Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Klapa Grdelin

This is still a Fridays-and-Mondays blog, but in the wake of Denvention, I've got so many things to talk about that I thought I might make an extra posting or two.

I ran into my good friends Mihaela and Petra, whom Marianne and I met in Croatia when I was guest of honor at Sveracon in Zagreb (I've got the proper spelling of their full names around here somewhere, but to my great embarrassment, I can't figure out where), and got to spend some time with them. Not only was this one of the high points of the convention for me, but they gave me a CD of Klapa music!

Klapa (the word means "a group of people") is a traditional form of a capella music, which seems to be practiced exclusively by men. Marianne and I discovered it when we were wandering through Zagreb and passed by a bar just as a group inside began singing.

We stopped, transfixed with wonder.

Honest to God, it sounded like angels come down to Earth. Unless you're Croatian, or have been to Croatia, you have no idea how beautiful it was.

The album Petra and Mihaela gave us was Parvi by a group called Klapa Grdelin. They're apparently thought to be the best Klapa group singing today. Here's a bit of their publicity I found on the Web:

Klapa Grdelin was founded in Zagreb in February 2000. Throughout the years Grdelin has been exploring and expanding its repertoire that was performed at many concerts and festivals. The repertoire includes original Dalmatian songs arranged by famous composers and ethnomusicologists (Jakov Gotovac, Ljubo Stipišić, Dinko Fio, Duško Tambača and others), popular tunes adapted for klapa singing, traditional folk tunes of Lent and Christmas. Grdelin has found a valuable source of songs in the rich musical heritage of the city of Split and its surrounding area.

From the year 2000 onwards Grdelin has regularly performed at Dalmatian Klapa Festival in Omiš, where they performed in the final in 2002, 2005, 2006, and 2007. In 2006 they shared the first place in Večer izvornih napjeva, and won the second place from the expert jury, and Srebrni leut grada Omiša in the final of the male klapa competition. Grdelin performed at various concerts at home (in a series of concerts held by various klape from Zagreb, Christmas concerts in Zagreb, Lent concerts of klape from Zagreb in 2003 and 2004, two highly acclaimed performances at Summer Festival in Varaždin, and so on), charity events, various events in Europe (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, Vojvodina, Greece, Poland, Ireland, Germany), klapa festivals in Croatia (Crikvenica, Cavtat, Skradin, Trogir), and as backup for the Croatian ethno-group Kries. Klapa Grdelin won two awards, for the best performance of an original folk tune and for the best bass, in Skradin Klapa Festival in 2007.

I just thought you should know that the world contained such marvels.

And as always . . .

. . . I've updated the Poem du Jour and Pastor Marcia's Journal. Check 'em out!



rant said...

We are very, very glad you like the CD and were delighted to have seen you again! ;) It was a highlight of our Worldcon as well! Lots of love to Marrianne! Mihaela

mcp said...

It's gorgeous music. I am so jealous Michael got to see you again and I didn't. Take care.