Critical reception of late 19th century Iași-based music. Alexandru Flechtenmacher


  • DALIA RUSU-PERSIC “George Enescu” National University of the Arts Iași


Filothei, Ghelasie, Mihalache, Mount Athos, the Romanianisation process


In late 19th-century periodicals, music criticism captured only a few details
on the composition techniques, the structural organization, the rhythmic-melodic or
vocal and stage interpretation of various performances. The press shed light on these
pieces only at an informative level, mentioning titles, composers, and interpreters and
even omitting some details due to, on the one hand, the authorities’ indifference to the
musical phenomenon and, on the other hand, the editors’ sheer ignorance of particular
stylistic or musical language features. However, the attempts made by the personalities
active in the cultural and artistic life were real and unrelenting, their results being
guided by the desire to promote music with specific national traits. This study
provides an analytical perspective on the current reception of that social-artistic
context. Taking into account that new sources have favored a more detailed and
profound investigation of the 19th-century critical phenomenon, our analysis
supplements the information presented in the music history studies already published
in Romania. Consequently, the first section of this paper approaches the extremely
dynamic phenomenon represented by the creation of new journals / newspapers in the
19th century. It is our belief that starting from general journalism we can acquire a
better understanding of the development of musical criticism. This research aimed to
discover new dimensions of Iași-based music, placing special emphasis on the critical
reception of the composer Alexandru Flechtenmacher. We have followed its reflection
in the Romanian press, starting from the first accounts in this respect, and ending with
the subsequent assessments formulated in 20th-century musicology. Although the texts
that tackle musical issues are quite few and social aspects prevail in the commentators’
list of interests, by combining the information provided by general
literary/historical/social sources with the details included in specialized articles we can
create a new perspective on late 19th-century Iași-based compositions.



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