ALEKSANDAR SANDOROV piano MILAN MILOSEVIC clarinet . DEJAN BOZIC violoncello Recorded 1999 - 2009 Released May 1999, Belgrade - Then: Much like in Beethoven or Brahms's turbulent times, this recording took place during the wartime. Air raid sirens blasted their horns as darkness had fallen. Once vibrant city of Belgrade was entrenched in spasm of disbelief, anger and fear. The energy to overcome this travesty bestowed upon all of us, served to inspire a journey into parallel universes of human emotion and fantasy. These trio recordings reflect the pure emotion of those times, representing the inspiration that profoundly affected our higher beliefs, wondering between pure altruism and savage misanthropy. This testimony to times past, instead of programme notes, is about four unique sleepless nights for the three of us, in a dark smelly-old recording studio in downtown Belgrade. One could say - an experience of catharsis. In reality, this was the voice for our personal politics in a sense, as we used music as a channel, and humour and sarcasm during short breaks, to release the tension and angst. One has to wonder, was it a feeling like this, when in a spring of 1809, French troops marched upon Vienna, and Beethoven - meanwhile hidden in his brother's house - composed his quartet? As we approached the end of recording session, the highlight of the night was the moment of separation and departure, after the last few notes where released into thin air around us, and 'thunderous silence' replaced the beauty of Beethoven and Brahms's musical presence. After a short 'chin-chin' and a few cigarettes lit in a dark studio room, I remember almost painful walkout through the big and dark granite hallways, predating WWI. It served almost as an invisible, but chilling reminder that we dared to tackle some 'old books of wisdom' and everything that inspired us to become dedicated musicians and instrumentalists, at the moment of true testing. There are no immediate rewards, beyond everything that those precious moments of touching the greatness of music can offer. Sometimes, this ineffable love is so distant and obscure... but not that night! Glimmers of dawn, warmness in the air and the scent of the city (and the first few old ladies - grocery shopping,) were gentle awakenings to reality. Happiness and joy, for no apparent reasons! War itself was defeated...at least, for a short while. Eventually, both recordings were featured in primetime on the National Radio & Television network of Serbia, in an unusually fancy, costumed, and melodramatic TV series dedicated to the music, lives, and times of Beethoven and Brahms. September 2009, Vancouver - Reflection, now: After a bit more than ten years, it has come upon me to honour those times and these extraordinary people, although somewhat reluctant to relive something I would rather keep in the past. Prof. Aleksandar Sandorov (piano), Prof. Dejan Bozic (violoncello) and myself, Milan Milosevic (clarinet), haven't had a chance to meet, after these extraordinary sessions were over. We never performed live together again or before any audiences other than for our legendary sound engineer Prof. Zoran Jerkovic. Consider this 'message in the bottle' open! We hope that you, my dear listeners, will be able to experience, share and touch (or tackle) our musical mixed feelings of joy and angst, as well as 'sign of the times' we lived through to tell. Milan Milosevic Semper Fidelis Author was a member of the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra 1990-1999. Currently serves as a Music Director and pedagogue at Vancouver College. (BC, Canada) International Clarinet Association Member No. 48209.