Nationality as an element of identity in musical interpretation. Case study: Romanian performers

Cristina-Nicoleta Șoitu 1
  • 1 “Gheorghe Dima” National Academy of Music, , Cluj-Napoca, Romania


The 20th century is the period of time when the specificities of Romanian culture were identified and theoretically defined by notable authors such as Lucian Blaga (philosopher and poet) or Carmen Petra-Basacopol (musicologist and composer). The concept of “spatial horizon” or “Mioritic space” presented by Blaga in his well-known work The Trilogy of Culture affirms characteristics of Romanian spirituality and culture polished over time, and an author such as Carmen Petra-Basacopol shows us the manner in which these ethnic patterns are reflected in music. This research paper intends to establish to what extent the national ethos is present in the musician-performerʼs identity and which are the technical-expressive abilities that correspond to the elements defined by the above-mentioned authors. The investigation methods are based on the research of the musical chronicles, but also the comparative analysis of the recordings belonging to nationally and internationally recognized Romanian performers. The validation of these premises will start from the case of musicians such as George Enescu or Dinu Lipatti (composers and performers alike), but will also follow the qualities appreciated in contemporary artists; in the case of the latter I will try to find out how perceptible nationality is as an identity element to those who were born in Romania and are living here, those who were born in the country, but continued their activity abroad, as well as of those who were both born and are living outside Romania (coming from a family of Romanian descent). At the same time, the study will try to provide a perspective on the advantages and disadvantages ethnic background might have in composing the interpretative strategy and in the field of artistic recognition.

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