JOY OF WORK by David Nez
see more of David's art

 

A Brief, Sad Letter
Beside the Crystal Waters of a Brook
By Sarajevo There's a Green Garden
Dheza Falls Asleep by the Sea
It's Money That Marries Off a Homely Girl
It's (More) Money That Marries Off a Homely Girl
Listen to a Wonder Never Heard Before!
Nona Una
Oh, Green Pine Tree
Old Mother of Dzhaferbeg
Two Black Ravens
Were I to Choose a Man
What Is the Reason, My Beloved?
Zorna Zorka


 

Written in the fall of 2008, Postcards from the 1930’s was inspired by the music of ca. 300 mainly epic songs recorded during Albert B. Lord and Milman Parry's ethnomusicological research of mountainous regions of former Yugoslavia in 1934-5. During a residence at New York’s Columbia University in 1941-2, Bela Bartok transcribed and analyzed the structure of 75 of these melodies, and published them as Serbo-Croatian Folksongs (New York: Columbia University Press, 1951).  The original field recordings are now housed in the Milman Parry Collection of Oral Literature at Harvard University.

Musical frames are intended to set a couple repetitions of the musical strophes of so-called “women’s songs” (lyric and narrative poems sung by women, usually without instrumental accompaniment).  The string instrument's melodies in Postcards from the 1930’s suggest the persona of the folksinger herself, to which the piano "responds," creating a kind of musical dialogue between folk and contemporary art music genres. The songs are here organized alphabetically by title, an order not necessarily to be followed: performances may include some or all of the songs, in any ordering, as desired. 

Postcards from the 1930's, recorded by Katie Wolfe and Ketty Nez for Albany Records.

Recordings below of the premiere by violinist Katie Wolfe and pianist Ketty Nez, Boston University, 1.22.2009.

A Brief, Sad Letter (Hercegovina) poem text
duration: 1:07

Beside the Crystal Waters of a Brook (Hercegovina) poem text
duration: 1:15

By Sarajevo There's a Green Garden (Hercegovina) poem text
duration: 0:56

Dheza Falls Asleep by the Sea (Hercegovina) poem text
duration: 1:30

It's Money That Marries Off a Homely Girl (Hercegovina) poem text
duration: 0:55

It's (More) Money That Marries Off a Homely Girl (Hercegovina) poem text
duration: 0:55

Listen to a Wonder Never Heard Before! (Hercegovina) poem text
duration: 1:25

Nona Una (Dalmatia) poem text
duration: 0:50

Oh, Green Pine Tree (Dalmatia)
duration: 1:41

Old Mother of Dzhaferbeg (Bosnia) poem text
duration: 1:55

Two Black Ravens (Hercegovina) poem text
duration: 1:53

Were I to Choose a Man (Hercegovina) poem text
duration: 2:26

What is the Reason, My Beloved? (Hercegovina) poem text
duration: 1:25

Zorna Zorka (Hercegovina) poem text
duration: 0:55
return to introduction