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.
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 (Chelaru, 2017). 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.
Petruţa-Maria Coroiu and Alexandra Belibou
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.
Petruţa Maria Coroiu
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.
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…
Nelida Nedelcuţ and Lucian Ghişa
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) 1 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.
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.
Rosina Caterina Filimon
The topic approached in this paper aims to identify the structural similarities between the verbal and the musical language and to highlight the process of decoding the musical message through the structural analogy between them. The process of musical perception and musical decoding involves physiological, psychological and aesthetic phenomena. Besides receiving the sound waves, it implies complex cognitive processes being activated, whose aim is to decode the musical material at cerebral level. Starting from the research methods in cognitive psychology, music researchers redefine the process of musical perception in a series of papers in musical cognitive psychology. In the case of the analogy between language and music, deciphering the musical structure and its perception are due, according to researchers, to several common structural configurations. A significant model for the description of the musical structure is Noam Chomsky’s generative-transformational model. This claimed that, at a deep level, all languages have the same syntactic structure, on account of innate anatomical and physiological structures which became specialized as a consequence of the universal nature of certain mechanisms of the human intellect. Chomsky’s studies supported by sophisticated experimental devices, computerised analyses and algorithmic models have identified the syntax of the musical message, as well as the rules and principles that underlie the processing of sound-related information by the listener; this syntax, principles and rules show surprising similarities with the verbal language. The musicologist Heinrich Schenker, 20 years ahead of Chomsky, considers that there is a parallel between the analysis of natural language and that of the musical structure, and has developed his own theory on the structure of music. Schenker’s structural analysis is based on the idea that tonal music is organized hierarchically, in a layering of structural levels. Thus, spoken language and music are governed by common rules: phonology, syntax and semantics. Fred Lerdahl and Ray Jackendoff develop a musical grammar where a set of generating rules are defined to explain the hierarchical structure of tonal music. The authors of the generative theory propose the hypothesis of a musical grammar based on two types of rules, which take into account the conscious and unconscious principles that govern the organization of the musical perception. The structural analogy between verbal and musical language consists of several common elements. Among those is the hierarchical organization of both fields, a governance by the same rules – phonology, syntax, semantics – and as a consequence of the universal nature of certain mechanisms of the human intellect, decoding the transmitted message is accomplished thanks to some universal innate structures, biologically inherited. Also, according to Chomsky's linguistics model a musical grammar is configured, one governed by wellformed rules and preference rules. Thus, a musical piece is not perceived as a stream of disordered sounds, but it is deconstructed, developed and assimilated at cerebral level by means of cognitive pre-existing schemes.
In late 19th-century periodicals, music criticism captured only a few details on the composition techniques, the structural organization, the rhythmic-melodic or vocal and stage interpretation of various performances. The press shed light on these pieces only at an informative level, mentioning titles, composers, and interpreters and even omitting some details due to, on the one hand, the authorities’ indifference to the musical phenomenon and, on the other hand, the editors’ sheer ignorance of particular stylistic or musical language features. However, the attempts made by the personalities active in the cultural and artistic life were real and unrelenting, their results being guided by the desire to promote music with specific national traits. This study provides an analytical perspective on the current reception of that social-artistic context. Taking into account that new sources have favored a more detailed and profound investigation of the 19th-century critical phenomenon, our analysis supplements the information presented in the music history studies already published in Romania. Consequently, the first section of this paper approaches the extremely dynamic phenomenon represented by the creation of new journals / newspapers in the 19th century. It is our belief that starting from general journalism we can acquire a better understanding of the development of musical criticism. This research aimed to discover new dimensions of Iași-based music, placing special emphasis on the critical reception of the composer Alexandru Flechtenmacher. We have followed its reflection in the Romanian press, starting from the first accounts in this respect, and ending with the subsequent assessments formulated in 20th-century musicology. Although the texts that tackle musical issues are quite few and social aspects prevail in the commentators’ list of interests, by combining the information provided by general literary/historical/social sources with the details included in specialized articles we can create a new perspective on late 19th-century Iași-based compositions.