Romania Music

By | December 23, 2021

Until the whole century. XVIII musical life in Romania is limited only to popular tradition: the myths of Greek-Latin classical antiquity relive in the epic songs of the people and the instruments in use derive from the classical ones: the flute, the syringe, the buccium (the buccina of the Romans), the cobza or cobuz, a kind of plucked instrument with 12 or 15 strings. Music, in its elementary forms, is the basis of the whole life of the Romanian people, both religious and civil: choirs and dances accompany every expression of the collective soul. Still in these conditions, music finds the widest favor in the courts of the lords of Wallachia and Moldavia and the political history of Romania justifies each time the Eastern or Western infiltration in musical practice. For Romania culture and traditions, please check

Church music always had particular importance there, cultivated in all regions of the country: it integrated the education of every cultured person. In it converged Byzantine, Greek and Russian currents.

In the second half of the century. XVIII, following the Russian invasion and later through the work of Italian and French tutors who fled from the troubled revolutionaries of their countries and hosted by noble families, Western penetration begins, first with dance music and then with art music. Beethoven’s sonatas are performed at the court of Princess Ralu (1812-1818) and in 1833 a philharmonic society is founded where the Italian Bongianini teaches music.

However, the times are not yet ripe for the emergence of a Romanian musical art and consequently of an organized artistic activity. Contrary to what happens in the field of literature, where the century. XIX marks from the beginning a fervent flourishing of ancient legends, songs and ballads by the poets who thus give development to the literary language, the exercise of music still remains confined to the popular strata, as an almost exclusive profession of the Gypsies. A tarof or tacâm of l ă utari(a band of violinists) was an integral part of every stately home and the names of some virtuosos of the genre such as Barbu Lăutarul and Dumitrache Lăutarul remained famous. In 1838 a Viennese musician, LA Wiest (1819-1889), invited to the court of Prince Al. Ghika, organized the theater orchestra and wrote the first Romanian melodrama, Constantine Brâncoveanu, drawing on popular airs. From this moment begins the flowering of Romanian musicians who carry out their activity especially in Bucharest, such as A. Wachmann, who was the first director of the music conservatory, and his son Edoardo, A. Flechtenmacher, considered one of the fathers of Romanian music, Gh. Ştefănescu, Const. Dimitrescu, Maur. Cohen Linari, etc. Symphonic-choral concert activities arise which are greatly stimulated by Queen Carmen Sylva who becomes the patron of the arts. The Carmen Choral Society founded by Dim. G. Kiriac is gaining considerable fame.

In 1860 a new music conservatory was built at the university of Iasi, and became another important center, where musicians perform their activities: FS Caudella, Const. Gros, Ed. Caudella, considered the second founder, after Flechtenmacher, of the Romanian school, G. Muzicescu, E. Mezzetti, of Italian origin, MA Theodorini.

Although most Romanian musicians owe their education to foreign schools in Paris, Leipzig, Berlin and Vienna, the character of their music remains distinctly national. However, with the modern school, the assimilation of Western musical culture is a fait accompli and the same picturesque Romanian folkloristic element, albeit already abundantly exploited by previous composers, acquires a more universal artistic significance thanks to the contribution of more impressive and more original personalities. in full possession of all the resources of modern technology. The representatives of this school are, among the most important: G. Enescu, president of the Society of Romanian composers, I. Nona Otescu, founder and first conductor of the Opera House, Stan Golestan, AC Alexandrescu, T. Rogalisky, M. Mihalovici, M. Jora and the Italian A. Castaldi, who, transplanted very young in Bucharest, has been a teacher of composition in that conservatory since 1905 and in 1906 founded the symphony orchestra there. Almost all current Romanian musicians were trained at his school. Among the Romanian conductors, G. Georgescu has achieved a notable reputation also in the international field.

Romania Music