The Fifth Symphony of Lucijan Marija Škerjanc


  • Monika Kartin-Duh



The present contribution deals with the Fifth Symphony by Lucijan Marija Škerjanc (1900-1973), written in 1943. The authoress examines, almost from bar to bar, the score in its various aspects: form, instrumentation, harmonics, melodics, and rhythm. The Symphony is a late Romantic work, even if the structure of some of its chords together with other compositional means imparts impressionistic colourfulness. In contradistinction to the First and the Fourth Symphonies, discussed already in the preceding numbers of the Musicological Annual, the Fifth Symphony is composed in bigger dimensions, thus surpassing all the preceding ones. By its scoring and the use of various instruments and instrumental groupings it is certainly the richest and the most varied. Which clearly supports the conclusion that Škerjanc was well versed in instrumentation. As regards harmonics, Škerjanc is exploring a world which is in the auditory respect more complex than in actual fact. The sound picture is packed and condensed. The analysis of the material at hand shows that the composer is using mostly established chords, enriched by chromatic and enharmonic tones. In the construction of melodic lines Škerjanc often failed to explore them to the full; he does not elaborate his motives but rather leaves them unorganized at the beginning of their development – while in the continuation he starts using new constructional elements. Rhythm as well, it appears, did not interest Škerjanc greatly. At no point does the Symphony display more interesting rhythmical passages. Škerjanc often resorts to rhythmical ideas and employs them through several bars. This makes for motorics that in places leads to interesting effects.


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How to Cite

Kartin-Duh, M. (1983). The Fifth Symphony of Lucijan Marija Škerjanc. Musicological Annual, 19(1), 51–70.