On 31 May, when the musical world should probably have given more attention to Constantin Silvestri’s birth centenary, at the National University of Music in Bucharest a symposium was organised as part of the International New Music Week. Two musicians became the focus of this symposium: Paul Constantinescu (on the fiftieth anniversary of his death) and Constantin Silvestri. As Musicology Today celebrated Paul Constantinescu as soon as it first came out as a journal in 2010, Olguța Lupu, the symposium organiser, and I have decided to dedicate this special issue to the other personality of modern Romanian music.
Consequently, we have selected a few different symposium papers, in order to cast a look on the lesser known aspects of Constantin Silvestri’s work.
John Gritten, the author of the first monograph in English about the musician, has chosen a few passages from his book, focusing on the last ten years of Silvestri’s life. Here is a challenge to the Romanian reader to read the English journalist’s volume in depth, with the vague hope that one day we will have a Romanian translation of this text (as Dragoș Călin mentions in his essay under Thoughts). Analytical investigation is still Olguța Lupu’s favourite ground, as she minutely goes through the original piano miniatures by Silvestri, Songs of Emptiness (Cântece de pustiu). Finally, archival research still reveals new aspects of Silvestri’s life and bequest, some of which are surprising. Ioana Raluca Voicu-Arnăuțoiu continues her interesting indefatigable search through musicians’ files at CNSAS (The National Council for the Study of the Securitate Archives) and shows us the situation of art collections left behind by Silvestri when he preferred to choose exile.
Another institution in Bucharest, the George Enescu Museum, decided to honour Silvestri’s personality this year and dedicated a temporary exhibition to him. Courtesy of the Museum director Cristina Andrei and of the exhibition curator Adina Sibianu, we are able to reproduce some illustrations of this event.
( English translation by Maria-Sabina Draga Alexandru)