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Cat. No. CHAN 10267 H Price: £0 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 10267 - Maric: Byzantine Concerto/ Threshold of Dream/Ostinato Super Thema Octoïcha/Songs of Space
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Available From: 15 November 2004
"Songs of Space (1956) is a cantata for mixed choir and symphony orchestra based on the epitaphs on the tombstones of the Bosnian Bogomils (a medieval Christian sect). The work, inspired by a philosophical contemplation of life and death, is a synthesis of modern and archaic sounds, a daring musical language characteristic of Maric’s mature style. The cantata contributed greatly to the composer’s growing reputation. Both the Byzantine Concerto and the Ostinato Super Thema Otoïcha belong to the vast cycle Music of the Octoëchos. One of its most profound sources was the Otoëchos – a volume of medieval Serbian religious songs based on Byzantine Church music and arranged in eight voices (modes) according to their scale.

Byzantine Concerto (1959) for piano and orchestra has three movements that follow each other attaca. Ljubica Maric said of the work ‘it is a homage to both our Byzantine heritage and our cultural roots’. The three movements of the score carry the following titles: ‘Sound and Ringing’, ‘In Darkness and Glimmering’, and ‘Roaring and Glaring’.

Ostinato Super Thema Otoïcha is composed for piano, harp and string orchestra. During the whole composition, the solo piano discretely presents a serene melodic phrase and repeats it in small, almost imperceptible variations. While the ostinato unfolds tranquilly, the strings offer a complete contrast, presenting spasms of chords which fill all the spaces of the register. The chamber cantata Threshold of Dream, for soprano, alto, narrator and chamber orchestra, is one of Maric’s most intimate pieces. The work interweaves three poems and one prose fragment by the Yugoslav surrealist poet Marko Ristic and it deals with the theme of the transience of life.

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