The celebrated Ipavec family from Sentjur by Celje is famous for providing Slovenian music with no less than four composers brothers Alojz, Benjamin, Gustav and Gustav’s son Josip Ipavec. None was musician by profession, all four were doctors but music was their heartfelt need through which they served their creative bent. To Benjam in and Gustav Ipavec, however, music was also a means of serving their nation during the time of awakening national consciouness. How important music was to this family is also evident from the fact that other members, including women, performed as well. The nieces of Benjamin and Gustav Ipavec even formed the Erstes österreichisches Damenquartett which, in the eighteen eighties gave concerts and was renown throught Europe.

B. Ipavec clef J. Ipavec
Dr. Benjamin Ipavec (1839-1908) was, artistically, the most important member of the family and, with Anton Foerster and Fran Gerbic, is counted in the leading trio of Slovenian romantic composers. He lived in Graz and, for many years, was head physician in a childrens hospital.

Still he was closely connected with the culture life of Slovenia; his composing was compreehensive and varied , extended from solo songs to opera, from choral song to cantata and from piano miniature to composition for orchestra conveying ardent patriotism.

The most precious are his solo songs of which he composed about seventy. They are marked by their magnanimity, verbally accommodating melodies, rich harmonies, vigoorus form and soft feeling, in them there is a great deal of heartfelt homeliness. At first, he also arranged them with German wording but later consistentily chose Slovene poets ...

Dr. Josip Ipavec (1873-1921) was the seventh of Gustav Ipavec’s ten children. He was first an Austrian army doctor in Vienna and Zagreb but later took over his father’s practice in Sentjur.

He started writing nusic whilst still at Grammar School and his arrangenments were very varied. His most performed composition, also one of the most popular in the choral collection of Slovene romantics, is for the male choir - Imel sem ljubi dve (I Had Two Loves) - but the most important works of Josip Ipavec are the one-act play, Mozicek (Hubby), the first Slovenian ballet performance, and his solo songs.

He wrote more than forty works of this kind, all except five in the verse of German poets among whom his most dear was Heinrich Heine. Because of the German texts and because all up till then had not been published, they remained practically unknown ... (D. P.)

Songs by Benjamin and Josip Ipavec on CD

Ana Pusar

Soprano Ana Pusar Jeric was born in Sentjur and was first studied music in Celje and Ljubljana. She was awarded international prizes: the silver award in Geneva, first place in the Totti del Monte award in Treviso and an award in the Mario del Monaco competition.

She sang at the Berlin Comic Opera, Dresden Opera House, in the State Opera in Berlin. In 1986, in the Vienna State Opera House, in Munich, Hamburg, Zürich, Salzburg, Stuttgart, Lisbon, Bern, Toulouse, Graz, Cologne, Verona, Milan, Rome, Naples, Firenze, Tokyo, San Paolo, Moscow (Bolshoi Theatre) St. Petersburg, Prague, Madrid etc.

RTV Slovenia - Records & Tapes, DD 0352