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Historical - Mariç: Song Of Space, Etc / Jagust, Et Al


Release Date: 01/25/2005 
Label:  Chandos   Catalog #: 10267   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Ljubica Maric
Conductor:  Oskar DanonMladen Jagust
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Belgrade Philharmonic OrchestraRTBF Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Length: 1 Hours 9 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is part of the series of historic reissues from the Chandos label centering on music and performances recorded in former Eastern Bloc countries, in this case what used to be Yugoslavia. Ljubica Mari? (1909–2003) had a long and varied career, working as a composer, music professor, ethno-musicologist, author, and painter. The music heard here dates from 1956–63, so it obviously does not embrace all or even a significant part of the described stylistic changes mentioned in the very comprehensive notes on the composer. The music is all fundamentally tonal, which is not unexpected, given the period it comes from. I have no idea to what extent the strictures of socialist realism dominated the arts in Yugoslavia during its communist years, Read more but nothing here is all that far removed from what would have been acceptable within the Soviet Union during this time frame.

The recording opens with the Byzantine Concerto, which has grown on me every time I have listened to it. The scoring is for strings, brass, and percussion, omitting winds, and most of the significant musical material is contained within the orchestra. Officially in three movements played without a break, the music does not change a great deal over its span of not quite half an hour, and the combination of the nearly continuous piano figuration over the more sustained orchestra can make the music seem a mite aimless (rather in the manner of Strauss’s two works for piano left hand and orchestra, which this work somewhat resembles). The other instrumental work, the little Ostinato super Thema Octoïcha, also uses restricted scoring, in this case piano, harp, and strings. The composer is the pianist (which may account for the much less than virtuoso quality of the piano part—her principal instrument, if I read the notes correctly, was the violin). Essentially, the harp and piano chime over the main musical content carried by the strings. It is ultimately more effective because it is more concentrated.

The two vocal works set mystic texts. Threshold of Dream, for two singers (both parts are taken by the same voice here) and narrator, sets an enormous amount of text in about eight minutes, the chant-like vocal lines alternating with speech. Some of the vocal writing recalls late Janá?ek, and the result has much more forward motion than either of the instrumental pieces. The much longer Songs of Space sets a shorter text in a more varied manner. The poem is from the point of view of a fallen warrior pleading with the living not to disturb his resting place, pointing out, logically, that eventually they will be in the same situation. This is ultimately the most interesting music here, and in some ways, based on my obviously limited experience of the composer’s work, the most personal.

The performances all seem very good and the roughly 40-year-old recordings come up well in the Chandos re-masterings. Extensive notes and full texts (not transliterated) with translations for the vocal works are provided.

John Story, FANFARE
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Works on This Recording

1.
Threshold of Dream by Ljubica Maric
Conductor:  Oskar Danon,  Mladen Jagust
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra,  RTBF Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Serbia 
2.
Songs of Space by Ljubica Maric
Conductor:  Oskar Danon,  Mladen Jagust
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra,  RTBF Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Serbia 
3.
Ostinato super thema octoicha by Ljubica Maric
Conductor:  Oskar Danon,  Mladen Jagust
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra,  RTBF Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1963; Serbia 
4.
Byzantine concerto by Ljubica Maric
Conductor:  Oskar Danon,  Mladen Jagust
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra,  RTBF Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Serbia 

Sound Samples

Vizantijski koncert (Byzantine Concerto): I. Sound and Ringing: Preludium quasi una toccata
Vizantijski koncert (Byzantine Concerto): II. In Darkness and Glimmering: Aria
Vizantijski koncert (Byzantine Concerto): III. Roaring and Glaring: Allegro
Prag sna (The Threshold of Dreams)
Ostinato super tema octoicha
Pesme prostora (Songs of Space)

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Great and Unusual September 17, 2013 By Dr. Mitchell Gurk (Spencer, MA) See All My Reviews "Like it so much i put it in the bedroom Bose for wake-up music." Report Abuse
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