Novelties in Slavko Osterc's Youth Choruses


  • Katarina Bedina



Relatively numerous studies of Slavko Osterc's personality have, in conjunction with analyses of his works, considerably elucidated this most influential and penetrating modernist in Slovene music. Less light, however has been shed on Osterc's pure musical qualities, or rather, on how these qualities stand in relation to his musical modernism; in other words: what is characteristic of and what is hidden behind his satire, comic song, cynicism, contempt for sentimentality, intellectual composing and humour. Osterc's songs for youth chorus represent a tiny by-opus of twenty little songs written in 1930–40; nevertheless, they reflect the modernism typical of his whole work. They are distinguished by contemporary compositional elements, based mainly on concise and funny texts originating mostly from folk-songs of Bela Krajina, by masterly modelled melodic diction, free form, athematic structure, frequent imitative movement of voices, by progressions of dissonant chords, efforts towards new musical expression and by variegated, quite often very quick, changes in rhythm. Regarding Slovene youth music, Osterc's little compositions represent a qualitative shift from a predominantly lyrical, children's way of experience, mostly of a romantic nature, to a concise fable, full of musical cleverness and witty humour suitable for children.


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1. 12. 1975




How to Cite

Bedina, K. (1975). Novelties in Slavko Osterc’s Youth Choruses. Musicological Annual, 11(1), 93-100.