Mar. 11th, 2017

drplacebo: (Neuro notes)
It's Forgotten Masterpiece Friday!

Dora Pejačević (1885-1923) was arguably Croatia's first accomplished composer -- many Croatians like to claim Haydn due to his (alleged) partial Croatian descent, but Pejačević was the first of unquestionably Croatian nationality to achieve any significant recognition. In her short life, she left a considerable catalogue of orchestral, chamber, and vocal music; she was best known for her orchestral songs (songs for solo vocalist and orchestra). Her symphony and her piano concerto were both the first Croatian works in those genres.

Pejačević's one symphony -- again, the first symphony by a Croatian composer -- was composed in 1916-17 and first performed in 1920 after the end of the First World War. A powerful late Romantic symphony, it pushes the limits of the tonal palette and explores some of the synthetic scales and chords of Russian mysticism. This symphony was successful in its premiere, but fell into obscurity after the unexpected death of Arthur Nikisch, the conductor who championed the work, before being revived only in the 1980s.

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Andrew

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