Anja Djordjevic let her music travel through time, not only in terms of superposing and bringing together the ostinatos and the pedal points supported by clear tonal structures, but also in how she guides it along a very slow and florid melodic line, delivered by the violins, a line playing the part of the ‘cantus firmus’ of the entire auditory narration, as a strong secret symbol of the author’s poetics. Another secret symbol of this poetic speech through tones is the ostinato of the solo flute, chanting its brief mantra from the very beginning to the end of the composition. As if the music in its entirety gathered around this tiny murmur of the flute, as if that were its mysterious source whence its poetic meaning is derived and, once it’s faded to a single tone – the whole piece vanishes into silence.
To this focused and powerful, yet unassuming and covert, effect of poetic purity, a cheerful and bright orchestral colour should be added, occasional scintillating and sparkling effects, as well as the emotionally rich, dramaturgically very well set expressive climax of the piece. The conductor Griffiths interpreted its moderately sized, clear and thought out score with precision and a sense of measure of the lengthy gradation, while the musicians played it with exemplary clarity.
The unambiguous musical signs of a merry, calm and ordered good cheer, melancholy and comfort account of how Anja Djordjevic rejoiced at this music while composing it, as well as of how little it has to do with reality in which torn lives and shattered encounters never heal in such a beautiful and complete manner.
Zorica Premate, Politika 2016.
This beautifully created opera by Anja Djordjevic, is based on the classical Greek myth. Narcissus has eyes only for himself, and Echo, who has eyes only for Narcissus. This is a piece about obsession and vanity, which inevitably both collide with some force, and with dramatic consequences.
…with a running time of just over an hour, long enough to be captivated and enchanted by its charm. I would urge anyone who feels distanced or even overwhelmed and under cultured about opera, to watch this. …Those who are a fan of opera already, will enjoy this short, yet emotional story, and proves that less is indeed more.
Christopher Faith, WhatsOnStage 2011.
And what’s important is the music. And fortunately this is where production gets it right. A beautiful score is delivered by a group of accomplished young musicians and singers…
Good contemporary opera can be hard to find, but Narcissus and Echo is wonderful and delicate piece of work.
Jo Beggs, The reviews hub 2011.
A composer who sings her own works – not unlike Barbara Strozzi at the beginning of the 17th century, Anja Đorđević nurtures the music habitus of a creator and vocal performer. Her music is a site for communicating with the works of earlier epochs, with those melodies which shaped her, which she likes, which she wants to have. It is as if Anja Đorđević is bound to the world of melodies which, through her as an intermediary, reach the listeners, enriched, transformed, made strange… Anja’s particular artistic sensibility. And that is reduced, lyrical creative poetics, whose gesture is directed towards Classicism, without anything akin to the definition of “neo” in it, and transcends the Post-Modern distance or avant-garde self-sacrifice, being an original and well-rounded artistic voice.
Ksenija Stevanovic New Sound 2010.
Djordjević once again confirmed her composing and performing gift, which can be described in one word –unique…the virtuosity of her procedure leads the listener to believe that the text and music have originated from ‘the same source’, that the words and melody emerge at the same time rather than it being a previously written text which has become ‘musicalized’…The instrumental ensemble, consisting of ten members (brilliant on the opening night under the safe hand of the conductor Premil Petrović), follows, controls, partakes, encourages, dazes, adds colour and volume to the story. Djordjević’s compositional style achieves a new level of maturity and uniqueness: by giving up the allusions to musical folklore or the lyrics of previous stages, which gave a touch of recognition to her previous compositions, she lets her original melodic gift show to the full extent.
Jelena Janković New sound 2008.
… the piece by Anja Djordjevic was wistful and powerful. God of the City – Souls’ Choir was performed by St George Strings and Academic Choir Obilic. (…) Honouring the lyrics and the words that in fact dictate this simple, and yet very dense and expressive composition, comprising the extremes of the dynamics and different registers. Anja Djordjevic writes straight from the soul, and her artistic poetics blends the childlike and the melancholic, is always of clear expression, completely at ease and honest.
Marija Babic Milovanovic,, Vecernje novosti, 2006
… Anja Djordjevic and Flat Sky, with their delicacy, demonstrate no less than enviable level of fierce power of concept, bringing together in their part-electronic, part piano-bass guitar- voice, classically intoned authentic compositions the uniqueness of the encounter of Debussy’s Steps in the Snow, for example, with the ultimate psychedelic imagination of a rocknroll stage.
Zorica Kojic, Danas, 2002
… the opera of the composer Anja Đorđević … has gathered various audience with popular, but not populist and trivial, music of the hits which compete in seducing you first. … it is particularly interesting, contemporary, and unique for our midst that a composer should also present herself as a performer, built into her opera with a quite peculiar voice with a touch of irrational infantilism and madness, which all reminds us of those great women, Meredith Monk, Laurie Anderson, Bjork, that have with their performative bodies crossed the borders of the musical-scenic culture.
Bojana Cvejić, Vreme, October 2002.
.. interpretation of ancient folklore writings… whose unbridled manic power leads the audience to a shamanic trance, alternating with moonlight incantations of Anja Djordjevic, who, like a Shakespearean heroine, is in possession of millennia of sorcery. Her arrangements and what she does with the bounty of the past centuries is more reminiscent of auguries read from the entrails of sacrificial animals or the flight of birds from The Odyssey than anything in today’s vocal practice you’d heard until this moment…
Zorica Kojic, Danas, 2000
Three songs for voice (1992) are a paradigmatic example of music that invokes its archetypal foundations by neo-mythologising the vocal arch-monody… With its rich dynamic, articulated, agogic, expressive nuancing of the voice, its archaisation and gestualisation, a contrasting play of repetition and varying of syllables and vowels, the music attains a magic-ritual force and incantation-like expression. The three songs, three chants or three incantations thus become three magical ritual formulas and prayers, both personal and universal, establishing the vertical axis connecting man with the absolute.
Milena Medic, Drugi program Radio Beograda, 1995