Kogoj and Slavenski. A Contribution to the Typology of Yugoslav Musical Trends


  • Borut Loparnik




Evidence available does not seem to prove that Marij Kogoj (1892-1956) and Josip Slavenski (1896-1955) ever knew each other personally. Though they shared a similar experience with the public at home (they were both labelled as "extreme modernists"), they proceeded in two different art directions. Furthermore, their aesthetic views kept going their separate ways; while Slavenski structured his works under a strong influence of the folk-music idiom, Kogoj would follow a form of expressionism which was closer to Schönbergian tendencies, attaining a national expression devoid of any elements of the folklore. Consequently, their artistic relationship between 1918-1932 (from the foundation of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia to the outbreak of Kogoj's illness) could even be regarded as contradictory. However, it is not clear just how much Slavenski got to know Kogoj's music in Zagreb and Belgrade where he lived. The fact is that he never commented on it, not even in the presence of those Slovene composers with whom he was connected despite evident aesthetic differences between them. Contrariwise, Kogoj, who was active as a critic in Ljubljana from time to time, often expressed in public his admiration for the artistic significance and achievements of Slavenski. Their relationship seems therefore to have been one-sided only. But it is also possible that Slavenski considered newly produced native music mostly within the framework of the Yugoslav section of the ISCM, where he stood as one of the central figures. And it is a fact that first Slovene members of the ISCM did not invite Kogoj to join the section, obviously for personal and ideological, and not for aesthetic reasons. All these facts make the Kogoj-Slavenski relationship a typical socio-cultural model within the typology of Yugoslav musical tendencies.


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How to Cite

Loparnik, B. (1986). Kogoj and Slavenski. A Contribution to the Typology of Yugoslav Musical Trends. Musicological Annual, 22(1), 29–38. https://doi.org/10.4312/mz.22.1.29-38