Dejan Despić (b. 1930 in Belgrade), a composer, writer on music, pedagogue, studied composition with Marko Tajčević and conducting with Mihajlo Vukdragović at the Belgrade Academy of Music, where later he taught theoretical subjects, retired as full professor (1995). He is a full member of the Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences. He composed more than 150 works in all genres except music for stage. Particularly numerous are his works composed for piano (solo, piano duo), various chamber ensembles and concertos.

Maids’ Songs, op. 149, for female voice and clarinet solo
The songs are based on six texts taken from folk lyrical poetry, but without elements of musical folklore, except some remote associations. Unlike numerous other songs, individual or in cycles, I have composed for a standard ensemble – voice and piano – on this occasion I have tried to reduce the accompaniment to just one melodic instrument, clarinet in this case. The two lines unfold, for the most part, independently of one another, as a purely polyphonic dialogue.

I have dedicated this cycle of vocal miniatures to Katarina Jovanović, to whom I am indebted for her outstanding performance of Roses on several occasions, including Belgrade Music Festival and (in orchestral version) in London. Although composed several years ago, Maids’ Songs haven’t been performed so far, so this is going to be the premiere. In the meantime I have set the same texts – in an essentially different way – for the four-part women’s choir, as Op. 190, intended for the Academic Women’s Choir Collegium musicum. This recent version has not been performed yet.