Aegis Carminis

Marijan Dović THIS FIDDLE - Slovenian folk songs from Primorska for mixed choir and jazz strings

You can watch a video presentation HERE

About the music

''Folk music heritage of the wider Primorska region has been close to my heart since forever. Years ago I played many an Istrian song with Vlado Batista's, whereas Julijan Strajnar's book gave me inspiration to undertake a journey across Rezija, the mysterious valley where the sounds of citira (violin) and bunkula (bass) echoe to this day. That is exactly why, at the end of 2019 in between charming coffeeshop debates along the Ljubljanica river, Ambrož Čopi so easily convinced me to make an album of folk songs from Primorska. I researched an abundance of written texts and melodies from Istra, Trieste, Goriška, Venetia and Rezija, and chose those that touched me for one reason or another – sometimes for their playfulness too – and after that, started composing the album in the beginning of 2020. In uncertain circumstances, shaken by the pandemic, I finished an album in about a year's time. It is titled after its last composition – Ta citira (This Fiddle), where the power of love meets the power of music. 

Some of the chosen songs have spread throughout Slovenia, others are very special and only known in their narrower areas. Love is the main theme of most – from lightly humorous to sad, even tragic stories. In the adaptations, I reinterpret their melodies on the basis of jazz harmony and emphasize their rhythmic component by introducing rhythms and atmospheres of several different international traditions (swing, latin, afro). Despite distinct authorial interventions into the folk material, I tried to preserve the original message and inner temperament of the songs. I arranged a few of them as a cappella compositions, but most are adapted to be performed with accompaniment. For it, a carefully assembled jazz string quartet with added percussion has been chosen, bringing the freshness of improvisation into the music – and returning into the classical sound of a multiple-voiced choir some of that original energy that was once possessed by folk musicians.''

 Marijan Dović, June 2021

Marijan Dović


Marijan Dović (roj. 1974, Zagreb) se ob znanstveni karieri na literarnem področju (višji znanstveni sodelavec in izredni profesor na Inštitutu za slovensko literaturo in literarne vede ZRC SAZU) ukvarja tudi z jazz glasbo in komponiranjem. Kot violinist je igral in snemal z mnogimi vidnimi domačimi in tujimi glasbeniki, več let vodil mednarodno glasbeno delavnico Jazzinty ter izdal zgoščenki z avtorsko glasbo (Gorjanske bajke, 2005; Got Rhythm?, Godalni kvartet Corcoras, 2018). Njegove vokalne skladbe so izvajali APZ Univerze na Primorske, APZ Maribor, Slovenski oktet, Pomlad, Cantabile, Quatuor vocum, Novo mesto, Mezzo, Krog, Krka in drugi. Za znanstvene dosežke je leta 2008 prejel Srebrni znak ZRC SAZU, za umetniške pa Trdinovo nagrado.


Marijan Dović (born in Zagreb, 1974) is an academician of literary sciences (higher scientific consultant and professor at the Institute for Slovenian literature and literary sciences of ZRC SAZU), as well as a jazz musician and composer. As a violinist, he performed and recorded with many known Slovene and international musicians, led the musical workshop Janzzinty and released two albums featuring original compositions (Gorjanske bajke, 2005; Got Rhythm?, Corcoras string quartet, 2018). His vocal compositions have been performed by choirs and vocal ensembles such as APZ UP, APZ Maribor, Slovenski oktet, Pomlad, Cantabile, Quatuor vocum, Novo mesto, Mezzo, Krog Krka and others. He received the Silver Honorary Badge of ZRC SAZU in 2018 for his scientific achievements and the Trdin Prize for his artistic work.