Death of a senior European composer, 93

March 12, 2018 by norman lebrecht


The doyen of Croatian composers, Milko Kelemen, has died in Stuttgart at the age of 93.

He was a post-War student of Messiaen and Fortner, among others, and the founder of Music Biennale Zagreb.

Comments (7)

  1. John Borstlap says:

    That piece sounds just AWFUL and seems to be entirely compatible with the blood stains on the wall and what it represents.

    1. Harold Lewis says:

      Hmm. I wonder if people will speak so kindly and thoughtfully about your music, Mr Borstlap, when death takes you from us.

      1. John Borstlapj says:

        But it was not an aesthetic judgement, merely an observation. Since Schoenberg we know that serious music is often meant to be as awful as possible (that splatter was there not for nothing, I presume). Whether that is a good thing, is another matter: is art there to add more of the ugliness of the world than there is already? Is it there to remind us how awful life is, or can be?

        And by the way, you don’t have to worry about my postumous critical reception, since it could not possibly top the kind what I have already received generously over the last decades.

        1. Richard says:

          Long live Sousa!

  2. Christopher Culver says:

    I’ve always been meaning to check out that Portrait disc of Kelemen pieces on BIS. I guess I’ll do so now. It’s a shame that there is so much interesting music out there to listen to, that sometimes only the death of the composer gives you the needed kick in the arse to pick up a recording.

    1. Chris says:

      It’s a great one! I love his voice piece with a flute soloist on that one…forgot the title…anyway, get it! He definitely has a voice of his own and I like it!

      1. Chris says:

        Passionato for flute and choir. Just checked. Great piece.

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