Lăsați-mă să cânt! [Let me sing!] – a Romanian operetta by Gherase Dendrino: links between the ethical, aesthetic and political content

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Abstract

It was during the communist regime of the post-war years that Romanian composer Gherase Dendrino wrote an operetta in celebration of the centenary of Ciprian Porumbescu’s birth, named Lăsați-mă să cânt [Let me sing!]. It revolves around the figure of Porumbescu himself, as the first Romanian composer to have ever written an operetta that would be performed and published, named Crai nou [New Moon]. Lăsați-mă să cânt [Let me sing!] tells the story of the making of the first Romanian operetta and was revived during the spring of 2018 at the Cluj-Napoca Romanian National Opera House, as part of the festivities related to the Centenary of the Great Union. The present research highlights three aspects of Dendrino’s operetta: firstly, the one related to the ethical values, epitomized in the libretto by the main character, Ciprian, who, along with his friends, achieves the greatest task of the birth of the Romanian operetta, in spite of all opposition and pitfalls; secondly, the aesthetic content, regarding de musical language of the work, opposing the world of the Romanian provincial town to the Viennese Salonmusik; thirdly, the political aspect, encompassing the subtext of the libretto and the message of the work, which underwent continuous changes over the decades and social and political contexts up to the present day. Thus, the analysis takes into account both the sound and the word.

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Cosma, O. L. (1962). Opera românească [Romanian Opera]. București: Editura Muzicală.

Cosma, V. (1999, 2005). Muzicieni din România. Lexicon biobibliografic [Musicians from Romania. A biobibliographical lexicon], 2 (C-E), VIII (P-S). București: Editura Muzicală.

Sandu-Dediu, V. (2002). Muzica românească între 1944-2000 [Romanian music between 1944-2000]. București: Editura Muzicală.

Rădulescu, S. (2002). Peisaje muzicale în România secolului XX [Musical landscapes in 20th Century Romania]. București: Editura Muzicală.

Cosma, O. L. (2010). Opera Română din Cluj [The Romanian Opera in Cluj], I (1919-1959). Țărmure, G. (Ed.). Bistrița: Editura Charmides.

Cosma, O. L. (1962). Opera românească [Romanian Opera]. București: Editura Muzicală.

Cosma, V. (1999, 2005). Muzicieni din România. Lexicon biobibliografic [Musicians from Romania. A biobibliographical lexicon], II (C-E), VIII (P-S). București: Editura Muzicală.

Dendrino, G. (1956). Lăsați-mă să cînt! Episod din viața compozitorului Ciprian Porumbescu. Reducție de pian [Let me sing! An episode from the life of Ciprian Porumbescu. Piano reduction]. Libretto: Delescu, L. & Sever, E. & Cosma, V. București: Editura de Stat pentru Literatură și Artă.

Sandu-Dediu, V. (2002). Muzica românească între 1944-2000 [Romanian Μusic between 1944-2000]. București: Editura Muzicală.

Rădulescu, S. (2002). Peisaje muzicale în România secolului XX [Musical landscapes in 20th Century Romania]. București: Editura Muzicală.

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