We dedicate a second issue of the journal Musicology Today (of the 21 so far) to Romanian music exclusively. Is is a topic that has been sneaking into other previous journal issues, under various headings, but every now and then it is foregrounded, just as the Scherzo of Mahler’s Symphony No 2 traverses the famous third movement of the Sinfonia by Luciano Berio: it hides in the landscape and sometimes comes to the surface poignantly, bringing joy to the listener. We, the editors, wanting to bring joy to our readers, come back cyclically to Romanian music, in the form of character variations.
The topics are rather unconventional, even marked by a certain novelty: Smiljka Kitanović, a freelance writer and family history researcher, discovered an original letter written by Ioan Andrei Wachmann that has answered important questions related to a number of historiographical details, which contributed to clarifying a number of issues in the historiography of 19th century Romanian music. In his turn, Thomas Beimel discusses a new melos in Enescu’s and Myriam Marbe’s music, born at times when the European modernity still saw melody as very important. And Grigore Cudalbu investigates modal structures in a few choral creations by Liviu Glodeanu, a composer who passed away much too early and who left behind an important trace in the post-war musical avant-garde.
Historiography, essays, analyses: a few of the most important methods of musicological research are thus represented in the three studies in very different manners, which are equally useful and attuned to the newest developments. To them we add Florinela Popa’s expressive review of the anniversary volume Musical Odyssey 1864-2014. A History of the National University of Music, Bucharest by Antigona Rădulescu. The profile of an institution – which is actually a conglomerate of personalities who shaped it – thus adds itself to the portraits of composers drawn up in the three studies and in the section Thoughts. I will reiterate here a thought that I use in the closure of my fragmentary presentation of the composition ideas present in Myriam Marbe’s creation: if we, musicologists, try to maintain an interest in Romanian music through our contributions, sporadic as they may be, in our concert halls compositions by Glodeanu, Marbe and their colleagues in the same generation are hardly performed nowadays. We are still waiting (in vain, as it seems) for that coherent, massive project investing energy in a revival of new Romanian music. The results of such a project would be countless.
(English translation by Maria-Sabina Draga Alexandru)