BEL KAMEN KAMPANELA
3 (3= Picc). 2.3(3= B.Cl.). 4. / 4. 4.3.2. / 3 Perc. 2 Timp.Pno.Synth./ strings /
Posthumous premiere in Zagreb on MAY 5 2007, Zagreb Philharmonic and conductor Tonči Bilić
Translation: White Bell Tower Stone
“The stone bell towers of Mediterranean churches, each of them different, guard the same secret: the secret of distance and permanence, of life and death. The sound of their bells announces the bright sunlight, fairy murmur of sea waves, mystical stories, singing, dancing ... I kept childhood memories from Silba, the island of my ancestors, in northern Adriatic, of old melisms sung by my father. I also remember the rhythmic obsession of the dance called « tanac « ;, in the improvisation of an old blind man on a lyre, an ancient stringed instrument. I wanted to convey some of the memories of this song. »
This is a monumental sound fresco that Kuljerić has masterfully painted with a rich palette of the symphony orchestra, to which he adds two harps, a piano and a synthesizer sound, and a colorful battery of percussion. The harsh but festive fortissimo sound of the bell at the beginning of the composition is followed by a melodic developement in woodwinds, like the echo of harmonics resonating from numerous bell towers. The quiet murmur of strings n contrast introduce the melody of an old song from composer’s childhood on bassoon, and the dance of trumpets. The central part brings the atmosphere of the ancient folklore of Silba with strings in counterpoint to the harsh fourths in the rest of the orchestra. The composition ends with a dance whose theme, after the timpani introduction, is brought by all the instruments of the orchestra.