Perunika Trio

A Bright Star Has Risen

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The second album from three young women based in the U.K. brings more of what they do so well -- singing Bulgarian folk songs. Their renditions are as authentic as anything you'll hear and helped by the purity of the voices, everything presented a cappella (except for the epic storm that closes "Peperuda"). Although the vast majority of the pieces on A Bright Star Has Risen consist of village music -- folk music, that is -- "Velichanie Bogorodichno" takes them into church for a sacred piece about the Virgin Mary, performed with exquisite control. Throughout, the harmonies are perfect, the voices blending so well it's hard to believe that they haven't been singing together all their lives. Whether joyous or tinged with sadness ("Malo Selo"), there's real beauty here, the joy of love, life, and singing.

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