Echoes of Josip Murn-Aleksandrov's Poetry in Slovene Music

  • Danilo Pokorn


The study offers a contribution towards an issue so far comparatively little studied: how are Slovene works of literary art treated by composers. The beginnings of the vital interconnections between literature and music go back almost two hundred years, to the first – unfortunately not preserved – Slovene opera, Belin, the authors of which are the librettist Janez Damascen Dev (1732–1786) and the composer Jakob Franc Zupan (1734–1810) . The author describes how the poetry of one of the greatest Slovene lyrical poets, Josip Murn-Aleksandrov (1879-1901), found response in the musical literature. This poet – the youngest in the famous four of the Slovene literary modern movement (the others being Ivan Cankar – 1878–1918, Dragotin Kette – 1876–1899, Oton Župančič – 1878–1949) – shows a refined sensibility to the momentary states of mind as well as his intimate relation to nature, he is an artist of a charm and ring wholly his own. Especially precious are his poems about rural life. At en early stage already Murn's poetic qualities attracted Slovene composers, and since then – if with varying intensity – this attraction has never ceased to continue. As many as a hundred compositions have it as its basis – tiny works created by musicians of different generations, styles, artistic potential – and among these works there are certain ones clearly best representative of the Slovene choral song and lied.


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How to Cite
PokornD. (1981). Echoes of Josip Murn-Aleksandrov’s Poetry in Slovene Music. Musicological Annual, 17(2), 123-134.