Romania in The Last Hundred Years Historical and Musical Considerations What was done? What are we doing? What to do?


  • Prof. PhD. Carmen Chelaru "George Enescu" National University of Arts Iași



Centenary, Romania, history, music, communism


In 2018, Romanians celebrate the Centenary – a hundred years since Romania had the largest territory ever inhabited primarily by Romanians, at the same time, a century since Romania as a modern country was born. What do we know about our history in the last one hundred years? What and why do we celebrate?We know too little; many of the Romanians participating in the celebration do not know what it is for. The torrent of pathetic and solemn words about the past is useless. I followed two paths side by side, which happen to be in a natural connection, but sometimes they also go through distinct stages: on one hand, the course of the main historical events from the beginning of World War I until now, and on the other hand, Romanian musical life during the same period. I will cover five historical stages (World War I, Interwar Period and World War II, Soviet Occupation, Ceauşescuʼs era and Post-Communist Period) pursuing four main aims: a) an explicit historical image (as a musician I had a relatively narrow perspective on general historical facts); b) completing superficial knowledge received in school (before 1989) with information to justify certain events; c)the relationship between history–culture–music, in support of the idea that art doesnot exclude knowledge and civic involvement, on the contrary; d) the Past justifies the Present and together they work upon the Future. In the epilogue I will reveal an example that I consider illustrative for this fourth aim: the project Saving Enescu’s Cottage from Mihăileni. I have made this study mainly for my own benefit, in order to understand the historical facts, but especially to find an answer to the question: knowing history – what’s the use?