The Operatic Work of Stanojlo Rajičić


  • Nadežda Mosusova



Stanojlo Rajičić (b. 1910), an outstanding Serbian composer and one of the leading Yugoslav ones, turned to opera after the Second World War, when he was already a mature and generally recognized artist. Otherwise an author of numerous solo, chamber, symphonic, and vocally-symphonic works, incidental and ballet music, Rajičić meaningfully contributed to the small but imposing operatic output of his country by composing three musical dramas. The first, Simonida (four versions: 1953, 1957, 1958, and 1967), is based on the play Kraljeva jesen (The King's Autumn) by the Serbian poet Milutin Bojić; the second, Karadjordje (1972) was inspired by the play Vožd by the contemporary Serbian writer Ivan Studen; and the third, Diary of a Madman (1977), is based on Nikolai Gogol's story bearing the same title. Differring in character, Rajičić's operas reflect the multiplicity of the composer' s artistic image and reveal also in this medium the wide range of the expressive possibilities of his music. By the time he wrote Simonida Rajičić had tried his hand at several stylistic genres; in his first opera he evoked the late Romantic-oriented musical idiom, with its stable tonal points and discreet national colouring (cf. examples 1-4), thus creating a through-composed musical-scenic work in traditional form, of monumental richness of sound and of vocal parts impressive in their scope. In the television operas Karadjordje and Diary of a Madman the composer takes us into the sphere of experimental theatre with its freely through-composed musical form of Expressionist sound, where the relation between words and music is based either on a strict rendering of the text (in Karadjordje – cf. examples 5 and 6) or on a recitative cantilena of minor intervals (in Diary of a Madman – cf. examples 7-12). The musical and dramaturgical concept of Rajičić's television operas offers interesting examples of an original approach to the new medium in the developing of contemporary psychological musical drama.


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1. 12. 1981




How to Cite

Mosusova, N. (1981). The Operatic Work of Stanojlo Rajičić. Musicological Annual, 17(2), 85-100.