shoshitashvili and his Ensemble Es ram iqo siq varulma (What has love done to me?)

  • Interview with Eldar Shoshitashvili.

    Lucy Duran and Rob Parsons interview Duduk player Eldar Shoshitashvili.

  • Music Played

    • Image for Eldar Shoshitashvili and his Ensemble

      Eldar Shoshitashvili and his Ensemble Dilis Saari/Shushtari

  • Eldar Shoshitashvili on wrestling.

    Duduk player Eldar Shoshitashvili talks about the Duduk’s connection to wrestling.

  • Music Played

    • Image for Eldar Shoshitashvili and his Ensemble

      Eldar Shoshitashvili and his Ensemble Mksouvelebi mgherian (The Weavers Sing)

  • Georgian polyphonic chanting.

    Lucy Duran and Rob Parsons listen to exquisite Georgian polyphonic chanting.

  • Music Played

  • Wine from the Kakheti region.

    Lucy Duran and Rob Parsons on the road to the Kakheti region famous for its wine.

  • A Bakhtrioni Group

    A Bakhtrioni Group plays the traditional music of the Tusheti region of Georgia.

  • Music Played

    • Image for Bakhtrioni Group

      Bakhtrioni Group Iksadats gazapkhuli itsqeba (Where Spring begins in June)

    • Image for Bakhtrioni Group

      Bakhtrioni Group Shairebi (Joke Song)

  • Vano's wine cellar.

    Lucy Duran and Rob Parsons visiting Vano's wine cellar.

  • Music Played

    • Image for : Tsinandali

      : Tsinandali Mravalzhamier (Long Life)

    • Image for Tsinandali

      Tsinandali Zamtari

  • Song - Chakrulo

    Part one ends with “Chakrulo”, the song that was sent on the Voyager space craft.

  • Music Played

    • Image for Tsinandali

      Tsinandali Chakrulo

  • Georgia Country Profile

    Find out more about Georgia

    Country Profile
  • Wine marketing, Georgian Style

    Wine marketing, Georgian Style

  • Members of the Bakhtrioni Group performing music from the Kakheti region of Eastern Georgia

    Members of the Bakhtrioni Group performing music from the Kakheti region of Eastern Georgia

  • Country life in the east of Georgia with the mighty Caucasus mountain range in the background

    Country life in the east of Georgia with the mighty Caucasus mountain range in the background

  • Tbilisi

    Tbilisi

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