Tarbuk is Recipient of the "Slavenski" Award
The recognition given to Mladen Tarbuk for his composition "Dreamers", inspired by Nikola Sop's poetry. A rich annual harvest of Croatian music - no less than 59 premieres.
ZAGREB, April 10. - Vjesnik's now already traditional award "Josip Stolcer Slavenski" for new works of Croatian composers performed for the first time in 2001 went to Mladen Tarbuk for his vocal-instrumental cycle "Dreamers", which had its premiere at the International Music Platform in Pula. It was performed by the coloratura soprano Lidija Horvat-Dunjko and the instrumental ensemble "Cantus", under the direction of the composer.
The jury consisting of Tonko Ninic (Chairman), Erika Krpan, Visnja Pozgaj, Frano Parac and Nenad Turkalj did not have an easy task, because Croatian music was enriched last year by no less than 59 new works of orchestral, vocal, stage, and chamber music. Such a number of premieres was also due to the fact that last year the Zagreb Biennale of Contemporary Music took place, so that domestic composers had sufficient opportunity for placing their new works, apart from the regular concert programs and the Pula event.
The jury selected the candidates in three rounds of voting, the first of which yielded fourteen composers: Zeljko Brkanovic (two compositions), Zoran Juranic, Vjekoslav Njezic, Pavle Despalj, Ivo Josipovic, Igor Kuljeric, Olja Jelaska, Mladen Tarbuk, Dubravko Detoni, Miroslav Miletic, Davorin Jagodic, Kresimir Seletkovic, Berislav Sipus and Pero Gotovac.
After the second round of voting, the short list consisted of Berislav Sipus with his cycle of piano preludes "Nights", Igor Kuljeric with his Concerto for Marimba and Orchestra, and Mladen Tarbuk with his "Dreamers", also Pavle Despalj with his Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra, Vjekoslav Njezic with the composition "Traces" for orchestra and electronics, Dubravko Detoni with his electronic composition "Secret", Pero Gotovac with his choral composition "Misa Delmata", and Ivo Josipovic with his "Tuba ludens" for tuba and orchestra.
In the third and final round Mladen Tarbuk was declared the laureate for his composition "Dreamers", which will be performed on May 9 at the 29th Musical Memorial "Josip Stolcer Slavenski" in Cakovec.
The jury's explanation: Mladen Tarbuk (b.1962) has been prominent on the Croatian musical scene for a number of years, not only as a prolific and talented composer, but also as conductor and organizer. He has been responsible for the systematic formation and improving quality of the Symphonic Wind Instrument Orchestra of the Croatian Army, and has recently also been appointed manager of the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb. As a composer he has been performed almost more frequently abroad than at home, at numerous events featuring contemporary music, where he has achieved recognition and received numerous foreign awards.
Nikola Sop's dream visions
His "Dreamers" were inspired by a cycle of poems by one of the great Croatian poets of the 20th century, Nikola Sop, who has been described as "a wonderful Catholic poet with a tragic destiny". These are spiritual poems expressing dream visions, and it was their metaphysical depth that induced the composer to evoke brilliantly the atmosphere of this poetry through a particularly complex instrumentation. The critics have also noticed that in this respect his work is not comparable to any other in Croatian music to date.
The composition has also depended on the collaboration of an exceptional singer, the soprano Lidija Horvat-Dunjko, who is able to execute coloratura passages of dizzying heights, all the way to the third A; by employing an unusual set of instruments in his chamber music orchestra, the composer has devised surprising and very striking sound combinations which complement the voice of this brilliant singer.
Nenad Turkalj (Vjesnik, Thursday, April 11, 2002)
(Translated by generosity of Ivana Jeric)