I Garland

I GarlandThe First Garland (1883, first performed in 1884 with the Kornelije Stanković Choir) is the only one originally written for a male chorus. It reflects the lively temperament of a young composer trying his hand at a new form: an abundance of material (nine songs) detracts from formal unity. Mokranjac, however, tries to achieve internal cohesion by repeating specific melodies, a device used by Marinković in his Kolos. Thus, two stanzas of the first song, Boja, Mine, given in vigorous unison, frame the melodious second, Glowing Sun, rather like a trio, while reminiscences of the first and elegiac third song What Ails You, Stana? (with a tenor solo) appear later before the final song. The lively fourth song, Carnations, Dear Love, already demonstrates a typical Mokranjac progression through several stanzas, while the scherzo sixth Said My Uncle has an interesting thematic refrain in the accom-somewhat overdoing it. Definitely the most successful is the broadly elaborated final song, Old Woman, which brings the whole cycle to an effective climax while foreshadowing the composer’s future masterly use of the choral en­semble.