Zoran Eric: Oberon

December 15, 2021 / ISCM – SERBIAN SECTION


Zoran Erić (b. 1950, Serbia) acquired his BA and MA degrees in composition at the Faculty of Music in Belgrade. For a short time, he also studied at the Orff Institute in Salzburg and in Witold Lutosławski’s master-class in Grožnjan, Croatia. His works have been performed in almost every country in Europe, in the USA, China, and Australia, by renowned Serbian and foreign ensembles. He is a full professor at the Department of Composition at the Faculty of Music in Belgrade; in addition, he has taught master-classes and seminars at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and at Iressia in Athens. Between 1992 and 1998, he was a vice-dean of the Faculty of Music in Belgrade, and between 2000 and 2004 a vice-rector of the University of Arts in Belgrade and chairman of the Board of SOKOJ, the Serbian organisation for protecting intellectual rights in music. Between 2007 and 2015, he was head of the Department of Composition at the Faculty of Music, and between 2015 and 2018, he was rector of the University of Arts in Belgrade. In Erić’s oeuvre, a special place is occupied by incidental and film music. He has collaborated with some of Serbia’s most prominent theatre makers, such as Sonja Vukićević, Gorčin Stojanović, Nikita Milivojević, Vida Ognjenović, Nebojša Bradić, Ivana Vujić, Milan Karadžić, Haris Pašović, Dejan Mijač, Boro Drašković, Egon Savin, and others. Erić has won a number of prizes and awards, most notably the October Award of the City of Belgrade, YUSTAT Grand Prix for incidental music, two Golden Mimosas for film music, two Sterija Awards for incidental music, and the Great Gold Medal of the University of Arts in Belgrade. He is a triple laureate of Serbia’s most prestigious award in the domain of music, the Mokranjac Award.

Zorica Premate writes: Oberon koncert (1997) was composed for solo flute and instrumental ensemble and constitutes the final, fifth part of the cycle Slike haosa (Images of Chaos). Inspired by Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, it is based on the formal and compositional technical scheme of Images of Chaos, featuring an alternation of its constituent parts: Neshvatanje (Incomprehension), Otpor (Resistance), Čuđenje (Amazement), Prihvatanje (Acceptance), and Epilog (Epilogue). Missing from previous cycles is the segment Bes (Rage), whereas the segment Čuđenje is significantly elaborated, appearing in multiple alternations with Otpor. Each movement has its own tonal material in the orchestra only partially (the second Čuđenje, toward the end, borrows material from Otpor); therefore, the form of the work in performance differs from the scheme presented in the score: with its material and tempo, Neshvatanje is a broad but compact section; it is followed by the first, short Otpor, whose tonal material is the work’s main sonic and kinetic driving force. Toward the end of the work, the sections under the title of Otpor occupy increasing amounts of space: not only do they spread to the second Čuđenje, but their material also occupies time through a successive enlargement of movements with new titles: the first Otpor goes on for 40 bars, the second for 72, while the third spans no fewer than 240! The tightness of the enormous Otpor (which, therefore, begins already during the second Čuđenje) is broken up by the solo flute’s second cadenza, which is, in fact, the sole representative of the second Čuđenje. Thus instead of the variety of a rondo (which is indicated by the clear division in the score, with alternation between the two sections mentioned above), the work’s global scheme presents a picture of a ternary form, slow – fast – slow, an inverted concerto form. The huge fast-tempo segment is conspicuously cut in two places with a change of events – the solo flute cadenzas.

Zoran Erić: Oberon koncert
Ljubiša Jovanović, flauta/flute
Ansamble “Gradilište” / The Construction Site Contemporary Music Ensemble
Hol Narodne Banke Srbije / Hall of the National Bank of Serbia
18 September 2014