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“Not long, not broad…but deep!” Vlado Kreslin celebrates Slovenia in London

By February 7, 2016No Comments
A spellbound audience at the annual British-Slovene Society Prešeren Evening heard Slovene poet, singer and song-writer Vlado Kreslin celebrate his country with a magnificent concert that raised the roof at the Hotel Russell in London.


By turns wistful, touching and passionate, influenced by the gypsy traditions of his Prekmurje home, he brought diners to their feet to join him in songs which for many were familiar favourites.

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Kreslin sang of a Slovenia that stretches from Goričko in the east to Piran on the Adriatic coast in the west – “not long, not broad, but deep!” He composes his own songs, often invoking the Mura river. In one he asks with haunting humility:

Instead of whom a flower blooms?

Instead of whom am I?

Whose song needs my voice?

In response to this poetic tour de force, those attending the dinner contributed a generous £496 in a raffle for the Barka charity for people with special needs in Slovenia, which the Society supports.

HE Slovenian Ambassador Tadej Rupel with his wife Valentina

HE Slovenian Ambassador Tadej Rupel with his wife Valentina

Ambassador Tadej Rupel welcomed the guests (the Slovenian Embassy kindly donated wine), and Chairman David Lloyd gave a brief talk on Preseren’s greatness. After Shirlie Roden performed Kam? (Whither?) in her own rendering, Kreslin sang O, Vrba, and members of the audience studying Slovene read English translations.  

Shirlie Roden and David Lloyd, Chairman of British-Slovene Society

Shirlie Roden and David Lloyd, Chairman of the British-Slovene Society

The evening before, Kreslin enchanted 120 diplomats invited by the Slovenian Embassy in London, likewise to mark Prešeren’s Day. What better ambassador for his country?

Photos by Ian Božič. For more pictures see Gallery.

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