Constantin Silvestri, the problematic musician. New press documents

Alex Vasiliu 1
  • 1 “George Enescu” National University of Arts, , Romania


Constantin Silvestri was a man, an artist who reached the peaks of glory as well as the depths of despair. He was a composer whose modern visions were too complex for his peers to undestand and accept, but which nevertheless stood the test of time. He was an improvisational pianist with amazing technique and inventive skills, and was obsessed with the score in the best sense of the word. He was a musician well liked and supported by George Enescu and Mihail Jora. He was a conductor whose interpretations of any opus, particularly Romantic, captivate from the very first notes; the movements of the baton, the expression of his face, even one single look successfully brought to life the oeuvres of various composers, endowing them with expressiveness, suppleness and a modern character that few other composers have ever managed to achieve. Regarded as a very promising conductor, a favourite with the audiences, wanted by the orchestras in Bucharest in the hope of creating new repertoires, Constantin Silvestri was nevertheless quite the problematic musician for the Romanian press. Newly researched documents reveal fragments from this musician’s life as well as the features of a particular time period in the modern history of Romanian music.

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  • Gheorghiu, V. (1946e). Cronica muzicală. Violoniști români – Ed. Lidemberg – C. Silvestri – M. Brediceanu [The Music Review. Romanian Violinists – Ed. Lidemberg – C. Silvestri – M. Brediceanu]. Contemporanul, 13, December 12th.

  • Gritten, J. (1998). A Musician Before His Time. Constantin Silvestri - Conductor, Composer, Pianist. London: Warwick Editions.

  • Mendelsohn, A. (1948). O nouă orientare în muzică, pe marginea hotărârii C.C. al P.C (b) al Uniunii Sovietice cu privire la creația și critica muzicală [A new orientation in music based on the Directive of the Central Committee of the Communist Party (b) of the Soviet Union]. Contemporanul, March 12th.

  • Mendelsohn, A. (1951). Raportul la plenara Uniunii Compozitorilor [Report at the Plenary Session of the Composers’ Union]. Contemporanul, 260, September 28th.

  • Pascu, G. (1958). La prima audiție a operei Oedip [At the first audition of Oedipus]. Flacăra Iașului, 3759, September 28th.

  • Pricope, E. (1975). Constantin Silvestri între străluciri și... cântece de pustiu [Constantin Silvestri between sparkle and … melancholy songs]. București: Editura Muzicală.

  • Silvestri, C. (1950). În jurul problemei formei și conținutului în muzică [On the issue of form and content in music]. Flacăra, 30 (134), June 29th.

  • Vancea, Z., (1950). Pentru o largă dezbatere a problemelor muzicii [For a wide debate of musical issues]. Flacăra, 37, September 17th.

  • Vasiliu, A. (2018). Primul festival „George Enescu” și opera „Oedip” – istorie umbrită [The first George Enescu Festival and the opera Oedipe – a shadowed history]. Cronica Veche, 9 (92).

  • Văleanu, I. (1958). Oedip. Tribuna, 39 (86), September 27th, 10.

  • Vescan, M. (1950). În legătură cu unele confuzii în problema formei naționale și a conținutului socialist în muzică [Concerning some confusions on the issue of the national form and the socialist content in music]. Flacăra, 31(135), August 12th, 4.

  • Voicu Arnăuțoiu, R. (2013). Constantin Silvestri – biografie necunoscută. [Constantin Silvestri – an unknown biography]. București: Ars Docendi.

  • *** Despre dezvoltarea muzicii în R.P.R. Rezoluția Plenarei lărgite a Comitetului Uniunii Compozitorilor din 4-5 februarie. [On the development of music in the People’s Republic of Romania. The Resolution of the Larger Plenary Session of the Committee of the Composers’ Union on 4th – 5th February], Muzica, 6, 1952, 7-8.


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