At the end of our previous Editorial we announced that Frédéric Chopin would be one of the protagonists of Issue 3 of Musicology Today. We thus continue this year’s series of musical anniversaries, without, however, capitalising on their thematic importance any longer. Something else will take centre stage now, namely the reception of different music types in time. Chopin is only one example, emphasised by the fact that 2010 is an anniversary year. The reader will have the opportunity to see how the romantic composer is perceived in contemporary Romanian musicology by reading Lavinia Coman’s study and Carmen Manea’s thoughts. Their background as piano teachers lays an auspicious mark on musicological research, finalised in monographs dedicated to Chopin in both cases. We should not forget that, at the moment, almost no European or American musicological research work is being translated into Romanian, hence local contributions to the investigation of world music are all the more useful. (It is not the place here to comment on the most unfortunate situation of this lack of translations…)
The three studies included in Issue 3 of Musicology Today bridge time gaps, in a linguistic diversity (French, English, German) that doubles the geographical one: how is Constantin Brăiloiu currently perceived in the West, how is Chopin written about in Romania in 2010, what does the dialogue between generations of avant-garde composers in Germany actually look like (with a reference to the past, namely to Robert Schumann)?
The editor’s joy is not to be neglected when granted permission to publish pages signed by Jean-Jacques Nattiez. I doubt I am wrong to state that he is the top personality of contemporary world musicology. His study of Brăiloiu is a model of an original argument, backed by solid documentation and knowledge of encyclopaedic proportions. The present-day relevance of Brăiloiu’s work in the scholarly musical community is re-assessed through a rigorous critical analysis that acknowledges the visionary ideas and the limitations of the methodological paths opened by the Romanian ethnomusicologist in musicology as a whole.
The other guest of our journal comes to musicology from German studies. Reinhart Meyer-Kalkus, a passionate, refined commentator of the avant-garde musical phenomenon, investigates it with interdisciplinary tools. Jacques Lacan, Robert Musil, Franz Kafka, Walter Benjamin appear as significant sources when a fragmentary panorama of Western musical composition is drawn through the psychoanalytic relationship between “parents” (the generation of Pierre Boulez, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Luigi Nono, György Ligeti and Helmut Lachenmann) and “children” (Jörg Widmann, born in 1973). The aesthetic vision promoted by Theodor Wiesengrund Adorno is reflected by questions such as: what does innovation mean nowadays? How can the young still innovate? What is their relationship with past musical forms?
I wonder whether you will be able to find answers to all these questions simply by reading the current issue of our journal.
(English translation by Maria-Sabina Draga Alexandru)