P u b l i c a t i o n :  M e d i t e r r a n e o




Six Songs on Poetry by Eugenio Montale

1. Forse un mattino

2. Mediterraneo

3. Felicità raggiunta

4. Upupa

5. La farandola dei fanciulli

6. Il girasole

for Cello Guitar Duo and SATB-Choir

Written for En Cuerdas

Lenght: ca. 14 minutes
Composer: Dusan Bogdanovic


Mediterraneo was composed in 2018 by Dušan Bogdanović for the duo En Cuerdas, Cornelia Leuthold and David Talamante. It is presumably the first work ever written for cello guitar duo and choir. In terms of content, Bogdanović sets to music six poems from "Ossi di Seppia" (Cuttlefish Bones) by the Italian poet Eugenio Montale. The publication of the work "Ossi di Seppia" in 1925 made Montale a well-known writer. Fifty years later he received the Nobel Prize for Literature.

The six songs from Mediterraneo feature typical elements of Dušan Bogdanović’s music: polyrhythm, polymetric, jazz harmonies, elements of African and Balkan folk music, counterpoint and melodic modes altogether as a complex synthesis of ethnic, classical, jazz and contemporary music.

The first song Forse un Mattino (Maybe One Morning) is characterized by its rich counterpoint with an alternating and mutating motif. Its music and the text are, as in the other movements, closely related. The two stanzas revolve around the themes of existence and reality, which are, sometimes mysteriously represented by short musical sketches.

The second poem Mediterraneo expresses Montale's personal relationship with the Mediterranean. The nature, the sea, but also various elements of this landscape are masterfully set to music and shine through its rhythm, motivic design and zest for action. This wide dimension is also felt in the third movement Felicità raggiunta (Happiness Achieved). In his almost entirely hendecasyllabic poem, Montale reflects on happiness and its resulting suffering. Perhaps, like other twentieth-century writers, Montale wanted to break away from the rigid schemes and express freedom with this poem. Similarly, Dušan Bogdanović uses complex rhythmic passages and explores mutating 5/8, 7/8, 2/4, 3/4, 4/4, 5/4, and 6/4 time signatures. This 3rd movement is written for soprano, alto, cello and guitar.

The fourth song Upupa (Hoopoe) features, among other jazz elements, jazz harmonies and polyrhythmic. The various rhythms, sounds, accents, syncopations and articulations are reminiscent of the sounds, flight and movement of this bird. La farandola dei Fanciulli (The Children's Farandole) represent a Provencal dance in 3/4 time. It displays pentatonic elements, binary counter rhythms and cyclic motifs. The whole work ends with the imposing polymetric anthem Il Girasole (The Sunflower). This song starts with a cello guitar duo cadenza which unveils the main motive. This is later developed like the growth of a sunflower. Themes such as transparency, appearance, clarity, colors, music and the essence of life are poetically and musically united and conclude in an exquisite cadence with an enlightening A major chord.

Text: David Talamante (original text in German).

               Publisher: Les Éditions Doberman-Yppan


                        Dusan Bogdanovic’s Website

With financial support from the FONDATION SUISA and the City of Dübendorf

Première: Friday, April 5, 2019, 19:30, Aula Hirschengraben, Zürich ZH, Switzerland
Performance: Saturday, April 6, 2019, 19:30, ref. Kirche, Wetzikon ZH, Switzerland
Performance: Sunday, April 7, 2019, 17:00, Lazariterkirche Gfenn, Dübendorf ZH, Switzerland
Performance: Wednesday, April 10, 2019, 19:30, Schloss Liebegg Gränichen AG, Switzerland
Dernière: Friday, April 12, 2019, 19:30, Marianischer Saal, Luzern, LU, Switzerland