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Šulek, Stjepan: My childhood

Croatian String Quartet
My childhood
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Martin Draušnik i Alina Gubajdullina  | violins
Aleksandar Jakopanec  | viola
Zita Varga  | violoncello
Nikša Bobetko  double bass
Filip Fak  | piano

Stjepan Šulek (1914-1986) earned eminence in the Croatian music of the second half of the 20th century fundamentally as a composer who uncompromisingly fought – with words and deeds – for “freedom of thought and spirit,” for the right to one’s own identity and individualism despite the pressures of national, revolutionary or avant-garde musical environment and supported that fight in his interpretative and educational work. Occasionally that fight took on dramatic proportions, even left a mark in his works, but in the end both those who criticized him for elitism, anti-nationalism, academism or eclecticism and those whom he criticized for dilettantism recognized his great professionalism and selfless knowledge sharing. His opus cannot be periodized (apart from belonging to early or later works) nor his developmental path questioned as it “shows some developmental circles” (E. Sedak, 1994), but he never deviated from the features that could be applied to his entire oeuvre – Baroque polyphony, classicist formation and romantic expressiveness – merely highlighted one of them.

The quartet cycle My Childhood is not, as Eva Sedak remarks, Šulek’s “children's corner” or “the nursery” nor are these “scenes from childhood,” as composed by Debussy, Mussorgsky or Schumann, but neither are these portraits of close family members to whom the quartets are dedicated – the first To my late mother and father, the second To my late sister Koka, the third To my sister Mica, the fourth To my sister Vera and the fifth To mysister Ela.


(Tatjana Čunko)


CD number: 98898497462

Zagreb, 2018.


  String Quartet No. 1   
  String Quartet No. 2   
  String Quartet No. 3   
  String Quartet No. 4   
  String Quartet No. 5