Dubravko Detoni ‘Detoni plays Detoni’

Detoni plays Detoni LP coverDetail from spreadDetoni plays Detoni LP cover spreadDetoni plays Detoni strana 1

  1. Phonomorphia 2 (7:20)
    za klavir i magnetofonsku vrpcu, 1968
  2. Sifre (14:28)
    za klavir i elektroniku, 1967
  3. Orfejeva Pratnja (9:00)
    za klavir, 1967
  4. Koralna Predigra (4:03)
    u G-duru za klavir, 1969
  5. Elucubrations (9:16)
    za klavir i orkestar, 1969

Sudjeluje Simfonijski Orkestar RTZ
Dirigent Krešimir Šipuš

Total time 44:10
LP released by Jugoton, Zagreb, Yugoslavia, 1980

Croatian composer and writer Dubravko Detoni (born 1937, Križevci) is Croatia’s leading composer and most prominent artist with more than 42 record releases, mostly on Jugoton (known today as Croatia Records). In 1970, he founded the world famous new music ensemble ACEZANTEZ aka Ansambl CEntra ZA Nove TEndencije Zagreb (= Zagreb Ensemble Center for New Tendencies) to play his own music and that of a few other composers. The orchestra is not afraid of music happenings, poetry readings and any original idea leader Detoni might come up with. A commemorative book on ACEZANTEZ was published in 1999 by Raul Kneževic ed, Godina Izdanja publisher. Clive Graham’s Paradigm label released a collection of the orchestra’s interpretations of Detoni’s music based on 3 Jugoton LPs from the mid-1970s. Detoni now works as producer and music editor for national TV and radio network HRT. He published essays, poetry and fiction books – some of his short poems in english translation can be found here. Detoni’s composing style blends contemporary, Darmstadt-influenced compositions (think Nono and Ligeti), musique concrete, cut ups, electronic sound treatment applied to voices or instruments, improvisation and theatrical gestures.

The ‘Detoni plays Detoni’ LP offers an overview of the composer’s piano music from the 1960s, including solo piano, piano with electronics and piano with orchestra, with the composer at the piano on all tracks. ‘Phonomorphia 2’ is ‘piano music in the atomic age’, says Detoni in the liner notes, and this is certainly a killer, with electroacoustic dialogue between live piano and electronic reverberations and interjections. ‘Phonomorphia 2’ is also included in the 1971 Philips LP. ‘Sifre’ is a series of etudes for piano and extended piano where Detoni is duetting with himself on keyboards and inside the piano playing. ‘Orfejeva Pratnja’ is an impressive, monolithic solo piano composition with extensive use of silence and contrast in the Darmstadt tradition. ‘Koralna Predigra’ is a piano etude build on JS Bach’s reminiscences and is a dreamy, romantic composition compared to the stunning ‘Elucubrations’ (for symphonic orchestra), where the orchestra is used as a noise machine in the hands of Detoni. Possibly the kind of tour de force Detoni calls pobjeda nad materijom’ – or victory over matter (cf article).

.    .    .    .    .    .    .    .

Some records:
1971 ‘Graphies I.II.III./ Phonomorphia 1.2.3.’, LP, Philips, France
1970s ‘Avant Garde’ D Detoni/J Keliehor/J Lewis, Studio G, UK
1976 ‘Dubravko Detoni’, LP, Jugoton
1980 ‘Detoni Plays Detoni’, LP, Jugoton
2000 ‘Dubravko Detoni With Acezantez’, CD, Paradigm Discs, UK
2002 ‘Dubravko Detoni’, CD, Cantus Contemporary Croation Composers Series, Croatia

1 Response to “Dubravko Detoni ‘Detoni plays Detoni’”

  1. 1 JG July 24, 2009 at 7:51 am

    Interesting. Reminds me about the cultural life of former Yugoslavia (a state which I do not miss for a second tho) and its blend of multiple cultures and thoughts.

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