On Sunday 25th October at 3pm, Serbian Choral Society held their annual concert at St Johns Southgate Lutheran Church. The concert presented a unique opportunity for the Australian audience to enjoy Serbian classical music.
The chorale performed (a cappella) the renowned compositions of Stevan Stojanovic Mokranjac in one of the most popular places for choir performance, in the heart of Melbourne.
In Mokranjac’s compositions, the traditional Serbian church singing is shaped by the influence of classical music from the West, thus creating a rich melody that differs from the Eastern Orthodox churches’ music.
“Mokranjac is the Serbian Bach,” said Alan de Niece, the host for the afternoon, and radio presenter at “Wednsday Night at the Opera”.
The audience had a chance to read about Mokranjac in a concert programme created by Rajko Vukcevic, organiser of the afternoon and Secretary of Serbian Choral Society.
Led by the masterly hands of Sanja Drljaca, a distinguished professor of music (and Serbian Choral Society’s artistic director), the choir beautifully performed complex compositions for an hour and a half.
Sava Djukic, a high school music teacher and member of a cappella group SUADE, sung a shortened version of the priests’ chant, thus tying the compositions beautifully.
The concert started with The Lord’s Prayer, followed by “Divine Liturgy of St John Chrysostom”. The liturgy was followed by “Funeral Service (Requiem)” and “We Praise Thee”. The concert ended on notes of pure serenity, “Hail, Bride”, which was Mokranjac’s last chant a mere two days before his passing in 1914. His wife Milica and his son Momcilo joined him in the singing at his request.
The standing ovation of the audience brought smiles to the faces of the choir members as they descended the stage and walked through the crowd. Many people stayed behind to congratulate the conductor and the choir members. “Absolutely gorgeous! Congratulations and slava to all,” said one member of the audience. Another remarked, “Wow! Thank you for inviting me today…it was truly something… We humans are musical instruments as the choir so beautifully demonstrated today…it was captivating, thank you!”
- Date 25. October 2015.