stevan stojanovic mokranjac

Traveling through east Serbia gives you a sensation of traveling through the time. It is hard to decide if east Serbia is richest with cultural-historic monuments or with natural beauties. In whole, this area is unique with its Vlah’s magic, legends and unusual customs.

Waiting to be discovered: Timocka Krajina with wine cellars, villages with sounds of authentic Serbian music and birthplace of  Stevan Mokranjac the most famous Serbian composer of the 19th century. His native house is a museum today.

His life was highly influenced by church and folk songs, and he used these two types of music as inspiration for his work. Almost his entire opus was inspired by the folk idiom (or traditional church music). Mokranjac  plunged deep into the spirit of the folk melody, emphasizing through stylization the hidden values of anonymous folk tradition. With a sure hand he selected from this treasury what was most valuable and best reflected the spirit and life of the people.

His most famous pieces are the fifteen Rukoveti (Potpourri; literally: “handfuls” or “bunches”) – a collection of songs and music (orchestral suites) based on motives of Serbian folk music from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia Proper, Montenegro, Kosovo and Metohija, Macedonia and Bulgaria. His other prominent folk-based works include Primorski napjevi (Coastland tunes), and Kozar. Famous religious pieces are Heruvimska pesma (Cherubic hymn), Tebe Boga hvalim (Te Deum) and Veličanije Sv. Savi (Megalynarion to St. Sava). Mokranjac dedicated his fourth Rukovet (work of art) to his hometown. His 15 rukoveti are considered the highest achievements of Serbian music.

Every year, the town of Negotin organizes a music festival in his honor called the Mokranjčevi dani (Days of Mokranjac) festival.

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