‘Dardanicum Cantori’ and chamber music in Kosovo – Rafet Rudi

“Dardanicum Cantori” and chamber music in Kosovo

A few days ago, in the hall of the beautiful National Library, was the concert of the vocal quartet “Dardanicum Cantori”. This ensemble was born among us, in silence, for some years now, not with numerous concerts, but always with a well-defined repertoire, a repertoire that clearly focuses on the stylistic literature of vocal polyphony, one of the most important in the vocal field known in the history.

The peculiarity of this chamber formation is that from the beginning they are dedicated to the cultivation of the music of the ancient masters of the Renaissance and especially of the Baroque era.

Members of this formation are Kaltrina Miftari, Diellza Sulejmani, Safet Berisha and Shaban Behramaj, who each with their own distinctive artistic personality, refined for the culture of song and exemplary musicality, which contribute immensely to the overall artistic profile of this ensemble.

The promoters of this chamber formation are Kaltrina Miftari, soprano and Safet Berisha, counter-party. both already clearly defined as competent interpreters of the music of the era. Tracing their individual appearances in our concert life, we discover that, practically, they are among the few performers who are completely engaged in this stylistic orientation. In fact, they well understood that this specific music clearly differs from the music of the classical era and especially the music of the romantic era, in all interpretative segments: in the characteristics of the acquisition of sound, in vocalism, in the specific realization of melismas, the phrase, the specific vibrato etc. Moreover, Safet as a counter-party, makes his artistic personality unique, because he is the only counter-party not only in Kosovo but also in the region.

In the program of this concert there were works by emblematic authors of the music of the Renaissance era: Tallis, Purcell, Desprez, Passereau, Farmer, Dowland. And this program was brilliantly executed with all the necessary finesse. In the last part of the program several short compositions of the Albanian authors were included, with great taste: Esat Rizvanolli (“Midis ballit”), Thoma Simaku (“Trëndline”), Lorenc Antoni (“Çarapet e burrit”) and Ylber Asllani ( ‘Qan lulja për lulen’). It was interesting to hear these famous works by our authors, singing in such a specific way.

Chamber formations in our vocal music

The activity of the “Dardanicum cantor” simultaneously highlights a new trend in our musical life: the introduction of chamber formations in the field of vocal music. Furthermore, it should be noted that the long activity of “Okete plus”, a very qualitative masculine training that is now considered stable. On the other hand, last year’s performance of an interesting women’s chamber ensemble attracts our attention – “Zanat”, an ensemble composed of members of the philharmonic choir. This ensemble should clarify their attempt to define their artistic physiognomy more precisely. Thus there is an attempt to broaden this trend in the field of vocal music.

I think it is very important that competent institutions notice this phenomenon and respond appropriately. These formations must be stimulated, materially supported and encouraged to act, as chamber music is a sure indicator of a qualitative increase in musical life. Assistance should not imply material support for a single concert; rather it must involve funding (even modest!), for a cycle of concerts or support for one or more years to maintain the continuity of their work.

Chamber music is a key element in the development of a country’s overall musical life. The experience of the developed musical centers, in the region and beyond, shows that a culturally healthy environment is considered when (that environment) pays close attention to this segment of musical life.

Rafet Rudi

Pristina, 18.09.2019

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