Grigore Constantinescu has a unique value in the Romanian musical journalism, a warm yet firm musical pen, a unitary and recognizable style, by surprising the audience continuously through novelty argued with nobility. And if today’s young musicologists often ask themselves: are there consistent, high quality books that contain information with immediate reference to the famous triad of history-style-language, they only have to have the time and patience to read and especially to understand the fascinating trajectory of certain genres, revealed by Grigore Constantinescu so close to each of our souls, in the books Four Centuries of Opera and Four Centuries of Lied.
Musicology, viewed as a general science regarding all the defining elements of music, can approach compositions using hermeneutical methods, both through a critical view on the interpretation, the stage performance of the creative act, and through the subsequent musicological writings, becoming a “meta-interpretation” that requires a thorough exegesis. The couplet hermeneutics-interpretation together with that of compositional concept versus stage production are the ones underlying our research, while hermeneutics is the very art of performing that penetrates the most cryptic elements present in the musical act, viewed from the perspective of the triad creation-interpretation-reception. In an attempt to emphasize the ways in which the composer suggests to the performer certain indications for stage performance, through writing, agogics, dynamics and special sound effects, we intend to study, from the standpoint of the musicologist, the piece 5 tablouri cu umbre(le)
by Constantin Rîpă. Built on a structure of five tableaux, the work comprises fifteen songs on poems by five contemporary Cluj poets and outlines a new concept of musical performance, which aims to experiment in composing music with the idea of the primordial nature of the poetic text, which is associated with elements of motion and gestures of the interpreters and is based on an arbitrary compositional concept, a defining technique that can be found in a great part of the choral creation of this composer.
Ten years have passed from the death of conductor and professor Ioan Pavalache. Born in Chișinău, Ioan Pavalache went through the difficulties of the 1944 refuge. He perfected his studies at Bucharest, choosing to practice in the field of music. His great passion was conducting, that is why he preferred to leave the capital and to come to Iași for conducting the Gavriil Musicescu Choir of Moldovian Philharmonic and at the same time the Romanian Opera’s Choir. He linked his destiny to the activity of the Philharmonic’s Choir which he led for 32 years, raising the ensemble to a high artistic level. He did not decline the involvement in organizational activities, which is why he managed the Romanian Opera from Iași as an artistic director. The enthusiasm and the professional skills turned him toward the academic career and at The Conservatory formed plenty of young conductors, who pursue today their activity in residential institutions. A continuator of the choral tradition, Ioan Pavalache founded Camerata Choir, which had a rich activity at national and international levels. The coordinates of a life dedicated to music deserve to be known at present and not only then…
The prestigious publishing house Artes, from the capital of Moldova, offered the general public a work which encompasses studies written by the Luminița Duțică starting from her student years, going through all the professional and teaching stages of her musical career as a teacher at secondary and tertiary level, until she became Professor at “George Enescu” National University of Arts Iași. The volume contains exceptional research, benefiting from many musical well-chosen examples accompanied by detailed analysis, but also a rich reference list which entails the investigation in detail of many areas of the sonorous art. The clear and comprehensive writing is very well-suited to the pedagogical dimension of the volume, is reflected in all of the specialized writings published by an author with a vocation for teaching.
Musical notation and its relationship with the concept of performance is very complex, depending on the context. Our paper discusses some important ideas about performance, referring to ascpects specific to great conductors such as S. Celibidache and W. Furtwängler. We begin by outlining the basic concepts behind their interpretations before going into more detail with specific examples.
This text represents an abridgement of an extensive research paper, recently completed, and titled The Song-Symbol, History and Content. About the National Anthems. It has not been long since I wrote about a sensitive subject: that of prejudices in considering and reconsidering history, those which could manipulate (in fact do manipulate!) consciences positively or negatively, and sometimes generate extremist ideas and attitudes (). Following the course of history, a dilemma arose regarding the national anthem, particularly regarding its origins, the circumstances under which a particular anthem was chosen, and above all, comparisons of one anthem to another. From a general point of view, the first observation is that the anthem, especially as it is perceived nowadays in Europe, involves historical meaning, symbols of human communities and nations. As a result, I want to suggest certain improvements towards the current configuration of this musical genre. First I will summarize the history of the Romanian national anthems, beginning with the very first one, adopted during the reign of Alexandru Ioan Cuza, continuing with the monarchic period, then the anthems of communist Romania, and finally the present one, Deșteaptă-te, române! – which is in fact the oldest of all. The main reason I chose this issue does not concern purely academic curiosity; it pursues my entirely subjective interest in the circumstances that prompted Romanians to adopt, over the last century and a half, just these hymns and not others.
The great stylistic epochs of the past mostly had syntaxes and specific forms, escaping in the context of the application of polyphonic syntax to the tonal system. The twentieth century, characterized by a continuous mobility and search in the field of the musical language, does not intend to create new musical forms but takes preexisting patterns, which adapt to the creative contexts specific to the composers. Thus, despite the blurring of some of the fundamental elements, other factors of configuration and construction were maintained and amplified, as well as the particular phenomenon, the most significant phenomenon being the development of the thematic principle, which will have its particular manifestations in the fugue form, the diversity of its interpretations bearing the mark of some new directions.
The book of the Psalms constitutes the main source from where the Offices of the Orthodox church draw their stable parts. It has been diachronically one of the most used liturgical books of the cathedral and the monastic rite. In this paper we focus on the Psalm 118, which is well known under the designation “Amomos”. In the first part of our study we look for the origin of the book of the Psalms generally. Afterwards we present the Offices in which the Amomos is included, starting from the Byzantine era and the use of the Amomos in the cathedral and the monastic services. Then, we negotiate the question of its use in the post-Byzantine era. In the next section we quote the most important settings of the Byzantine, post-Byzantine and new-Byzantine composers in Constantinople, Smyrna and Thessaloniki, as well as some evidence of their lives and their musical works. In the next section we introduce some polyprismatic analyses for the verses of the first stanza of the Amomos, which are set to music in 19th and 20th centuries. After some comparative musicological analyses of the microform of the compositions or interpretations, we comment on the music structure of the settings of Amomos in their liturgical context. Our study concludes with some main observations, as well as a list of the basic sources used to write this paper.
Professor Archdeacon Sebastian Babu-Bucur PhD is one of the most prominent representatives of Romanian Byzantology with a tireless activity spreading throughout different fields – research, psalmic musical creation, teaching, performing. Our study focuses briefly on several of the researcher’s achievements, some of his main concerns having been the Romanianisation process of the church chant in the 18th century and the manuscripts elaborated by Romanians. We highlighted the merits of the Byzantinist musicologist who contributed to the discovery of most of the Romanian manuscript no. 61 in the Romanian Academy Library, who tracked down and catalogued over 250 Romanian manuscripts to be found in the libraries from Mount Athos, who demonstrated through documenta and transcripta editions the significance of the activity of various Romanian psalm readers whose contribution to the translation of chants in Romanian had been, up to that moment, almost unknown. Archdeacon Sebastian Babu-Bucur’s tireless work as a researcher of Byzantine music contributes to a better knowledge and understanding of the evolution of this type of music in the 18th and the 19th century and leads the way towards new investigations in the years to come.
The Romanian Orthodox Church in the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century had a valuable generation of hierarchs protopsalts, composers, translators and promoters of the psaltic music of the Byzantine tradition. From this exceptional generation, Iosif Naniescu is the most valuable composer and interpreter of the 19th century psaltic music. By his rich musical work, Metropolitan Iosif stands out as a reference point for the composition and translation of Greek psaltic chanting. Thanks to the original compositions and translations from the old music notation system, Iosif Naniescu may be included among the promoters of the Christian music notation system in our country alongside Macarie the Monk (with whom he would collaborate), Anton Pann (with whom he bound a close friendship between 1839-1854), and Dimitrie Suceveanu (whom he promoted as a protopsalter of Moldavia). The quality of his performance is highlighted by the countless written testimonies over time. Iosif Naniescu shows a special talent and zeal in his widespread work of over 100 musical manuscripts (stored in our country and in the Holy Mountain of Athos); he is also acknowledged for the Psalms of Time, which he copied in anthologies besides his own chants. Therefore, the present article comes to assert the origins of his chants and pays tribute to classical music of Byzantine tradition.