Always New Ways

CD: Viktorija Čop, Musical Moments, Cantus

  • Musical Moments is piano work composed by Victoria Čop, whose title was ideal for naming CD which contains recordings of author’s evening’s concert held on 19th of October 2008 in Croatian Music Hall. Namely, all musical works on this CD are short musical moments which Viktorija assigned to different performers and their different musical instruments by exploring their sounding, timbre, rhythmicality and, generally, performing possibilities of different instruments through conjunctions of different musical colors.

    First two compositions are composed for flute, which is marvelously played by Lidija Ljubičić – she is very skillful in conveying composer’s musical thoughts which are sometimes very demanding for performer. Ljubičić is doing it either alone (in composition Out of Mind which got its name because it balances at the edge of performing possibility, because one instrument must sound like many instruments from the same family of flutes), either accompanied by pianist Ivan Bratoš (and his accompaniment is much more than mere piano accompaniment). Ljubičić and Bratoš are playing composition Cantus, which brings interesting combination of flute’s and piano’s singing, by which the composer explores not only the colors of the instruments, but brings out deep sensibility and emotionality of the author and performers.

    Two Musical Boxes leans upon instrumental color even more – this time it exploits colors of saxophones (played by Gordan Tudor and Goran Jurković), piano (Ivan Bratoš) and vibraphone (Marko Mihajlović). Overflowing, supplementing and mingling of colors of related and unrelated instruments are very important in this work and to mind comes Schoenberg’s principle of Klangfarbenmelodie. Even so, this principle grows into more complex principle which, because of its many layers, could be called Klangfarbenpolifonie. The comparison with art painting also comes to mind, because there are colors which are mixed together since they are related to each other but there are also colors which are complementary and, therefore, are put next to each other.

    Lidija LjubičićThis is also the path of the composition Mosaic which is performed by oboe player Branko Mihanović and pianist Ivan Bratoš. In Mosaic two instruments search their similar points through dialogue – and when these points are found, another art work is created, were perfect combination of musical lines and colors on Viktorija’s canvas make new and unexpected combinations and forms.

    While in Two Musical Boxes Viktorija put only numbers as the markings of movements searching from the listener to find their real names by himself, in Three Miniatures for Bassoon and Saxophones she decided on different solution. Namely, she put the names of performers (Žarko Perišić, bassoon; Gordan Tudor, saxophones) in the titles of three movements. So movements have colorful and wordy names: Bright red reflection in the west , Gordan’s Alter Ego and The Sun Brightly Shines on Your Shoulder (in Croatian language the word for name Žarko means ardent (or bright) and it mostly refers to sun). Regardless to possibility of programmatic reading, these titles mean everything and nothing, because Viktorija puts in the foreground Music, and is not derived away from it by hollow titling. Somebody noticed that it is left for us to see if composer would change titles when other performers will play her music. Or, would she leave these ones which metaphorically direct to two excellent musicians who knew (on the concert but also on this CD) to show unique way of composer’s view on Musical work?

    Finally, last but one in the row of these musical moments is composition Musical Moments. Although it is not explicitly written for piano player Katarina Krpan (who plays the work), it seems that it catches Katarina’s exact, firm, intellectual, but also sensible and gentle, way of playing the piano.

    The last composition on the CD is Attractor, composed for bassoon and string quartet (it is performed by Žarko Perišić on bassoon and by Zagreb quartet), repeats typical characteristics of Viktorija Čop’s composing through three movements. Here is her typical pointingness, which marked the beginning of the exploration of related points between piano and oboe in Mosaic; but in Attractor pointingess is rhythmically organized in melody and dance, reminding on finale (third movement) of Three miniatures. Attractor also contains for Viktorija unavoidable process of connecting and disconnecting of instruments through their colors in search for new sounds. This process is present in all Viktorija’s compositions. So, listening to the CD Musical Moments discovers what is obvious, and that is enormous joys when connecting instrumental colors and to exploring sounds of different instruments by which Viktorija Čop creates very interesting musical tissue. This musical tissue can always be listened in new and different way.

    © Irena Paulus,, 18 October 2011