Word and melody in the opus of Momčilo and Svetomir Nastasijević
Reč i melodija u stvaralaštvu Momčila i Svetomira Nastasijevića
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In the house of artistically gifted family Nastasijević where renowned Belgrade artists used to gather together during the twenties and thirties of the previous century, music was nothing but an excuse for regular meetings. The art of sound represented a backbone of one system of poetics in the shaping of which Nastasijević brothers as well as their close contemporaries and faithful friends truly found the common ground. Rethinking the music phenomenon brought them close to their otherwise remote relatives by thought - to Greek philosophers, but also to French and especially Russian symbolists whose opinions they shared. A pursue for, on one hand, an authentically native but, on the other, cosmopolitan spirit and universal values, marked the creative output of Momčilo, a writer and a pivot of Nastasijević family, but also the overall creative engagement of his brothers. They all shared common aesthetic standards, attempting to apply these in their respective artistic media as well as i...n synergy, in their joint ventures. In music dramas entitled Međuluško blago and Đurađ Branković, for which Momčilo wrote the script and Svetomir composed the music, the brothers tried to transform into deeds the Nastasijević-like convictions regarding music. The aim was to re-find and turn a native - homeland melody into sound. This melody represented a 'golden ratio point' in which all arts meet; it is a kind of a spiritual totality embodying one form of spiritual existence which cannot be reached otherwise but from the 'homeland soil'. They believed they would reach the archetype of national identity and, at the same time, of the universal being by harking at and perpetual crying for the forgotten sound of words. Momčilo's poetic concept demanded necessary interventions in respect to the dramatic genre. In his essay Dramsko stvaralaštvo i pozorište kod nas, he unequivocally opposed to what he argued to be a decadent and artistically senseless Serbian stage, a place wherefrom an individual and the world he lives in are being superficially analyzed, a place that only serves for mass entertainment, propagation of political and social convictions, and which in its character is getting closer to movie industry. By discarding realistic procédé, the poet reached for a myth in Međuluško blago whereas in Đurađ Branković he turned to historical themes. In both of these he delved deep in the essence of drama. His poetic expression had therefore to become dense, more a premonition than a statement, so that it necessarily needed melody as an attribute. Music is a pivot of Međuluško blago, which Nastasijević brothers emphasized to be not an opera, or Wagnerian music drama, but a drama meant for being interpreted through singing and nothing but singing. The drama is a music one because the very storyline and the characters' words were supposed to emanate music expression, and music was to drive the characters to a tragic conflict and actualize the antique fatum that permeated, resonated in and guided all creatures. The words and the melody were meant to be inseparable in Đurađ Branković music drama as well. To what extent their music works actualized what the 'Nastasijević manifesto' theoretically proclaimed is to be left to be considered in some other topical study.
Dvojica braće Nastasijevića, pesnik Momčilo i kompozitor Svetomir, delili su zajednički umetnički koncept, koji su nastojali da sprovedu u, takođe zajedničkim, muzičkim dramama Međuluško blago i Đurađ Branković. U radu su predstavljene osnovne ideje 'nastasijevićevske' poetike, u kojoj je ponovno iznalaženje i ozvučenje maternje - rodne melodije bio cilj kojem su u pomenutim dramama Nastasijevići težili.