Citadel of Love

Serbian-Swedish Djuro Živković has quickly established himself as one of Europe’s leading young composers. His musical style is strongly marked by Byzantine Orthodox music – spiritual, mystical and characterized by fantastic narration, virtuosic instrumentation and a stylistic, highly profiled sound. Živković’s music presents a profound and abstract space to reflect on the subject matter of mystery, ecstasy and transcendence. Citadel of Love is a highly personal ensemble work which manages to create a mystical aural experience. The narrative voice of the piano together with the other six instruments, subtly adding voices as well as percussion instruments, carries the listener from beginning to end through an inner drama of intensity and fullness of soundscapes. I Shall Contemplate… II is an intimate chamber piece for viola and small ensemble, stylistically similar to a sacred cantata, in which improvisatory techniques contribute to the free and unencumbered compositional process. Here, Živković’s use of ancient scales creates an archaic, echoing space. The text, spoken by the soloist, comes from old Byzantine mystical books. Finally, Night Music is a fascinating crossover work in which piano works by Alexander Scriabin are mixed with newly composed musical layers, thus adding to the Russian composer an absurd fantasy, estranged passion and exotic illusions.


Zivkovic, Djuro: Citadel of Love

Conductor: Fredrik Burstedt
Sara Hammarstrom, Robert Ek, Daniel Saur, Marten Landstrom, Cecilia Zilliacus, Marco Fusi, Nikolay Shugaev

Invocation. Fluid, with watchfulness
De profundis. With peace
Rejoice, o Michael!
Peace, Bring Unto All
Zivkovic, Djuro: I Shall Contemplate… II

Conductor: Fredrik Burstedt
Solo viola: Riikka Repo
Sara Hammarstrom, Daniel Saur, Marten Landstrom, Cecilia Zilliacus, Mats Olofsson

Zivkovic, Djuro Night Music

Conductor: Fredrik Burstedt
Sara Hammarstrom, Robert Ek, Marten Landstrom, Cecilia Zilliacus, Mats Olofsson

I. Poème languide
II. Danse languide
III. Nuances
IV. Feuillet d’album no 1
V. Feuillet d’album no 2
VI. Poème


Label Catalogue Number: BIS-2685
Digital UPC: 7318599926858
Release Date: December 2023
Originally recorded in 2023
Producer: Marion Schwebel
Producer: Thore Brinkmann

Ivan Moody, Grammophone

Norbotten NEO provide absolutely outstanding performances, doing full justice to this remarkable music, and the recording quality is everything one has come to expect from BIS.

Pierre Rigaudière, Diapason

5/5 “It is Zivkovic’s freedom that captures attention in “Citadel of Love”, in this music where brilliant virtuosity alternates with the fusion of timbres, the simplicity of a mere cantus firmus, or a ghostly melody akin to those of Crumb, …a highly spontaneous expressiveness.”