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Marković, Adalbert: Two Masses

Two Masses
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The Choir of the Academy of Arts and Culture in Osijek
Antoaneta Radočaj-Jerković, conductor
Valentina Fridrich, soprano
Milan Hibšer, organ
An important part of the choral segment of Marković’s opus contains several works of sacral character, including the astounding six masses (the first was written in 1955 and the last in 1990). The sacral part of Marković’s opus shows the evolution of the composer’s basic traits, especially impressive in the two masses that are part of this edition. In Marković’s compositional style all is clear, transparent and follows the inherent rules that the author abides by and rarely deviates from. Marković adhered to the compactness of the form and clear structure of
his compositions, basing this compactness primarily on the traditionally established rules. However, in both masses on this CD, the author left out Credo. It is now nearly impossible to figure out why he did it; whether this was a demonstration of personal questions and doubts or whether the musical material merely conditioned a certain sequence of musical events. Knowing the author and his artistic and personal views favors the latter possibility, which is, in a way, confirmed not only by the clarity of the form of individual movements, but also by the effort to trigger events within each movement that bring each movement to life in a specific way, be it through modulations, imitation procedures or working with a motif. A feature of Marković’s entire vocal-instrumental music is a strong and clear connection between music flow and text. “Marković’s attention is focused on the dramaturgy of the musical form, which entrusts strong kinetic energies to certain motifs and musical phrases, which, in the way of human speech, always directs its unique music flow forward.” (Borko Špoljarić, commentary on the CD Adalbert Marković: Moments musicaux, HDS/MBZ/HDS, Zagreb, 1999). The organ support in the two masses is not only a support for intonation, but is also strongly anchored in the polyphonic fabric of the compositions, whereas the solo soprano section in the Croatian Mass – John Paul II for female choir, soprano solo and organ from 1982 is more like an associated individual prayer that superimposes and joins the singing of the ensemble. His sacral opus – both in quantity and artistic quality – places Marković among the followers of the most prominent 20th century Croatian authors of sacral music, such as Anselmo Canjuga and Albe Vidaković. The most valuable thing about this music is definitely its live performance. Dada Ruža, a renowned professor and choirmaster from Varaždin, rightly pointed out: “This is the opus that, during the life of the author and now, when he is gone, continues to live and sound in choir programs, ranging from simple school recitals to the most prestigious international competitions.” (Quote from David Rožmarić: Adalbert Marković: Hrvatska misa in D,
https/ - accessed April 25, 2022.)
(Erika Krpan)
Croatian Composers’ Society, Cantus Ltd, 2022
Marković, Adalbert  Croatian Mass in D – Praise the Lord for mixed choir and organ   
Marković, Adalbert  Croatian Mass – John Paul II for female choir, soprano solo and organ