Ten years after he passed away, Aurel Stroe remains one of the most valuable composers that Romania has offered to the world in the post-Enescu era. Belonging to an area of novelty and extreme originality of composition and musical thinking, Aurel Stroe was similarly neither understood nor appreciated enough (especially at home) and only to limited extent sung and scheduled within symphonic concerts and chamber music. But abroad, Aurel Stroe remains one of the most performed Romanian composers of modern music. Ten years after his passing away, we will attempt to create an overall view of his musical creations, and the inheritance of his composition thinking.
The folkloric character of the beginnings of jazz has been established by all researchers of American classical music. The African-Americans brought as slaves onto the territory of North America, the European émigrés tied to their own folkloric repertoire, the songs in the musical revues on Broadway turned national successes – can be considered the first three waves to have fundamentally influenced the history of jazz music. Preserving the classical and modern manner of improvisation and arrangement has not been a solution for authentic jazz musicians, permanently preoccupied with renewing their mode of expression. As it happened in the academic genres, the effect of experiments was mostly to draw the public away, as its capacity of understanding and empathizing with the new musical “products” (especially those in the “free” stylistic area) were discouraging. The areas which also had something original to say in the field of jazz remained the traditional, archaic cultures in Eastern Europe, Asia, the Orient. Compared to folkloric works from very distant areas, the musical culture of the Balkans bears the advantage of diversity, the ease of reception of melodies, rhythms and instrumental sonority. One of the most important architects of ethno-jazz is Anatoly Vapirov. A classically-trained musician, an author of concerts, stage music and soundtracks, a consummate connoisseur of the classical mode of improvisation as a saxophone and clarinet player, Anatoly Vapirov has dedicated decades of his life to researching the archaic musical culture of the Balkans, which he translated into the dual academic-jazz language, in the hypostases of predetermined scored works and of improvised works – either as a soloist, in combos or big bands. This study focuses on highlighting the language techniques, emphasizing the aesthetic-artistic qualities of the music signed Anatoly Vapirov.
At the beginning of the 20th century visual artists found in the art the perfect field to experiment with different materials, combinations of new shapes and proportions to create new artistic currents. But this new trend has questioned the relation of classical arts with its perennial values which can not be overlooked, however radical the desire of young artists to “break” definitively with the past. Thus, in this new artistic context, many of the old art flagship techniques have been questioned and, as is always the case for predicting the “future of art”, the new artistic tendencies are absolutized and others are considered obsolete and declared “death”. The best known example is that of Marcel Duchamp, who, along with his famous ready-made exhibitions, strongly supported the death of art. Finally, the great creators of the past century felt at one point the need to relate to established art in order to better understand the “place” occupied by the generation of new artistic revolutions.
The Iași Conservatory Book of Honor was initiated in 1926, when the headmaster of the institution was the cello teacher Nicolae Theodorescu (between 1924-1930). I tried to describe the adventure of this document of great importance for the history of Iaşi culture, in the following episodes: personalities and events mentioned in the Book; the disappearance of the Book from the Conservatory archive in 1950, under circumstances still unclear; rediscovery and presence in D. Grumuzescu’s collection; returning to the patrimony of the “George Enescu” Art University of Iasi. This text is an extension of the one published in “Filarmonica Magazine”, in April 2015.
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the passing of the Transylvanian musician Nicolae Bretan (1887-1968), known during the interwar period due to his complex field of activity (interpreter, director, conductor, composer), we consider it necessary to elaborate a study that is critical for several reasons. Starting with the dilemmatic comments existent in the current bibliography, we propose, on the one hand, to systematize the information regarding the reception of his personality in the context of the age in which he lived and worked, and on the other hand, to outline the premises that generated the appearance of controversial writings, but especially to question their effects on the deformed stylistic perception of the musician at national and international level. We consider that this is one of the ways in which the “phenomenon of Bretan’s rebirth” can be objectively reevaluated, appreciating the existence and real contributions of a minor musician, who, although endowed with talent, could not be in the same compositional direction that included national models (George Enescu, Mihail Jora, Paul Constantinescu), are comparable to those in the universal space of the first half of the 20th century.
Composer Sabin Pautza’s creation, of a style diversity that is rare in the contemporary landscape of Romanian music, stands out through its effervescence and colourfulness, backed by the extraordinary mastery of writing techniques. The work we are referring to in this article, Canti prophani, is a vocal-symphonic suite written for a children’s choir. The suite includes three contrasting miniatures (fast-slow-fast), united through their motif, Maico, Maico..., Dalbe flori and Dimineața ziua bună, representing a translation into music language of the main features of childhood games: repetitive action, rhythm, word play. In terms of language, the children’s choir is assigned only the pure sonority of diatonic modes, while the orchestra overlays harmonic and polyphonic structures that are much more elaborate. The lay character of the lyrics, underlined in the suite’s title, shifts the emphasis from the religious area to that of purity of heart and of sincere joy, the focus being on the high emotions around the feast of Christmas. This brief analytical examination will only highlight the main approaches to the sound material, looking at both archaic influences and at the modern composition techniques, as well as at the manner in which the two blend together. The actual thread that binds all three sections of this work, the image of the mother, occurs everywhere, as the mother is invoked throughout the length of the three parts.
In efforts to design the implementation process of innovative artistic praxeology we emerged from the assumption that TDA (teacher’s didactic action) and PAA (pupil artistic action) become fundamental values of the integration of theory and praxeology in perspective of an effective education, provided that they be widely used both horizontally and vertically, according to the pentagonal model consisting of principles: proactivity, artistic intro-opening, creation/creativity, of success, re-conceptualizing and instrumented in modern theoretical and methodological perspectives. Modern education, especially the artistic one, has a stringent need of an innovative praxeology, which, unlike the receptive praxeology, does not take over the rough theoretical and methodological approaches, but obliges the practitioner to gather from the available sources only the ideas of perceived essences, so that later to come before pupils with new actional options. Such a praxeology becomes more than just a practical act, because it puts the teacher in the role of interim manager function between theory and practice.
The Cherubic Hymn (gr.) o heroubikos ymnos) was introduced in the Byzantine Liturgy in the 5th century, by a decree of Emperor Justin the 2nd, issued in 574. The document stated the replacement of an old psalm, once sang during the offering of bread and wine gifts at the altar by the church-goers (ofertorium), with the new hymn. The replacement of the ofertoriumului ritual with the one of Presentation of the Euharistic Gifts (the Great Exodus) and the introduction of associated memorials, determined the fragmentation of the hymn in two different parts. Initially sang monodically, the introduction of the art of chorale in the Orthodox Church determined the development of this liturgical singing in two parts with a different musical nature, based on the principle of contrast: Cherubic, in large tempo (Adagio) and That we may receive the King in moderate tempo (Moderato). The first induces an atmosphere of mystical chastity, leads to introversion, and the second is a glory hymn, imposing and majestic. Literary, The Cherubic consists of the following three sentences, which determined the subsequent form of homonym choral creations,
We, who mystically represent the Cherubim,/
And chant the thrice-holy hymn to the Life-giving Trinity.
Let us set aside the cares of life,
Followed by another two sentences and the threefold repetition of the ovation “Hallelujah!”, which form the second hymn:
That we may receive the King of all!
Who comes invisibly escorted by the Divine Hosts!
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah!
In the Romanian liturgical chorale creation the Cherubic hymn bears the following stylistic directions: 1. of Slavic influence; 2. of Classical-Romantic inspiration; 3. which capitalizes the Byzantine church singing.
The educational project CHOOSE MUSIC!, subtitled “for counselling and training for admission to higher education in music”, was created many years ago, at the initiative of Prof. Univ. PhD. Luminiţa Duţică, with the main purpose of creating a bridge between the pre-university and academic musical education (through pupils - students, pupils - university professors, etc.). Another special objective was to promote the image and opportunities existing at “George Enescu” National University of Arts of Iași. In this respect, inter-institutional partnerships were established between the Faculty of Interpretation, Composition and Theoretical Music Studies within “George Enescu” National University of Arts of Iași and numerous art high schools/colleges, especially from the regions of Moldavia (Suceava, Botoșani, Bacău, Piatra-Neamț, Iași, Bârlad and Galați). In this study we will go into more detailed aspects related to teaching and art activities made for this purpose, diverse and attractive, evidenced by: demonstration lessons of Music theory, Classical composition / jazz – easy listening, Musicology, Choral/Orchestral Conducting, MasterClass for aspects regarding the perception and graphic representation of the sounds, as well as the specific musical skills training (held by professors Luminiţa and Gheorghe Duţică), to which educational concerts, book launches, special meetings with teachers from the pre-university education, additional training with students for admission to the academic musical education in Iași (especially in the contest subject called Theory - Solfeggio –Melodic Dictation.
In the process of study, a number of native but also acquired skills are involved which helps to progress and access to a superior artistic level. Internal hearing, sensitivity, motivation, interest, purpose and charisma are part of the native but educative capacities of the individual, as well as attention, operative thinking and memory capacity.