The beginnings of the Avsenik music go back to 1953 when the trio was formed by Slavko Avsenik, which became the »Gorenjski kvartet« in 1955 and soon after that the Ensemble of the brothers Avsenik. Slavko and Vilko invented a whole new basis for folk music which had not existed before that!
A major turning point in the development of the ensemble was when Fred Rauch, editor at the Bavarian Radio, got demo recordings of the ensemble from the producer of a radio show about Slovenian music »Slovenska ura« Helmut Hartman from Klagenfurt in Austria. They nick-named the ensemble »Oberkrainer«. The recordings were played during show »Po željah« and had great success which was followed by invitations by foreign managers and signing of a 10-year contract for recording records for the record label Telefunken.
Brothers Vilko (Begunje na Gorenjskem, 9 November1928) and Slavko Avsenik (Begunje na Gorenjskem, 26 November 1929) are rare brilliant musicians who do not need any introduction or compliments. Their creations and music has touched millions of people all over the world and Slovenian spirit and Slovenian language are maintained also in this way. Undoubtedly, music is the most propulsive expression of the Slovenes in foreign countries because of its simplicity and freshness, and people have taken the music for their own. A lot of their hits have become folk tunes.
The Avseniks with their happy polkas and tender waltzes caught just the right moment in history, when people needed exactly that kind of optimism and fun after the horrifying World War.
In all these years of their career the Avseniks received all together 31 golden records, 2 platinum records and one diamond records. At the publishing of the big double record Zlati zvoki they received the crystal Oscar for the originality of their music from 72 members of the European committee.
They have been ambassadors of Slovenia all over the world for 40 years because their recognizable music sound has made Slovenia famous as a country. Many of their performances in Slovenia were charity events. The Avsenik music was so successful because of the brilliant compositions by Slavko and the arrangements by Vilko. Of course, the great instrumentalist and other members of the band and singers are not to be forgotten and neither should the superb lyric writers from Slovenia and abroad.
The surprising success at home and abroad also confirmed the new music genre which is copied today in many areas of Europe and wider by ensembles with the same band members and often in the same folk costumes.
To sum up, the success of the ensemble of brothers Avsenik is really unique and a musical and social phenomenon. The ensemble has worked together for almost 40 year without interruptions, the brothers have written more than 1000 author songs and most of them are recorded officially on approximately 200 records (including all the vinyl records, albums and small vinyl records) in Slovenia, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Holland. Their accomplishments and achievements were already recognized in 1987, when they were registered in the Guinness book of records as the most creative and productive ensemble in the history of folk music.
Author of the article: Aleksi Jercog (Author of the book S POLKO V SVET – GLASBENE POTI BRATOV AVSENIK)