Dreams of Love, Hope and Sadness
Paris – Vancouver – Belgrade – Zagreb
Reflection on the Zagreb Quartet + program and ensemble
Written by Jovanka Visekruna Jankovic ( Zagreb Quartet + pianist and Art link founder) and Dr. Milan Milosevic (Zagreb Quartet + clarinet )
On Love and Hope
Performance of Weber’s piano Concerto Op. 79 by the orchestra in the Cathedral of St. Louis in Paris, I remember an extraordinary event in my life. It was a moment that started a wave of exceptional new connections with people and new and creative artistic ideas.
This performance at the magical venue experienced, given the delicate moment in my personal life, remains forever imprinted on me and all of us who shared the moments of creativity and synergy on the stage; surrounded by an excellent orchestra in the Paris Cathedral, next to the Napoleon Bonaparte’s final resting place.
These extraordinary and unique moments of are rare in the dedicated life of an artist. Through personal reflections on numerous past concerts during several decades in an active career as a concert pianist, and only a few of mine remained so deeply imprinted in my inner soul, for their strength and emotional energy, as that performance was.
Vancouver is the city where I performed as a soloist at The Queen Elizabeth Hall.
A magical city where you can enjoy the endless blue ocean or go down the snowy mountains.
Vancouver and the Banff Center for the Arts have been meeting places for artists worldwide, breathtaking scenery of a national nature park, where music is made outdoors and inspired by nature.
Many years later, at the Residence of the Embassy of Canada in Belgrade, I listened to an artist who lives in Vancouver and where he was a part of the Multicultural Orchestra, VICO (Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra) somewhat, similar in nature and mission to the one I founded earlier – Camerata Balcanica, That was our first meeting as Milan Milošević, clarinetist introduced himself with his cohorts on the small stage at the residence.
An unusual meeting and connection with Vancouver – the city where I dreamed a dream of music and love.
People sometimes instantly recognize each other’s sensibilities; these moments are remembered and cherished, and from that mutuality and shared conversations about music, new life-altering events shaped the story that took place in late Winter of 2022. One about ‘Love, Hope and Sadness’. These are universal human stories told through music and art. In that renewed story of my life as an artist, I seek to revisit my ‘Parisian’ Karl Maria v. Weber Concerto Op.79, this time through musical collaboration and creatively painted by outstanding musicians from the Zagreb String Quartet along with the clarinetist Milan Milošević, world-class bassoonist Žarko Perišić and the wonderfully talented young flutist, Milica Jovanović.
In December of 2022, attending the concert of the Zagreb Quartet and the clarinetist Milan Milošević in the performance of the Brahms Quintet and Dvorak’s Serenade, I experienced one of those seldom moments that genuinely inspired me. That evening and the music performed inspired further conversations and stories about talent, equality in opportunities and the proper place for the new generation of talented young musicians in a modern day and age, and the energy that connects the performance of a musical piece, reaching beyond the stage to the hearts and minds of audiences.
Milica Jovanović, a fantastic young flautist representing her generation, joined us as an exceptional talent for the new form of our ensemble. Zagreb Quartet + was formed as an extension of the already world-famous string ensemble, reaching some 105 years since its first inception.
Zagreb was the first meeting point where musicians from the renowned Zagreb Quartet, a Croatian national treasure, met with two visiting artists from Belgrade, Serbia, and the artist who connected us all – Milan Milošević.
ArtLink justified its name for the umpteenth time and brought together artists who, with their talents, hard work, relentless dedication, and personal qualities, got the opportunity to unite us all with the joy of sharing music.
There are many beautiful stories to tell. Every performance will be an opportunity for a new musical journey with a new and unique stage experience, joined by new creative forces, and meeting many people internationally, always with the simple mission – to create a synergy.
The appreciation of beauty we look forward to sharing with ordinary people.
Written by Jovanka Višekruna Janković, pianist
Thank you, dear Universe, for granting me so many profound feelings. And not just any kind! The ones coming as messages from the deep, often riddled with contradictions and purpose, yet mutually connected.
There are seven types of sadness, symbolized by human tears, which are like spider webs that are intertwined with the finesse that only poetry, music, and sculpture can capture, preserve, and lead to immortality. Art has remained the foundation of civilization throughout the ages. However, it became too overbearing for those creators who selflessly passed it on to us with their vulnerable and fragile souls, in their seemingly hopeless lives, with otherwise unreachable emotional heights and lows, often ending in a complete collapse in reality.
Ancient tears offer us a longing to understand past times that we can no longer experience. They are passed down to us as a generational oral tradition and offer a small glimpse of the time in which they were created under the weight of the epochs, enveloped in savage wars and destruction. They are unfathomable even to the most sensitive souls.
Old tears have been revived in today’s world, which we recognize and identify with, and pass on to new generations to help them understand and communicate with the unfortunate misgivings of the modern age.
Singing tears are used to fight all inhumanities relentlessly and defend the values we have dedicated our lives to through struggle.
Sad tears express our unspeakable pain and longing for peace under the burden of our lives’ terminality and the permanent loss of our most loved ones.
Forced, parodic tears are used to revel in the sadness of those we cannot fully understand and identify with. Still, with the human spirit of revival, we offer a rather barren substitute, and through parody, we defend humanity by raising the human spirit of those around us who are in need.
Tears of love, with which we describe unfathomable, eternal love! The one love to whom we give everything without expectations in return, even at the cost of losing our happiness and the joys that life seldom rewards us with.
Sincere tears are used to express feelings that find no peace with the words of comfort and compassion. They are used to peacefully accepting what we cannot change in life, with the awareness that we can change very little in life and seeking wisdom in distinguishing one from the other.
Written by Dr. Milan Milosevic
Photo: Jesse Read, Miljana Vukovic (photo of Jovanka Visekruna Jankovic)