26th March 2012
8 pm, Saint Ignatius Church / Poljana Ruđera Boškovića
Croatian Radio-Television Choir
Tonči Bilić, conductor
Early Music of the Adriatic
Sanctus from the Beneventan Cartulary of St Mary in Zadar, 11th century
Lambert Courtoys (c. 1530 - after 1585)
Musica spirituale (1563)
Destra di quel amor, prima parte
Plagata man, seconda parte
O destr' amabil pie, terza parte
Sinistra pianta, quarta parte
Pien d' amoroso, quinta parte
In somm' amor, sexta parte
Julije Skjavetić (c. 1530 – nakon 1565)
Motetti a cinque et a sei voci, Libro primo (1564) Ego sum qui sum
Ave, sanctissima Maria
Da pacem, Domine
Ivan Lukačić (c. 1584 – 1648)
Sacrae Cantiones (1620)
Quam pulchra es
Ex ore infantium
Igor Kuljerić (1938-2006): Holy Cross, Give Us Your Mercy – music for the Old Church Presentation of St. Cyprian and Justine
The Croatian Radio-Television Choir was founded in the 1940s, continuing the tradition set by the Zagreb Madrigalists. Initially working as a chamber ensemble under Mladen Pozajić, and later Slavko Zlatić, it eventually developed into the first Croatian professional choir. During the last seventy years, its artistic identity was established by a number of eminent musicians, whose efforts, after Igor Kuljerić, one of Croatia's greatest conductors, are nowadays continued in the work of chief-conductor Tonči Bilić.
The Choir’s rich repertoire includes a cappella and vocal-instrumental compositions ranging from early Renaissance to the most recent works, while a special attention is given to the Croatian musical heritage. The choir earned its reputation through regular performances all over Croatia, but also in many noted concerts abroad, for instance in Rome, Moscow, Salzburg, Milan, Paris, Venice and Berlin. They cooperated with numerous eminent Croatian conductors (Lovro pl. Matačić, Milan Horvat, Pavle Dešpalj, Nikša Bareza etc.), numerous international guests (Claudio Abbado, Lorin Maazel, Igor Markevitch, Valerij Poljanski) and a number of world-renowned soloists.
The best artistic achievements of the Croatian Radio-Television Choir include: Schnittke's Psalms of Repentance and Concerto for Choir, Rautavaara's Vigilia, Papandopulo's Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Croatian Mass, Monteverdi's Madrigali Guerrieri et Amorosi and Vespro della Beata Vergine, Bach's St. Matthew Passion and St. John Passion, Haydn's The Creation, Handel's Messiah, K. Penderecki's St. Luke Passion, Witold Lutoslawski's Trois poèmes d' Henri Michaux (the piece was ordered and composed for the Zagreb Radio-Television Choir, today's Croatian Radio-Television Choir), Stravinski's The Wedding, Kuljerić's Croatian Glagolitic Requiem and the opera Animal Farm, and Tryptichon by Ivan Brkanović. The choir received a Milka Trnina Diploma for outstanding artistic achievements in 2004 for the performance of the Croatian Mass by Boris Papandopulo, and in 2005, for the performance of the Croatian Mass under the direction of Tonči Bilić, recorded for the Cantus label, they won the Porin award for best album in the category of classical music. In 2007, Igor Kuljerić's composition Holy Cross, Give Us Your Mercy, published on CD by Orfej/HRT under the title Deer Searching for a Spring, also under Bilić's direction, won the Porin for best composition written for a soloist or a small ensemble.
In 1998, at the initiative of their chief-conductor Tonči Bilić, they started working more consistently on a cappella compositions and compositions with minimal instrumental accompaniment. The effort resulted in a cycle – Sfumato – with the aim to present the audience works of Croatian musical heritage, master-pieces and rarely performed classical compositions, as well as the most recent works for choir music from Croatia and abroad. The cycle also has a visual dimension, which can be deduced from the sub-title Spiritual Sounds, Colors and Shapes, achieved in cooperation with the Mimara Museum.