Crossing the Land of Vocal Technique Errors

Alexandru Badea


This article is a travelogue, which tells of the experiences and findings the author made during an interpretive and pedagogical career that extends over four decades. The text is divided into five sections: (1) Imitation and Analogy, (2) Dangerous Errors in Vocal Technique, (3) Understanding the “Architecture” of the Voice, (4) The Ego, and (5) Skills and Bad Habits. While the sections’ titles make their topics explicit, the author also focuses on “the ten commandments” of correct singing, on the psychodrama underwent by half-learned teachers, and on an array of issues related to the selflessness of the good voice teacher.

Johannes Brahms, Piano Concerto No. 2: Symphony with Piano Obbligato? For and Against Arguments

Toma Popovici


The symphonic scope of Johannes Brahms’ works draws its vitality from two main sources. First, there is Beethoven’s stylistic influence, manifest throughout Brahms’ oeuvre, and then there is his own conception of treating the piano’s sonority. The use of the entire keyboard, the increased importance of the lower register, generating the harmonics, the complex polyphonic writing, the multiple timbral suggestions, and the monumental dimensions are some of the traits of Brahmsian piano writing.

In parallel with the orchestral-like aural images of his piano works, Brahms frequently resorts to chamber and vocal sonorities. If passages displaying a certain intimacy can be associated with his vast chamber music output, the flow, the broad scope, and especially the vocality of his lyrical themes are natural consequences of the importance of the lied in his oeuvre.

This study aims to analyse the solo, symphonic, and chamber elements of Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 83 and develops both the arguments for considering it a solo concerto and for viewing it as a symphony with piano obbligato.

L’appel du folklore chez les compositeurs roumains en France au XXe siècle

Étienne Kippelen


For a long time, France has been the main home base for expatriate Romanian composers. Since the interwar period, Paris has exerted a powerful attraction on foreign musicians, particularly Romanians. From George Enescu to Aurel Stroë, from Marcel Mihalovici to Horaţiu Rădulescu, many composers have been marked by their time in France. We will examine the most subtle influences on their music, shared between distant resurgences of folklore from Bartók (Ligeti, Miereanu), the aspiration to fusion of non-Western melodies and contemporary music (Stroë) and finally the genesis of the typically French spectral aesthetics (Rădulescu) with an admixture of popular stylizations. The contribution of electroacoustics and new technologies to the revival of traditional music constitutes another significant aspect. Mainly marked by exoticism, the Romanian-French connection now bears witness to a cultural interpenetration which has never wavered throughout the 20th century and is still perceptible today.

Inside the Archives of the National University of Music Bucharest

Antigona Rădulescu


This research aims to highlight the effects which the 20th century totalitarianism had on the National University of Music Bucharest. To this effect, we referred to the institution’s Archives Collections as well as to the Human Resources Archives section relating to the years 1939 to 1954, namely, the times of the far-right dictatorial rule before and during the World War II, and of the first years of communist rule in Romania. The two periods are covered unevenly, this quantitative disparity being obviously due to their different duration and, as such, it is the second one, lasting for more than forty years, that is favoured.

The impact of the two extremes of the political spectrum on the University had different intensities and consequences. The dictatorial regimes of the first period put pressure on an institution still defended, both from the outside and from the inside, by democratic forces, and didn’t therefore succeed in their goal to modify the very structure of the prestigious establishment. Things were to change, though, with the instauration of “people power” which took pains to radically and systemically change the substance of the Romanian culture, while those targeted had to make a tremendous effort to both resist it and dissimulate their resistance behind a variety of means of expression.

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