Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

FIFTY-FIVE LÚČNICA MUSICIANS INTRODUCE THEMSELVES IN THE NEWLY FORMED GOLDEN VIOLIN

Folk music echoes loudly

DURING its 55th anniversary celebration last October, Lúčnica danced to a 36-member orchestra. Current and former musicians of the folk dance and music ensemble gathered together to perform only for that occasion.
But the exaltation that resulted from such a reunion understandably could not pass without consequences. It led to a new project, the 55-member Golden Violin orchestra.


THE ORCHESTRA compiles the memories of Lúčnica's musicians.
photo: Ctibor Bachratý

DURING its 55th anniversary celebration last October, Lúčnica danced to a 36-member orchestra. Current and former musicians of the folk dance and music ensemble gathered together to perform only for that occasion.

But the exaltation that resulted from such a reunion understandably could not pass without consequences. It led to a new project, the 55-member Golden Violin orchestra.

"For 15 years, the Lúčnica orchestra has had [up to] 10 musicians; before it was 35. Thus, when so many of us - former and current Lúčnica musicians - met, we decided to form an orchestra similar to the one that played for Lúčnica until 1990," said violin virtuoso Martin Sleziak, the leader of the current seven-member Lúčnica orchestra and the newly established Golden Violin.


photo: Ctibor Bachratý

Under his leadership, the 55 members will introduce themselves to the Slovak audience on May 13, 14, and 15, in Banská Bystrica, Bratislava, and Košice, respectively.

The musicians will perform great local folk works, international classical compositions, Hollywood-cinema arrangements, and jazz. The orchestra features tenors Jaroslav Dvorský and Ján Babjak, as well as Ľubomír Virág, a distinguished singer of the gypsy repertoire. Instrumental solos will come courtesy of such talents as brass instrument virtuoso Jiří Stivín from the Czech Republic and young dulcimer player Martin Budinský.

The whole project of forming the orchestra was completed in record time. The idea originated in October and, soon after, the initiators worked on arranging the repertoire. But it was not until February that they started calling up the musicians. In March they brought them together.

"I addressed 79 musicians and only two of them said they were not interested in the project, " said Sleziak.


photo: Ctibor Bachratý

According to the souls and minds behind the project - including Peter Ninej, Martin Čorej, Robert Puškár, and Július Jackuliak - the orchestra compiles the leading musicians from the Slovak Philharmonic, Slovak National Theatre, Orchestra of Folk Art Instruments (OĽUN) at the Slovak Radio, Lúčnica, Slovak Folk Art Collective (SĽUK), and other ensembles. They are all current or former members of Lúčnica, some of whom still play folk music, while others perform classical works. A few young students of music conservatories are also given the chance to take the stage with them.

After much contemplation over how many performers would be on stage, the number came to 55. Altogether, 70 alternating musicians master 30 violins, six double basses, six cellos, eight violas, and five dulcimers. There are also flute and clarinet sounds, as well as a percussion section.

The musicians were given the sheet music to prepare at home, meeting only a few times before the three-concert tour.


LÚČNICA also welcomed the EU entry on May 1.
photo: Ján Svrček

"The number 55 seems ideal. Each musician still has a significant amount of responsibility; there are not so many of us that one can hide behind another. Also, we can fit onto the stage more easily than if we had a higher number," Sleziak said.

Each March, Golden Violin plans to present a new programme. This premiere-year introduces the orchestra with a rich programme, basically "everything the orchestra is able to perform". Other years might be arranged thematically.

"I think that Slovakia's folk music market has been quite tight. Everything has revolved around the same musicians and something like Golden Violin has not been here yet," said Sleziak.

"Moreover, it is the dream of every musician who plays a bit of folk music to play in such a big ensemble. It's a completely new feeling to play with so many musicians."


The Golden Violin concerts
May 13 at 19:00 Banská Bystrica, House of Culture
May 14 at 20:00 Bratislava, Istropolis
May 15 at 19:00 Košice, House of Arts
Tickets cost from Sk400 to Sk990 and can be purchased online via www.ticketportal.sk.
For more information visit www.zlatehusle.topsoft.sk.

Top stories

Product quality laid on the EU table

Concerns over the different quality of same brand products are confirmed, but will anything change soon?

Will shopping in supermarkets soon become a thing of the past?

Education minister fails to explain distribution of EU money

The opposition parties plan to initiate a no-confidence vote, the second against this minister.

Education Minister Peter Plavčan

Who will stand up for journalists in Turkish prisons?

Journalists living in countries where politicians (for now) do not send people to prison for their opinions, who only sigh in relief that they are lucky this story does not concern them, are deeply mistaken.

Protesters in front of the court building.

EU court’s advocate general proposes to dismiss quota lawsuits

Yves Bot rejects arguments from Slovakia and Hungary on the legality of the relocation plan.

Refugees at the border between Hungary and Serbia.