Syntaxes and metro-rhythmic categories in Viorel Munteanu's Concerto for flute and string orchestra


  • Prof. PhD. Leonard Dumitriu “George Enescu” National University of Arts Iași ROMANIA



syntax, polyphony, homophony, rhythm, polyrhythm


The piece by composer Viorel Munteanu reveals the symbiosis between past musical ages and modernity, between established compositional techniques (of the string orchestra) and contemporary sound emission processes (the solo flute). The syntaxes of past trends in music, polyphony and homophony, as well as modern treatments of rhythm, such as polyrhythm, coexist felicitously and result in a type of musical thought that, although anchored in the past, looks forward to the future. Rhythm can be considered from various metric perspectives, especially in the faster parts of the concerto. Rhythmic layers are present both vertically (polyrhythms) and horizontally (polyphons of rhythms); the cross of the two variants is of particular interest. The aksak rhythm, characteristic of the Balkan area, may come as a surprise as it briefly occurs in Part III; this unexpected element brings an inspired change of horizon, followed by a return to the previous giusto expression. The form of the last part, Rondo, can also be discussed from a modern perspective, rooted in the past; it could actually be placed within in the Rondo-Sonata pattern; however, its sound contour does not belong to the tonal sphere, but rather to a form of extended modalism. The soloist instrument merges with the string orchestra and emerges from it, in a discourse that clearly bears the mark of the composer’s creative personality. The most successful element of the work is its expressiveness, the way in which the compositional and technical means are subordinated to the aesthetic message that Viorel Munteanu intends to transmit to the public.