The adaptation of Byzantine and post-Byzantine monody and of psaltic Christmascarols in Viorel Munteanu’s creation


  • Lecturer PhD. Irina Zamfira Dănilă "George Enescu" National University of Arts Iași



For his piece for voice and orchestra The Voices of Putna, composer Viorel Munteanu
drew his inspiration from the Byzantine melodies stored in the manuscripts at the Musical
school at the Putna monastery. He borrowed several motifs of two distinctive Byzantine
chants by Romanian composers Dometian Vlahu and Evstatie the Protopsalt, which he
adapted using specific musical methods. Relying on the old canons, he thus succeeded in
producing an original monody supported by the use of isons, the spatialization of the sound
flow as the various musical motifs are played by various instruments, the combination
between antiphonic and heterophonic singing. In The Voices of Putna, composer Viorel
Munteanu recreates the atmosphere of piety and prayer to be found in monasteries.
In his Second Christmas suite, Viorel Munteanu draws his inspiration from old church
music (in the piece The Virgin Today), as well as from old archaic Christmas carols, from
either folklore or psaltic music (in You Are the Holy Light).
In the volume A drop of ”ler”, Viorel Munteanu adapts with harmonic methods and
polyphonic methods of a modal nature folklore Christmas carols, both lay and religious carols
for two-voice and three-equal voice choirs, which can thus be used for youths, especially in



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