The reception of Ravnik's musical work in Slovene musical periodic
AbstractJanko Ravnik aroused the attention of the Slovene musical public in the twenties of the 20th century, when his first compositions appeared in the New Chords (Novi akordi) review. After finishing his piano studies in Prague, he introduced himself to domestic audiences not only as a pianist but, interestingly, also as a composer. His firstlings were highly praised by the critics. Though rather alien to the New Chords, the only Slovene secular music periodical at the beginning of the century, each and every Ravnik's composition breathed the spirit of late romanticism if not modernism. It can be said, that Ravnik's works brought a new, to the New Chords less known spirit which took the editorial board more or less by surprise. Which means that already in the twenties Janko Ravnik represented a characteristic musical personality that had entered the Slovene musical scene with an idiosyncratically recognizable, and artistically accomplished musical language. However, Ravnik's subsequent composing remained bound to the musical poetics of his early works; his modest compositional output remained in the chamber music genre, in that of songs, choral works, and piano miniatures, so that he seems to have been more dedicated to performing on the concert podium and to teaching. Especially in the first half of the 20th century. Ravnik's musical activity was present in the musical life of Slovenia. What the reception of his creative work was like, is the aim of the present article. In this connection, all sources that follow the composer's pianistic activity have been taken into account, so that the mosaic of the 'written-down' might be more comprehensive. At first sight, the amount of personal sources appear to support the view that much has been already said about Ravnik, and that the interpretation of his musical art lacks only a rounded-off epilogue. However, a more thorough examination of the material, as well as the comparison of older and newer data, offer a completely different picture. Examining the reception of Ravnik's creativity in Slovene musical writings on three levels – critiques of compositions in music periodicals of that time, analytical contributions concerning Ravnik's compositions, and existing biographic sources, as well as similar descriptions of the composer's life and work – one comes to the conclusion that the first two, and at the same time most important levels can be reduced to two relevant authors: Gojmir Krek and Marijan Lipovšek. Which raises at least two questions: how much research has been actually done on Janko Ravnik's creativity, and, what is the real significance of his musical art in the mosaic of Slovene music history.
Copyright (c) 2005 Katarina Bogunović Hočevar
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