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Šulek, Stjepan: 8 Symphonies

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Šulek´s birth | 5CD
8 Symphonies
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Croatian Radiotelevision Symphony Orchestra |  Conductors: Stjepan Šulek & Pavle Dešpalj 
 

„The dominant position of Stjepan Šulek in 20th century Croatian music is first and foremost due to his vitality and power, which made him a unique musician in all fields of activity: as a composer, pedagogue and performer; it was, however, also partly a reaction to the general musical/ historical context with its specific projections on the composer’s own milieu, one largely marked by the nationally-flavored neoclassical academism of mainstream Croatian composers between the two World Wars, which after 1945 was successfully adjusted to the aesthetic formulas of collectivism, mass culture and to “art as a reflection of social changes”, and in the 1960’s this academism was suddenly faced with a breakthrough of new-music tendencies that brought into question value criteria derived from inherited systems. Šulek’s total resistance to the ideological and aesthetic pressures of the music of that time, including those reflecting nationally flavored trends, revolutionary collectivism and avant-garde exclusivism, as well as the firmness with which he defended the autonomy of subjective artistic actions and the artist’s right to individuality, which always also meant the right to freedom – this was the fundamental pledge of his not only dominant, but also isolated position in the music of his time and his local environment.. [...]

With his monumental, although not especially large opus, which does not contain “incidental” compositions, Šulek’s primary concern was to protect tradition in spite of the external indivisibility of style and technique, within several mutually intertwined creative circles in which the changes that occurred were barely visible. [...] 

Šulek’s eight symphonies between 1942 and 1981 summarize and crown all the masterly achievements of Šulek’s orchestral writing as the composer’s expressive medium, but alsothe composer’s conflicting nature when it comes to composing something which is a deeply subjective act expressing his own dramatic feeling of life....
(Eva Sedak) 

croatian / english

Cantus d.o.o. i HRT, 2013. 
98898499512
 

Stjepan Šulek  First Symphony in A minor  Zagreb Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra | Pavle Dešpalj, conductor 
Stjepan Šulek  Second Symphony in D major, Eroica  Zagreb Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra | Pavle Dešpalj, conductor 
Stjepan Šulek  Third Symphony in E minor  Croatian Radiotelevision Symphony Orchestra | Pavle Dešpalj, conductor 
Stjepan Šulek  Fourth Symphony  Croatian Radiotelevision Symphony Orchestra | Pavle Dešpalj, conductor 
Stjepan Šulek  Fifth Symphony  Zagreb Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra | Stjepan Šulek, conductor 
Stjepan Šulek  Sixth Symphony  Zagreb Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra | Stjepan Šulek, conductor 
Stjepan Šulek  Seventh Symphony  Croatian Radiotelevision Symphony Orchestra | Pavle Dešpalj, conductor 
Stjepan Šulek  Eighth Symphony  Zagreb Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra | Pavle Dešpalj, conductor