Architecture and language in the seven String Quartets by Iulia Cibişescu-Duran

Iulia Cibişescu-Duran 1
  • 1 “Gh. Dima” National Music Academy of Cluj-Napoca,


Written between 1990 and 2009, my seven works for string quartet: Poems for string Quartet and 6 numbered Quartets approach different modal languages, from prepentatonic or pentatonic structures to heptachordic or dodecaphonic configurations, sometimes overlapping musical languages, generating those polymorphous languages, with moments of overlapping or juxtaposing of syntaxes, with a motivic cycling determinant of a conceptual unit of works linked to synthetic, elaborate thinking. Pluripartite, seen as suites of miniatures (String Quartet No. 3, Poems for string quartet), tripartite (Quartets No. 2, 4, 5, 6) or monopartite (Quartet No. 1), the 7 String Quartets are written in the sphere of formal patterns caused by construction based on dramaturgy inspired by literary works (see Quartet No. 5 inspired by Winter at Lisbon by Antonio Munoz Molina, see Poems for string quartet and Quartet no. 3 inspired by my own poems from the volumes Hiding places of Masks and Egyptian Mystery), from the contemplation of the chordal sonorities of some tonal-functional relations or of some jazz sonorities (Quartet No. 4), of a Byzantine song or children’s songs (Quartet No. 3), of philosophical meditations (see Quartet No. 1), of sonorities belonging to the Romanian song and dance (Quartet No. 6) or of some concision and refinement as reflections of Webern’s music, overlaying on small temporal spaces different musical languages belonging to different tuning systems (Poems for string quartet). The first audition of String quartets was at the International Festivals of the Musical Autumn of Cluj and Cluj Modern Festival (1990, 1993, 1999, 2001, 2003, performers: Concordia Quartet: Albert Markos, Grigore Botar, Olimpiu Moldovan, Adalbert Torok), as well as at the International Meridian Festival, Bucharest (2018, Quartet No. 6 played by the Ad Hoc Quartet: Vlad Răceu, Diana Man, Ovidiu Costea, Vlad Rațiu, musical management: Matei Pop).

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  • Cibişescu-Duran, I. (2002). Structuri polimorfe în postmodernismul muzical românesc [Polymorphic structures in Romanian musical postmodernism]. Cluj-Napoca: Editura MediaMusica.

  • Cibişescu-Duran, I. (2018). Scrieri despre muzica românească [Writing about Romanian Music]. Cluj-Napoca: Editura MediaMusica.

  • Cibişescu-Duran, I. (1995). Ascunzișuri de măști [Hiding places of Masks]. Cluj-Napoca: Editura Mesagerul.

  • Cibişescu-Duran, I. (1997). Taină egipteană [Egyptian Mystery]. Oradea: Editura Cogito.

  • Cibişescu-Duran, I. (2002). Cvartet de coarde nr. 3 [String Quartet nr. 3]. Cluj-Napoca: Editura MediaMusica.

  • Herman, V. (1982). Originile și dezvoltarea formelor muzicale [The origins and development of musical forms]. București: Editura Muzicală.


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