Saturday, September 21, 2019

Music Inspired by Romania

Music is the shorthand of emotion.
Leo Tolstoy

Today's post features two pieces of classical music plus one of the original tunes that became a part of Enescu's Romanian Rhapsody #1.  Both were inspired by the composers' impressions of Romania.

The piece in Video #1 was created by a Norwegian, Johan Halvorsen. Halvorsen was offered a post at the Bucharest Conservatory. Although he didn't take the position,  he took an interest in Bucharest and Boyars, in particular, the entrance of the Boyars into Bucharest in the 18th century.  I don't know if he ever visited Romania, but it fired up enough of an interest in him to write a piece about it.

The result was The Entry March of the Boyars. It's 5 1/2 minutes of passion and excitement; I love it, even though it doesn't sound like anything Romanian.  This is what inspiration sounds like.

The Romanian Rhapsody #1 by George Enescu uses Romanian folk motifs. One of the tunes in the Romanian Rhapsody is the music for the dance Hora Lui Dobrica.

Here is the Romanian Rhapsody in its entirety, with some beautiful scenery to go along with the music. Hora Lui Dobrica is at 2:20. After watching this video, I will always associate barges and bridges with Hora Lui Dobrica.

This piece starts off slow and gradually speeds up until the wild finale. Reminds me of some Romanian folk dances.

If you enjoyed this you may also like:

The "Flavors" of Romanian Hora

The "Flavors" of Romanian Sirba

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  1. Thank you for this post. A few comments first about the Norwegian composerJohan Halvorsen: it's unlikely he visited Bucharest and the Entry March of the Boyars is very much in keeping with the spirit of his wife's uncle, the composer Edvard Grieg. As to George Enescu, the first piece of his famous Romanian Rhapsody #1, composed at the age of 18, is a song called "Am Un Leu Și Vreau să Beau" which essentially means, "I have very little money and I want a drink." George Enescu was born in the village of Liveni in the Moldavian region of Romania. Liveni was later renamed in George Enescu in honor of the composer. Thanks for the post!