DEJAN BRAVNIČAR

ANTOLOGIJA - DEJAN BRAVNIČAR: BRAVNIČAR, ŠKERJANC

Resna

Format: CD

Šifra: 115165

EAN: 3838898115165

Violinist Dejan Bravničar (1937–2018) is one of the most important Slovenian performers of the second half of the twentieth century. His family environment had an important influence on his personal and artistic development, as his mother Gizela was a ballerina and his father Matija Bravničar was a composer and violinist. The latter is regarded as one of the leading Slovenian composers of the mid twentieth century, and made an important contribution to shaping the cultural and social life of that time with his work as an artist, writer and teacher, not least as a professor and dean of the Ljubljana Academy of Music. His son Dejan became acquainted with the violin at an early age. On the secondary school level, his father entrusted him to Fran Stanič, and at the Ljubljana Academy of Music he studied with Karl Rupel. After graduating, he continued his studies at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, with one of the greatest violinists of the twentieth century, David Oistrakh. During his stay in Moscow, he met a number of the world’s greatest musicians of the time. This was followed by a year of additional studies with renowned violinist Pina Carmirelli at the Academy of Santa Cecilia in Rome.
After completing his studies, Bravničar settled in his homeland as a freelance soloist. In addition to numerous appearances at home, he performed in England, France, Austria, the Netherlands, Poland, Bulgaria, Switzerland, the former Soviet Union and elsewhere, collaborating with top conductors such as Kurt Sanderling, Kirill Kondrashin, Paul Kletzki, Carlo Zecchi, Jean Martinon and others. He was also active in the field of chamber music, where he collaborated with cellist Ciril Škerjanc and pianist Aci Bertoncelj in the Tartini Trio, performing both in Slovenia and in world cultural centers such as Vienna, New York and Paris. In the mid 1960s, he began teaching at the Ljubljana Academy of Music, and later served as the institution’s dean for eight years. He educated generations of violinists who play in professional Slovenian orchestras and teach at music schools.
In his solo career, Dejan Bravničar performed more than fifty violin concertos. His repertoire extended from Vivaldi and Bach to Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Paganini, Brahms, Lalo, Tchaikovsky, Wieniawski, Sibelius and Szymanowski, as well as the most important works of this genre from the twentieth century, such as the concertos of Bartók, Khachaturian, Stravinsky, Hindemith, Prokofiev and Shostakovich. With his work, he left an indelible mark on the Slovenian musical landscape. As a soloist, he introduced new and higher standards of musical performance to the domestic music scene. At a time when firstrate art was accessible only in rare centers, his numerous concerts around Slovenia enabled a wide audience to become acquainted with works of the world violin literature in superb performances. His contribution to the promotion of Slovenian music was also invaluable. As a soloist, he performed violin concertos by Lucijan Marija Škerjanc, Danilo Švara, Matija Bravničar and Primož Ramovš, as well as a number of other Slovenian works, many of which he also promoted aboard, either as a soloist or with the Tartini Trio. His pedagogical activities were enhanced with his editions of important world and domestic repertoire. He received numerous state awards and recognitions for his work, including the Prešeren Fund Award and the City of Ljubljana Award. He was appointed as a professor emeritus of the University of Ljubljana and as an honorary member of ESTA Slovenia.
Dejan Bravničar was one of the most distinguished figures of Slovenian music and left an enduring mark with his artistic and pedagogical contribution.
 

Slovenian composer, violinist and pedagogue Matija Bravničar ( 1897–1977) w as b orn i n T olmin. While attending the college of education in Gorizia, he began to learn the violin and later studied composition with Marij Kogoj and Slavko Osterc at the Ljubljana Conservatory. From the end of the First World War to the conclusion of the Second World War, he served as a violinist in the Ljubljana Opera Orchestra, and in 1945 he became the Rector of the Ljubljana Academy of Music, where he later taught composition for many years. He also became a member of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts. Bravničar was an important figure in Slovenian musical life. As a composer, he created a large opus that included symphonic, opera and concertante compositions. Among his most important works are four symphonies, the symphonic compositions Hymnus slavicus, Kralj Matjaž, Plesna burleska, Belokranjska rapsodija, Kurent and Fantasia rhapsodica, and the operas Pohujšanje v dolini Šetflorjanski and Hlapec Jernej in njegova pravica. As a violinist, he also wrote a great deal for his own instrument, ranging from solo pieces and compositions with piano accompaniment, to works for violin and orchestra.
In his early creative period between the two wars, Bravničar was primarily influenced by Expressionist models. His compositions were based on fantasy, creating the impression of improvisations with rich and contrasting harmonic layers, bound together mainly with dance rhythms or ostinato figures. Later, under Neo-Baroque and Neoclassical influences, his style became more refined. He began to pay more attention to the formal structure of his compositions and to existing compositional approaches, while, after the Second World War, we also find Modernist elements in his works. Bravničar was fascinated by rhythm, which is one of the most important aspects of his music, and the titles of many of his compositions themselves suggest a direct connection with movement and dance. Moreover, Bravničar was one of the first Slovenian composers to use folk melody in his compositions, but never in a forced way or at all costs; merely as a source of inspiration for his personal expression.
The Concerto for Violin and Orchestra is regarded by many as one of Bravničar’s most perfected works. Belonging to the composer’s late creative period, the concerto is unusual in terms of design, as it preserves the traditional structure of three movements, but their character departs completely from the expected frameworks. Rather than the usual fast tempo, the first movement has a predominantly lyrical character. This is followed by a second movement that, instead of being slow and calm as one would expect, is a boisterous scherzo, while the third movement is equally lively. The movements are not constructed on the basis of traditional compositional principles of form, but rather as a series sections that differ in character or are even contrasting. In some cases, these sections are connected with a motivic relationship. The third movement is based on the Istrian scale, which also occasionally appears in the first two movements. The concerto was first performed in 1963 in Ljubljana. Dejan Bravničar performed as the soloist, accompanied by the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra led by conductor Samo Hubad.
Fantasia rhapsodica, a single-movement symphonic composition featuring a solo violin, is also from Bravničar’s late creative period. As the title suggests, the work has a rhapsodic character. It is introduced by a twelve-tone theme, which the composer then varies in different ways. The piece is constructed from three sections, which are diverse in terms of character but often related thematically. Fantasia rhapsodica was p remiered by Dejan Bravničar and conductor Uroš Prevoršek with the RTV Ljubljana Symphony Orchestra in 1968. Lucijan Marija Škerjanc (1900–1973) was one of the central musical figures of the previous century in the Slovenian region, being active as a composer, conductor, pianist, theorist, critic, pedagogue, publicist and more. He had an excellent music education. In Vienna, he studied the piano with Anton Trost and composition with Joseph Marx. He then furthered his studies with composer Vincent d’Indy at the Schola Cantorum in Paris, while also studying condu- cting in Basel with one of the most famous conductors of the era, Felix Weingartner. After returning to Ljubljana, he taught at the Ljubljana Academy of Music, serving as its Rector for some time. He was also the conductor of the Glasbena Matica Orchestral Society and served as the Director of the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra. After the war, he became a member of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts. He was distinguished with an exceptional and thorough knowledge of music and a broad world view.
Although not a stylistic innovator as a composer, Škerjanc developed his own distinctive and recognisable musical language, which is a kind of mixture of late Romantic models and Impressionist colouration. He based his work on the musical tradition, but was nevertheless responsive, albeit in a restrained way, to contemporary currents, and his entire opus is imbued with a distinct lyricism. Škerjanc’s (second) Violin Concerto epitomises his work as a composer. It is derived from the classical tradition in terms of form, being organised into three movements. Despite being written in traditional sonata form, the first movement, Andante molto moderato, is not fast and lively as is customary, but instead has a distinctly lyrical character. The second movement, which, consistent with tradition, is a slow Adagio, is a funeral march whose formal design has song-like contours. Again following tradition, the third movement, Allegro di molto, is a vibrant rondo, which is concluded with the return of a musical idea from the first movement, thus further binding and rounding the whole. The concerto displays the composer’s excellent knowledge of both the violin and the orchestra. The violin part is written in a virtuoso style, and the relationship between the solo instrument and the orchestra is entirely within the framework of the tradition. The concerto was first performed by Jelka Stanič with the Trieste Philharmonic led by Jakov Cipci in Ljubljana in 1945.

dr. Borut Smrekar

 

 

 

Tracks:

Matija Bravničar (1897-1977):
Violin Concerto*

1 Allegro risoluto 13:21
2 Vivo 5:13
3 Andante maestoso - Allegro assai 10:03

4 Fantasia rhapsodica o 9:39

Lucijan Marija Škerjanc (1900-1973):
Violin Concerto●

5 Andante molto moderato 17:14
6 Adagio - 5:55
7 Allegro di molto 5:25


Dejan Bravničar, violin
RTV Ljubljana Symphony Orchestra *
RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra o
Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra •
Milan Horvat, conductor *
Marko Munih, conductor ⁰ ●