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Year composed


Scored for

MS, T, Choir, Perc.Tmp.Org./Strings


30 minutes




Commission of Mostar Symphony Orchestra (subtitle Mostar Mass).
Premiered in Zagreb, Lisinski Hall, APR 1 2006, Martina Silić, Nikša Radovanović, soloists, Zvonimir Hačko, conductor

Croatian Mass excerpt 1
00:00 / 09:03
Croatian Mass excerpt 2
00:00 / 10:06

Program notes

original title:  Hrvatska misa

Six days before the premiere, maestro Kuljerić participated by phone from Silba in the show "Zagreb Bats Classicists" by Family Radio. In a conversation with the editor and presenter Zlatko Madžar, Kuljerić expressed some thoughts that, especially now, after his death, have an almost testamentary character, just like the last movement of the Croatian Mass. In this "Lamb of God" the composer inserted visionary ritual words of burial "Free me, Lord, from eternal death…", and at the very end of the composition the sopranos go out one by one like candles burning out, until the last voice sinks into silence .


In his penultimate public address (the day after the premiere he briefly answered the phone on the Croatian Catholic Radio program), Kuljerić also said this: "The level of today's music performed in churches during worship, and even on such occasions as the visits of the Holy Father, is very poor. A large part of classical music, a great part of our western musical tradition, throughout history, originated as church music written by the greatest musicians. Today church music has sunk into kitsch… It is a tribute to today's trivialization, commercialization, decline in values. The people from the church seem to be powerless to face it. "


Sacred music was the great last theme of Kuljerić's vast and diverse opus, a theme which, as he himself said in the mentioned conversation, was especially close to his heart. He talked about delving into the deep historical musical roots and layers of the original Croatian Glagolitic tradition, quite neglected by contemporary composers. He recalled his youth in Zadar, going to the "Glagolitic church", as opposed to the "Latin" one.

The composer saw the Croatian Glagolitic Requiem and the Croatian Mass as a debt that he felt obliged to return to his roots and to his parents.

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