Nebojsa Jovan ZIVKOVIC (b. 1962)
Ultimatum IIa. The Castle of the Mad King. Ilijas. Ein
Liebeslied?. Northwind. Bayerischer Ländler. Trio per unoab.
Il canto dei gondolieri. Suomineito. Der kleine
Nebosja Jovan Zivkovic
(percussion) with aBenjamin Toth, bFernando Meza
BIS CD-1098 [68'41]
It would appear that the age of the virtuoso who performs his own compositions
is not dead after all. Born in 1962, Zivkovic studied composition, music
theory and percussion in Germany. It is obvious from this programme that
he knows how to show off his strengths to the full, but not without a price.
The impressive virtuosity of The Castle of the Mad King (1998/9, and
also the title of the CD) will probably only really hold a fellow percussionist's
attention for its full duration (nearly 18 minutes).
That is, however, the only piece which outstays its welcome. The title of
'Ultimatum II' refers to the challenges (ultimatums) between the two players.
Zivkovic creates an hypnotic atmosphere in the first section, ending with
an exciting finale in 14/16 time.
The Trio per uno (for three players) is the other substantial work
offered. It marries virtuosity with a magical, bell-like second movement
and a primal concluding section, complete with guttural, quasi-primordial
The shorter pieces are easier listening. The Bayerischer
Ländler is pure pastiche, Northwind is a show-off piece
with a lyrical after-section, ll canto dei gondolieri is effective
in its simplicity and Suomineito conjures up the world of the music-box.
Finally, Ilijas (a town in Bosnia) is folksy and hushed.
Der kleine Paganini acts as a scintillating encore.
Zivkovic is his own best advocate throughout.