Eating, Drinking, Singing...

Rustavi Folk Choir
Georgian Folk Songs


01. Chakrulo (Drinking Song from Kakhetia) 5.16
02. Jvarsa Shensa (Hymn from Kartli-Kakhetia) 1.51
03. Naduri (Labour song from Imeretia) 4.34
04. Tsintskaro (Lyric song from eastern Georgia) 4.32
05. Chven Mshvidoba (Drinking song fom Guria) 2.21
06. Daigvianes (Lyric minor song from Kakhetia) 6.27
07. Mravalzhamieri (Drinking song from Racha) 3.05
08. Tskhenosnuri (Hiking song from Imeretia) 2.16
09. Chela (Ballad song from Megrelia) 3.02
10. Zari (Mourning Song from Guria) 2.57
11. Aghmosavalidan Mzisad (Church hymn from Guria) 1.49
12. Lile (Ritual song from Svanetia) 5.43
13. Odoia (Work Song from Megrelia) 4.12
14. Sabodisho (Healing song from Guria) 3.32
15. Makruli (Wedding song from Adzharia) 2.51
16. Mirangula (Grieving song from Svenetia) 3.32
17. Zari (Mourning song from the mountain region of Svaneti) 4.31
18. Khasanbegura (Marching song from Guria) 3.16

Leader: Ansor Erkomaishvili
Cover painting by Niko Pirosmani



 Rustavi Ensemble 
was created in 1968 by Anzor Erkomaishvili, a singer and folklorist from a distinguished Georgian musical lineage that goes back seven generations. Since its formation Rustavi has successfully toured about 70 countries of the world, always receiving the most glowing comments – even from the toughest of critics.

Songs and dances for work and war, spectacular costumes, the unique Georgian style of polyphonic singing and rich voices characterize the Rustavi Choir. Their intense sacred hymns with their overlapping, continuously moving harmonies are spellbinding. Rustavi is also performing a high-quality comprising national and diverse traditional dances. Excellent costumes, brilliant performance, and elaborate choreography.

Erkomaishvili's vision was to break through ethnic boundaries of regional styles while performing ethnographically authentic music from all of Georgia. The Rustavi's performance style synthesizes the powerful, rough-hewn sound characteristic of the traditional regional folk choirs with a newer, cleaner, more finely-honed aesthetic whose orientation is towards concert presentation - nowadays on an increasingly international scale.

While striving to preserve, and in some cases recreate, authentic voicing and vocal timbres, the Rustavi singers have simplified the complex scales used by the earlier choirs in order to create firmer, more brilliant harmonies. The use of a smaller number of singers for certain songs has also helped to clarify their musical structure.

This is an ensemble, where Hamlet Gonashvili, the brilliance of the world folk music and the voice of Georgia made his flamboyant career.
In 1998, the group recorded the CD Mirangula under the name 'Rustavi Folk Choir', which has allowed for a wider appreciation of their music outside Georgia. This CD included the folk love song Tsintskaro which has had some popularity globally.

Music of Georgia
 Georgia has rich and still vibrant traditional music, which is primarily known as arguably the earliest polyphonic tradition of the Christian world. Situated on the border of Europe and Asia, Georgia is also the home of a variety of urban singing styles with a mixture of native polyphony, Middle Eastern monophony and late European harmonic languages. Georgian performers are well represented in the world's leading opera troupes and concert stages...

Georgian folk music is predominantly vocal and is widely known for its rich traditions of vocal polyphony. It is widely accepted in contemporary musicology that polyphony in Georgian music predates the introduction of Christianity in Georgia (beginning of the 4th century AD). All regional styles of Georgian music have traditions of vocal a cappella polyphony, although in the most southern regions (Meskheti and Lazeti) only historical sources provide the information about the presence of vocal polyphony before the 20th century.

Vocal polyphony based on ostinato formulas and rhythmic drone are widely distributed in all Georgian regional styles. Apart from these common techniques, there are also other, more complex forms of polyphony: pedal drone polyphony in Eastern Georgia, particularly in Kartli and Kakheti table songs (two highly embellished melodic lines develop rhythmically free on the background of pedal drone), and contrapuntal polyphony in Achara, Imereti, Samegrelo, and particularly in Guria (three and four part polyphony with highly individualized melodic lines in each part and the use of several polyphonic techniques). Western Georgian contrapuntal polyphony features the local variety of the yodel, known as krimanchuli...

Singing is mostly a community activity in Georgia, and during big celebrations (for example, weddings) all the community is expected to participate in singing. Traditionally, top melodic parts are performed by individual singers, but the bass can have dozens or even hundreds of singers. There are also songs (usually more complex) that require a very small number of performers. Out of them the tradition of "trio" (three singers only) is very popular in western Georgia, particularly in Guria.

Georgian folk songs are often centered around banquet-like feasts called supra, where songs and toasts to God, peace, motherland, long life, love, friendship and other topics are proposed. Traditional feast songs include "Zamtari" ("Winter"), which is about the transient nature of life and is sung to commemorate ancestors, and a great number of "Mravalzhamier" songs. As many traditional activities greatly changed their nature (for example, working processes), the traditional feast became the harbor for many different genres of music. Work songs are widespread in all regions. The orovela, for example is a specific solo work song found in eastern Georgia only. The extremely complex three and four part working song naduri is characteristic of western Georgia. There are a great number of healing songs, funerary ritual songs, wedding songs, love songs, dance songs, lullabies, traveling songs. Many archaic songs are connected to round dances...

...and more in wiki

Niko Pirosmani 
 (Georgian: ნიკო ფიროსმანი), simply referred to as Nikala (ნიკალა) (1862–1918) was a Georgian painter...

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