BALLADS OF PETRICA KEREMPUH/
IN THE FOG (V MEGLI)/
LILY OF THE VALLEY (GUMBELIJUM ROŽA)
Actor, 3 Ch. (Childs' Ch., Mix. Ch. Girls Ch.), 3 Orch. (Symph. Orch., Wind Orch., Big Band)/
30 minutes/8 minutes/5 minutes
Lyrics: Miroslav Krleža from Ballads of Petrica Kerempuh, written in dialect of the continental Northern Croatia
Ballads of Petrica Kerempuh premiered in Zagreb, MBZ, MAY 17 1973 Symphony orchestra and choir RTZ, conductor: Igor Kuljerić)
V megli premiered in Zagreb, 1973 Choir IV Gymnasium, conductor: Zdravko Vitković, 2nd version JUL 6 1978.
Gumbelijum Roža premiered in 2001.
original title: Balade Petrice Kerempuha/Gumbelijum Roža/ V megli
On several occasions, Kuljerić had approached the texts of probably the greatest Croatian writer of the XX century, Miroslav Krleža. At every opportunity, he was fascinated by the strength and the astuteness of Krleža's words, their suggestiveness and numerous layers. He was especially impressed by Krleža's sound conglomerate of dialectal poetic speech that seemed to be yearning for musical equipment. In the cantata The BALLADS OF PETRICA KEREMPUH, for actor, soloist, three orchestras and two choirs, from 1973, the composer used the verses to create a sound vision or fresco that has nothing to do with the stereotypical following of the text. The intensive symbolicism of words “gallows, blood, fog, screams, rebellion, wheels, procession, planetarium, Fortuna ...” are by the mens of his imagination turned into basic points of a sonorous ritual whose structures of individual micro-situations are underlined by number 3 whose symbolic importance is also seen in Krleža's BALLADS, both as a symbolic-formal element and as a technical procedure. The direct, though not the only consequence of this is the performance setup, its choice and rmutual elationships.
"I saw Petrica Kerempuh, the Croatian Till Eulenspiegel, as a timeless Idee fixe, a transfixation of destiny for the opressed, here it was the medieval struggle of peasants among mutinies and religious wars ..." (I.K. 1973)
Krleža's ballad V MEGLI was composed for mixed choir in 1973, when it was premiered. Krleža's fog, as a projection of a haunted historical destiny, crucified over space here like a fatal dream, and in music it grew like a haunting idée fixe. According to the composer, the basic idea of choral polyphony, realized here in an open form, is combined with a floating minor chord with an additional fourth, all inspired by the first bars of the old rebellion song Brothers Rise (Zdignite Brati).
In GUMBELIJUM ROŽA the composer has brought the powerfull melancholy of the tragedy hidden behind the seemingly picturesque title - the death agony on the gallows.