Pancho Vladigerov‘s Bulgarian Rhapsody Vardar was written in 1922 and designated as Opus 16. Its original version was set for violin and piano. Pancho Vladigerov was inspired by the song A Single Cry Is Being Heard by Bulgarian composer Dobri Hristov, which became popular in Vardar Macedonia as a “Bulgarian folk song”. At the request of friends, the composer dedicated the work “to young Bulgarians fighting in Macedonia”, and the original title Bulgarian Rhapsody was later supplemented with Bulgarian Rhapsody Vardar. Over the years, this title has undergone several changes for reasons of political nature, but has ultimately survived as Vardar Rhapsody. Several different transcriptions of the work made by the author are in existence: for a symphony orchestra, for violin and orchestra, for piano, for piano at four hands, and even for two violins.
The Vardar Rhapsody is among the most performed works by Pancho Vladigerov. It is a preferred work in the repertoire of all Bulgarian violinists and orchestras.