“Serbian composer Isidora Žebeljan… is justly celebrated for her music’s intense originality and fiery emotional expression… Pep it up… shifting between delicate, sinuous melodies and brutal rhythmic punch to bring this powerful recording to an altogether arresting close. ”

BBC Music Magazine, UK

“Isidora Žebeljan… Her works are packed with fiery energy and the tricksy dance rhythms of home… Her music spins off impetuously, unpredictably, with an unshackled verve…The New Songs of Lada is a rich-hued cycle for soprano and string quartet. Here the music grows more expansive and expressive, more sensual and intimate, but it’s still sparky and always laced with that thrilling sense that anything could happen… Sarabande for piano… is delicate and suspended, rocking gently on a simple ostinato in the bass, and the composer plays it with beautiful understatement. Pep it up… it’s fascinating to hear the confidence and imagination with which Žebeljan was throwing about rhythms…”

Gramophone, UK

“…her music is… a totally unique musical language which is deeply affecting and wildly exciting… Dance of the Wooden Sticks… is an intoxicating mix of folk rhythms and with the use of the horn makes an extremely interesting and unusual piece that demands many repeat listenings…A Yawl on the Danube mixes folk rhythms with a jazzy beat and… makes it something quite unique and fascinating… As I found with the previous disc of Isidora Žebeljan’s chamber music she has an unforgettable voice that is totally compulsive.”

Musicweb-International, UK

‘Eine beeindruckende Komposition ist die Oper “Nahod Simon” von Isidora Žebeljan… Sie bietet ihr aber Gelegenheit, eine große Stärke auszuspielen: das Talent zu beeindruckender Vielstimmigkeit… Sie wagt auch sehr ausdrucksintensive, manchmal geradezu expressionistisch anmutende große Momente, etwa in der Tradition eines Leoš Janáček… Man erlebt echte große Oper bei Žebeljan und zugleich eine vielfältige Brechung von Stilen und Traditionen – beides mit unbestreitbarem kompositorischem Können umgesetzt.’


“I am much impressed by the skill, craft and imaginative range of music by Isidora Žebeljan… What attach me to this music is its kaleidoscopic range of timbres and, indeed, its many moods…“

Sir John Eliot Gardiner

“This disc (Balkan Bolero) has been a revelation to me and I cannot wait to explore further the music of this endlessly talented composer. Žebeljan deserves greater exposure, what a wonderful thing it would be to see that some of her music has found its way onto the programme of the BBC Proms; audiences would love it.”

Musicweb-International, UK

“Most appealing of all was Isidora Žebeljan’s When God created Dubrovnik, a belter from the Balkans – wild, dance-like and off-kilter.”

The Times, UK

“Žebeljan… l’autrice non si èlimitata a valorizzare un soggetto che si presta a numerose riflessioni, ma ha sfoderato ironia e un talento comico, davvero raro in una donna, esperimendoli con grande efficacia sia sul versamte strumentale sia su quello della scrittura vocale.“

la Voce, Italy

“Isidora Žebeljan fornisce l’ennesima dimonstrazione del suo talento e fonde con risultati notevoli musica colta, suggestioni e fascino di quella balcanica… “

Avvenire, Italy

“È un’opera nuova… è viva, originale e del tutto estranea a quell’accademismo fin troppo educato che è la piaga del teatro musicale odierno… “

Corriere della sera, Italy

“Isidora Žebeljan fornisce l’ennesima dimonstrazione del suo talento e fonde con risultati notevoli musica colta, suggestioni e fascino di quella balcanica… “


“Questo gustoso e sanguinario shema alla ‘Jules et Jim’anima una leggenda indiana, rivisitata con geniale senso dei paradosso dalla compositirice serba Isidora Žebeljan nell’ opera Due teste e una ragazza… La musica colta e ‘leggera’, ricca di profumi slavi e suggestioni balcaniche, sa costruire un’architettura di pensiero musicale nuova e forte sul solco della tradizione popolare.“

la Repubblica, Italy

The Horses of St Mark gives an explosive introduction from the first chord. Supposedly based on Byzantine legend, this is an exciting, brilliantly orchestrated work… For the final work, Escenas Picaras – inspired by 16th-17th century Spanish adventure novels – brass and percussion play an important role, but once again Žebeljan’s orchestral writing is flamboyant and vividly imaginative, right down to the occasional flourish on the harpsichord!… CPO must be congratulated for once again having rendered the music-lover a grand service by finding and then recording, in unwelcoming times, another original voice.”

Musicweb-International, UK

“In many ways,… Serbian composer Isidora Žebeljan might be called the Ottorino Respighi of our time… she really knows how to handle a large orchestra, not an easy thing to do… Ms. Žebeljan is a fascinating instrumental colorist. “

Houston Radio, USA

“Isidora Žebeljan schreibt eine stets spannungsreiche, einnehmend klangsinnliche Musik, sie beherrscht die Orchesterpalette virtuos und sie findet immer wieder interessante Möglichkeiten, Momente von Folklore (nicht nur aus dem ehemaligen Jugoslavien) aufscheinen zu lassen… Sie erfindet eine gleichsam imaginäre Folklore, die aus Südosteuropa, aber ebenso aus dem fernen Osten oder aus New Orleans stammen könnte.“

Klassik heute, Germany

“Žebeljan has a distinctive and personal voice. Her music is powerful; and while approachable, she doesn’t write down to her listeners.”

Classics today, USA

Simon, der Erwählte von Isidora Žebeljan ist ein Stück von großen Qualität und… kongenial umgesetzt.”

Mühlheimer Woche, Germany

“… die Kammeroper Simon, der Erwählte von Isidora Žebeljan ist hochexpressives Musiktheater…”

Der Freitag, Germany

“The barely two hours of music seamlessly give us avant-gardist idioms and impressions of Balkan folk music, amid fanfares, laments and unrestrained outbursts by the wind and percussion section. What comes of this fusion of languages is an obsessive search for timbre and rhythm; this makes for a gripping score that is never arbitrary. Even in the way she deals with the voices, Žebeljan reserves a number of surprises, proposing and demanding from the performers hoarse timbres, and shouted and strained lines.”

Giornale della musica, Italy

“Ihre (Isidora Žebeljan) Kammerorchester-Partitur für Eine Marathon-Familie klingt regional verortbar und doch international… Die Musik gleicht einer fiebrigen Fantasie, kreischt und schluchzt, höhnt und hämmert, jubelt und kracht, vagierend zwischen Balkan Brass und Klezmer, Gipsy-Idiom und Bebop, Belgrad und New York… Das vital aufspielende Isidora-Žebeljan-Orchestra unter Premil Petrović unterstreicht jedenfalls durch kantige Spielweise den eigenwilligen Charakter der schrägen Stil-Mixtur – stets auf Distanz zu nachmoderner Gefälligkeit.“

Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, Germany