On 6th October 2017 the Saarland Plucked Strings Orchestra (SZO) departed on a 7-day concert tour to Croatia. As on their concert tours the SZO is always cultural ambassador of the Saarland, this touring was supported in a non-material way and financially by the minister president‘s office in Saarbrücken. We thank them sincerely for sponsoring.
The journey started in Dalmatia on the Croatian Adriatic coast. The first of altogether three concerts of this tour was given on Saturday evening 7th October in Split. The resident mandolin orchestra there GMD Sanctus Domnio has made an international name for themselves with – among others – brilliant performances at the Euro Festival for Plucked Strings in Germany.
On Saturday 8th October the SZO made a guest appearance in Imotski. Every year in May an international festival of plucked strings takes place there. Meeting the Mandolinski orkestar “Imotski“ and making music together with them was a great pleasure for the SZO.
We then visited Croatia‘s capital Zagreb on Thursday 12th October. To round off the concert tour the SZO gave a concert together with the Mandolin and Guitar Orchestra “Sloga“, one of the best and most renowned ensembles of this kind in the country.
Within their luggage the musicians of the SZO had a first performance “Fantasie Nr. 2“. This work, written by our young player and composer, Andreas Lorson, is dedicated to the SZO. Other works which accompanied us on our tour were: Andante et Polonaise (E. Mezzacapo), The City awakens (E. Stöpler), Aria ( P. Lehel), Cool & Blue (P. Lehel), Libertango (A. Piazzolla), Impressioni D‘Oriente (A. Amadei), and Second Waltz (D. Schostakovitsch).
As is known the SZO appears not only as a comprehensive orchestra (tutti), but also presents itself in various chamber music ensembles. Thus the guitar ensemble of the SZO contributed to the programme with two exciting and varied works (Kalimba by J. Kindl and Introduction et Fandango by L. Boccherini), by which the guitarists could show their dexterity as well as their expression.
It was a great honour to play together with the Croatian plucked strings orchestras at the end of each concert night. On all three nights a Saarland-Croatian ensemble enthralled the audience by Suite Nr 6 (H. Ambrosius) and the “anthem“ of Croatian plucked strings music The Bells of Kaštela (V. Sunko).
We give our particular thanks to Goran Goić, member of the orchestra and born Croat, who as an expert guide presented to us the most beautiful sides of his home country.