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Constantin Lupu and
'Old Music from North Moldavia'
Constantin Lupu - violin
Constantin Negel - cobza
Aurel Holeru - flute
George Mandra - violin
Mircea Antoneac - viola
Neculai Bradeanu - double bass
Marian Emanuel Schiopu - small drum with cymbal
Anton Mitica Stefan - small drum with cymbal
Label - Ethnophonie, Romania
20 page booklet in Romanian and English giving details on
the music and musicians.
The wild sounds of folk music from that far corner of Europe known as
Moldavia. Music led by the violin and the ancient cobza (lute type
instrument). Collected and documented by Speranta Radulescu of
Ethnophonie maintaining all its originality and fiery passion.
Extract from notes:
Most of the pieces and suites on this disc are dance tunes. They are grouped here in three categories following the criterion of the dominant stylistic note. Nevertheless the categories are quite ambiguous, because in popular practice the concrete pieces and suites often combine
or juxtapose melodies and melodic segments of different origins and periods.
The first set of tunes (tracks 1-5) is the reflection of the music we regard as the most interesting, and rare, herein named post-Phanariot. It used to be performed in the
19th century at the courts of wealthy boyars and in towns all around the Botosani country, and it was dominated by boyar's horas (hore boieresti), which have now become infrequent-dances with a steady movement accompanied by asymmetrical rhythmic formulas....
We believe that those interested in the roots of the Jewish-American klezmer music will hardly find a more significant and revealing material than that coming from Upper Moldavia.
The second set of tunes, the most substantial (6-18). groups together chiefly village musics, which are related to rural Europe rather than the Balkans or the Middle East. The pieces included-dance tunes, ritual wedding songs and instrumental lyric songs - are taken by the violinists from the vocal, as well as from the pipe and bagpipe music of plowmen and
The last set illustrates the heterogeneous world of slums at the conjunction of the
19th and 20th centuries.... Some tunes remind of the music of folk brass bands which were then fashionable both in Europe and throughout rural Moldavia.
The most significant thing we learn listening to the music on this disc is that the village in Upper Moldavia used to be, as it still is, heterogeneous and open to most diverse influences. Pressure came from the cosmopolitan Balkans, the slums, the westernizing boyars' salons that were still tributary to Istanbul. as well as from the Jewish, Ukrainian and Gypsy
communities in the region. The village and the town absorbed, successively or simultaneously, sound elements from all these sources, and remodeled them in its own patterns, around a hard core: the local Romanian peasant music.
The main interpreters
The violin player Constantin Lupu was born in 1951 at Gadinti (central Moldova). He learned to play the violin in the family and from a barber neighbor, a peasant Figaro loved by everyone in the village. His parents encouraged him very early to go to "serious music" schools in town. As he became a very good violinist, Constantin Lupu was tempted to devote himself to academic music entirely. In the end, the desire to remain faithful to the village prevailed. Lupu found employment with the Botosani Cultural Center, and in parallel began performing at weddings in the city and its environs.
Constantin Negel is an old cobza player, one of the few remaining in Upper Moldavia. His cobza is old too, as his black, gentle, wise eyes. Old Negel (Mosnegel to the intimates, i.e. "little old man") began to play at village parties as early as the late 1930s, together with his violinist father. Over the years, the cobza went out of fashion and was gradually replaced by other instruments. more efficient in producing sound and looking more modern, such as the dulcimer (tambal ), the accordion. and later the electronic organ. Negel found himself thrust aside.
Today he seldom plays, and only at small weddings of modest people, together with a few
friends, among which is Constantin Lupu.'
Constantin Lupu and
'Old Music from North Moldavia'
1. Joc Dance: Hora lui Nemteanu de la Saveni (3'06")
2. Joc Dance: Hora boiereasca a lui Toader Tinta (2'41")
3. Joc Dance: Sarba cu corzi incalecate de la Albesti (1'49")
4. Jon Dance: Hora boiereasca a lui Nemteanu (3'24")
5. Joc Dance: Hora cu corzi incalecate (1'25")
6. Joc Dance: Margineanca de la Flamanzi (1'27")
7. Joc Dances: Margineanca de la Flamanzl, Batuta (2'07")
8. Joc Dance: Hora (2'03")
9. Joc Dance: Cobzareasca (1'45")
10. Cantec Song tune: Cantec de la Holm si joc/and dance Joc
baltranesc de la Prisacani (4'41")
11. Joc Dances: Hora pe hang, Sarba pe hang. Coragheasca
12. Jocuri Dance: Mosnegeasca din Prisacani (1'35")
13. Jocuri Dances: Ciobanasul Batuta (2'56")
14. Joc Dance: Taraneasca de pe Siret (1'50")
15. Cantec ritual de nunta: De jele la mireasa
Ritual wedding tune: Grieving for the Bride (2'42")
16. Joc Dance Batuta lui Berucai (2'09")
17. Jocuri Dances: Sarba pe batai a lui Mitica din Vorona. Joc
18. Jocuri Dances: Batraneasca de la Albesti, Sarba din batrani (3'42")
19. Joc Dance: Sarba din Baiceni (1'39")
20. Joc Dance: Sarba de pe Valea Jijiei (2'16")
21. Joc Dance: Sarba lui Nemteanu (2'54")
22. Joc Dance: Noghiul (1'46")
23. Cantec: Chiftilareasa. Song: Mincement Ball Maker (2'45")
24. Joc Dance: Hora de la Hlipiceni (2'31")
25. Joc Dance: Sarba de la Prlsacani (2'09")
26. Joc Dance: Pe-ntrecute (1'44")