Georgian ensemble’s amazing performance of European Anthem in Strasbourg
11 November, 2017
Georgian ensemble’s amazing performance of European Anthem in Strasbourg
The video depicting Georgian folk ensemble Shavnabada performing amazing polyphonic version of the European Anthem at the World Forum for Democracy in Strasbourg has recently gone viral on social network. The participants of the World Forum were impressed by Georgian ensemble’s unusual performance. "Anthem of Europe" is the anthem of the Council of Europe and the European Union. It is based on "Ode to Joy" from the final movement of Beethoven's 9th Symphony composed in 1823, and is played on
official occasions by both organizations. This rare version of the iconic and immortal piece of music that unites whole world has received increasingly positive feedback on social network as well.




The 2017 World Forum for Democracy took place in Strasbourg, 8-10 November. The theme for 2017 was "Is populism a problem?"
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Shavnabada performing at the World Forum for Democracy in Strasbourg

Shavnabada is a quite popular folk ensemble in Georgia. It was founded in 2005. Its repertoire includes folk songs, church chants and Georgian instrumental music. Folk music and polyphonic singing are the integral parts of Georgian culture. Georgia has rich and still vibrant traditional music, which is primarily known as arguably the earliest polyphonic example of the Christian world.

Every Georgian is proud of the traditional songs and musical culture of one’s country. It should be mentioned that Georgian multi-voiced singing is an invaluable tradition, inscribed on UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage list.

According to the traditions, typical Georgian songs are performed by men, with at least three vocal ranges.

When The Patriarch of Georgia, Ilia II, travels both in Georgia and abroad, Shavnabada accompany him as they are also members of the Georgian Patriarchal Choir. They also chant at the Holy Cathedral in Tbilisi.
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“Shavnabada” has successfully participated in many different folk festivals and concerts around the world. The ensemble plays significant role in preserving Georgian folk songs. The unique song “Chakrulo” is the best example of Georgian polyphony. Together with other artifacts of the various cultural heritage of the Earth as well as specially selected other songs, it was sent into open space on the “Voyager” shuttle in 1977.

Initiated in 2012, the World Forum for Democracy is a platform for dialogue and innovation in democratic governance, which promotes the Council of Europe principles across the world. It brings together members of civil society, political leaders and representatives of business, academia, media and professional groups.

Related stories:

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Sunken Treasure: Hamlet Gonashvili, ‘the voice of Georgia’

The most celebrated contemporary Georgian musicians and performers

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