Founded in 1952, the Bulgarian State Radio and Television Female Vocal Choir acquired not only its unwieldy original name from the Communist-era government, but also substantial state financial support and the encouragement to preserve regional music through a fortuitous marriage with polyphonic arrangement and chorale techniques. The stunning, unique, and mind-blowing result was an ethereal sound dense with crisscrossing textures, ringing timbres, asymmetrical rhythms, and breathtaking dissonance as the 24 or so voices wove impossibly rich mysteries deeply grounded in Balkan history. Picking up a peculiarly French appellation from a Swiss producer, the group became a world music phenomenon in the late '80s, resonating with pop and classical audiences alike and packing halls across the globe. The choir's performance, then amid the soaring vaults of the Minneapolis Basilica, to which they now return, approached the miraculous: a cross-cultural love fest stoked by angelic voices knocking out the virtual equivalent of Gregorian chants written by avant-garde composers. Expect no less this time. For tickets and info call 866.811.4111 or visit www.theatermania.com.
Sat., May 17, 8 p.m., 2008