Daily Archives: September 4, 2011

Ciprian Porumbescu – Rapsodia Romana

Ciprian Porumbescu (born Cyprian Gołęmbiowski on October 14, 1853 July 6, 1883) was an Romanian composer born in Şipotele Sucevei in Bukovina (now Shepit, Putyla Raion, Ukraine). He was among the most celebrated Romanian composers of his time; his popular works include Crai nou, Trei culori, Song for the 1st of May, Ballad for violin and piano, and Serenada. In addition, he composed the music for Pe-al nostru steag e scris Unire, which was used for Albania’s national anthem, Hymni i Flamurit. His work spreads over various forms and musical genres, but the majority of his work is choral and operetta. Ciprian Porumbescu was born into the family of Iraclie Gołęmbiowski (who changed the Polish-sounding family name to its Romanian translation), an ethnic Romanian writer and Orthodox priest of possible Polish origins. He studied music in Suceava and Cernăuţi, then continued at the Konservatorium für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna from 1879 to 1881 under Anton Bruckner and Franz Krenn. His artistic career as a composer, conductor, violinist, and pianist started in Cernăuţi, and continued in Vienna, and later in Braşov where he taught vocal music at Romanian schools.

Ciprian Porumbescu wrote poetry, lyrics and press articles, and actively participated in the public cultural life. He helped the rise of the Romanian music school during an age of enthusiasm generated by Romania’s independence. Some of the most remarkable musical pages of the composer were inspired by national heroes and great army leaders, such as Stephen III of Moldavia and Dragoş Vodă. The appreciation of his music came from the melodic nature of his compositions and their folklore inspiration.

Ciprian Porumbescu left a legacy of more than 250 works, bringing him fame and popularity through his short life. The composer saw his work Crai Nou (New Moon) performed in Braşov, while his vocal works Pe-al nostru steag (On our flag), Treiculorul (Three coloured), Cântec de primăvară (Spring song), Serenada, Cântecul gintei latine (Latin nation song), La malurile Prutului (On the Prut’s shores), and Altarul manastirii Putna (Putna monastery’s altar) were already in the public conscience. He died at the age of 29 in Stupca, which was renamed Ciprian Porumbescu in his honor.
(Source:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ciprian_Porumbescu)

George Enescu – Rapsodia Romana (op.2)

Romanian Rhapsody No. 2 in D major

The Second Rhapsody, like the first, was completed in 1901,[16][8] but is more inward and reflective. Its essential character is not dance, but song.[17][5] It is based on the popular 19th-century 

Carmen Sylva si George Enescu

Image by sylvaregina via Flickr

ballad “Pe o stîncă neagră, într-un vechi castel” (“On a dark rock, in an old castle”) which, like the opening melody of the First Rhapsody Enescu may have learned from the lăutar Chioru,[1], though again there is some doubt whether Enescu actually remembered it from Chioru,[12] and is about certain heroic episodes recounted in ancient Moldavian chronicles and characterized by a spirit of poetic rumination.[citation needed] After a development culminating in a canonic presentation, this theme is joined by a dance tune, “Sîrba lui Pompieru” (“Sîrba of the Fireman”), followed shortly afterward by the second half of a folksong, “Văleu, lupu mă mănîncă” (“Aiee, I’m being devoured by a wolf!”), which is treated in canon.[18] Toward the end there is a brief moment of animation, bringing to mind the spirit of country lăutari, but the work ends quietly.[9]

Unlike the First Rhapsody, there is no controversy at all about the scoring of the Second, which is given in the published score as: 3 flutes, 2 oboes, cor anglais, 2 clarinets in A, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets in C, 3 trombones, 2 timpani, cymbal, 2 harps, first violins, second violins, violas, cellos, and double basses.
( Source:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romanian_Rhapsodies_(Enescu)

George Enescu was born in the village of Liveni, Romania (Dorohoi County at the time, today Botoşani County), and showed musical talent from early in his childhood. A child prodigy, Enescu created his first musical composition at the age of five. Shortly thereafter, his father presented him to the professor and composer Eduard Caudella. At the age of seven, entered the Vienna Conservatory, where he studied with Joseph Hellmesberger, Jr., Robert Fuchs, and Sigismond Bachrich, and graduated before his 13th birthday, earning the silver medal. In his Viennese concerts young Enescu played works by Brahms, Sarasate and Mendelssohn. In 1895 he went to Paris to continue his studies. He studied violin with Martin Pierre Marsick, harmony with André Gédalge, and composition with Jules Massenet and Gabriel Fauré.

Many of Enescu’s works were influenced by Romanian folk music, his most popular compositions being the two Romanian Rhapsodies (1901–2), the opera Oedipe (1936), and the suites for orchestra. He also wrote five symphonies (two of them unfinished), a symphonic poem Vox maris, and much chamber music (three sonatas for violin and piano, two for cello and piano, a piano trio, quartets with and without piano, a wind decet (French, “dixtuor”), an octet for strings, a piano quintet, a chamber symphony for twelve solo instruments).
In 1923 he made his debut as a conductor in a concert given by the Philadelphia Orchestra in New York City. In 1935, he conducted the Orchestre Symphonique de Paris and Yehudi Menuhin in Mozart’s Violin Concerto No.3 in G major. He also conducted the New York Philharmonic between 1937 and 1938. In 1939 he married Maria Rosetti (known as the Princess Cantacuzino through her first husband Mihail Cantacuzino), a good friend of the future Queen Marie of Romania. While staying in Bucharest, Enescu lived in the Cantacuzino Palace on Calea Victoriei (now the Muzeu Naţional George Enescu, dedicated to his work).

He lived in Paris and in Romania, but after World War II and the Soviet occupation of Romania, he remained in Paris.

He was also a noted violin teacher. Yehudi Menuhin, Christian Ferras, Ivry Gitlis, Arthur Grumiaux, and Ida Haendel were among his pupils. He promoted contemporary Romanian music, playing works of Constantin Silvestri, Mihail Jora, Ionel Perlea and Marţian Negrea.

On his death in 1955, George Enescu was interred in the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.

MUMA LUI STEFAN CEL MARE de Dimitrie Bolintineanu

Pe o stanca neagra, intr-un vechi castel, Unde cura-n poale un rau mititel, Plange si suspina tanara domnita, Dulce si suava ca o garofita; Caci in batalie sotul ei dorit A plecat cu oastea si n-a mai venit. Ochii sai albastri ard in lacrimele Cum lucesc in roua doua viorele; Buclele-i de aur cad pe albu-i san,
Rozele si crinii pe fata-i se-ngan. insa doamna soacra langa ea vegheaza Si cu dulci cuvinte o imbarbateaza.
Un orologiu suna noaptea jumatate, in castel in poarta oare cine bate?
— “Eu sunt, buna maica, fiul tau dorit; Eu, si de la oaste ma intorc ranit. Soarta noastra fuse cruda asta data: Mica mea ostire fuge sfaramata.
Dar deschideti poarta… Turcii ma-nconjor… Vantul sufla rece… Ranile ma dor!” Tanara domnita la fereastra sare.
— “Ce faci tu, copila?” zice doamna mare. Apoi ea la poarta atunci a iesit
Si-n tacerea noptii astfel i-a vorbit:
— “Ce spui tu, straine? Stefan e departe; Bratul sau prin taberi mii de morti imparte. Eu sunt a sa muma; el e fiul meu;
De esti tu acela, nu-ti sunt muma eu! insa daca cerul, vrand sa-ngreuieze Anii vietii mele si sa ma-ntristeze, Nobilul tau suflet astfel l-a schimbat; Daca tu esti Stefan cu adevarat, Apoi tu aice fara biruinta Nu poti ca sa intri cu a mea vointa. Du-te la ostire! Pentru tara mori! Si-ti va fi mormantul coronat cu flori!”
Stefan se intoarce si din cornu-i suna; Oastea lui zdrobita de prin vai aduna. Lupta iar incepe… Dusmanii zdrobiti Cad ca niste spice, de securi loviti.

Autor: Dimitrie Bolintineanu
Poezia MUMA LUI STEFAN CEL MARE de Dimitrie Bolintineanu


Folclor Nepieritor, Dumitru Fărcaş – Învârtita ca-n Ardeal (Transyvanian Dance)

 It is possible that instruments from both traditions were combined into one entity. The tárogató has a Persian origin, and it appeared in Hungary during the Turkish wars.[2] Up to about the 18th century, the tárogató was a type of shawm, with a double reed, conical bore, and no keys.

Being a very loud and raucous instrument, the tárogató was used as a signaling instrument in battle (like the bugle or the bagpipe).[1]

Because the tárogató was an iconic instrument of the Rákóczi’s War for Independence (1703–1711). Its use was suppressed in the 18th century by the Habsburg monarchy.[1][2] The instrument was eventually abandoned being considered too loud for a concert hall.[2]

Modern usage

Dumitru Dobrican, a taragot folk musician from Dăntăuşii din Groşi, Romania.

In the 1890s a modern version was invented by Vencel József Schunda, a Budapest instrument maker.[2] It uses a single reed, like a clarinet or saxophone, and has a conical bore, similar to the saxophone. The instrument is made of wood, usually black grenadilla wood like a clarinet. The most common size, the soprano tárogató in B♭, is about 29 inches (74 cm) in length and has a mournful sound similar to a cross between an English horn and a soprano saxophone. Other sizes exist; one maker, János Stowasser, advertised a family of seven sizes of which the largest was a contrabass tárogató in E♭.[1] The new tárogató bears very little resemblance with the historical tárogató and the two instruments should not be confused.[1][3] It has been suggested that the name schundaphone would have been more accurate, but tárogató was used because of the nationalistic image that the original instrument had.[4]

This instrument was a symbol of Hungarian aristocracy, and the favorite woodwind instrument of Governor Miklós Horthy.
(Source:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taragot)

Today’s Quotation: Beatrix Potter (1866-1943)

Thank goodness…I was never sent to school…it would have rubbed off some of the originality.

  • Beatrix Potter (1866-1943) DiscussHelen Beatrix Potter (28 July 1866 – 22 December 1943) was an English author, illustrator, natural scientist and conservationist best known for her imaginative children’s books featuring animals such as those in The Tale of Peter Rabbit which celebrated the British landscape and country life.Born into a privileged Unitarian family, Potter, along with her younger brother, Walter Bertram (1872–1918), grew up with few friends outside her large extended family. Her parents were artistic, interested in nature and enjoyed the countryside. As children, Beatrix and Bertam had numerous small animals as pets which they observed closely and drew endlessly. Summer holidays were spent in Scotland and in the English Lake District where Beatrix developed a love of the natural world which was the subject of her painting from an early age.

    She was educated by private governesses until she was eighteen. Her study of languages, literature, science and history was broad and she was an eager student. Her artistic talents were recognized early. Although she was provided with private art lessons, Beatrix preferred to develop her own style, particularly favoring watercolor.
    (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beatrix_Potter)

My thought on children books and letter sizes:
I remember,how when I was  child I was mesmerized by the size of the letters. I always thought that those huge letters were tall, taller the the stories I was reading. As I grew up I had to buy a magnifying lens, aside for the prescription glasses I wear for reading: I needed to read the small prints. Those almost indistinguishably small (but of utmost importance) notes, with which all contracts end: Fear the small print, there is nothing good in it for you!

Related articles


Today’s Birthday: Richard Wright (1908)

Richard Wright (1908)

Wright was an American author whose works helped redefine discussions of race in the mid-20th century. The grandson of slaves, he grew up in poverty in the American south. The fictionalized autobiography Black Boy (1945) vividly describes his often harsh childhood and youth. He first came to wide attention with a collection of short stories titled Uncle Tom’s Children (1938) and published his bestselling novel Native Son two years later. Why was he blacklisted in Hollywood? More… Discuss

This Day in History: George Eastman Receives a Patent for His Kodak Camera (1888)

George Eastman Receives a Patent for His Kodak Camera (1888)

Eastman was an American industrialist, inventor, and philanthropist. Interested in photographic processes from an early age, he invented roll film in 1884 and perfected a camera designed to use it, called the Kodak camera. In 1892, he established the Eastman Kodak Company and began to mass produce his inventions, transforming photography from an expensive hobby of the few to a relatively inexpensive, popular pastime. What was his contribution to the development of motion pictures? More… Discuss

Did You Know: IQ Is in the Genes (Lots of them too)

Scientist Fail to Identify Intelligence Genes

Decades of studies involving twins and adopted children have shown that genes have a significant influence on intelligence and that this influence increases as people pass from childhood into adulthood; however, pinpointing the genes involved has proved difficult. Scientists used to believe that fewer than half a dozen genes affect intelligence quotient (IQ), but recent studies suggest that at least 1,000 may actually be involved. Because each of these genes has such a minute impact, researchers have been unable to identify which ones influence IQ. Still, they estimate that at least 40 to 50 percent of the differences in IQ result from genetic influences. More… Discuss