Myriam Marbé

Myriam Marbé, the “Great Lady” of Romanian music (1931-1997), studied composition at the Bucharest University of Music with Mihail Jora and Leon Klepper, while also attending the master classes held by Mihail Andricu (who has a decidive role in shaping the entire generation of composers to which Marbé belongs). She taught composition at the University until 1988, when she was awarded a creative scholarship by the city of Mannheim. During her career, she received numerous prizez, the Romanian Academy Award (1977) and many international distinctions, such as the Bernier Award (Paris) or GEDOK (Mannheim). Her work is a synthesis between extreme rigor and aleatorism. For instance, Ritual for the Thirts of the Earth (1968) wishes to avoid any conventional system of organization, by replacing musical sounds with words. In several of her compositions, Marbé resorts to gestures and especially to the power of words, of ritual valls, in a very convincing manner. Jocus secundus (1969) highlights the synthesis between words and instrumental music. In 1974, Eine kleine Sonnenmusik reflects the return to a music of totality, while Vocabulary I, Song and even Cyclus mark a sudden change of stylistic attitude. The concert works of 1974-1978 are remarkable through their state of genuine musical euphoria. Artificial Birds and the String Quartet belong to a period of purging, but excel in the spectacular colour of the notation, while Recovered Time (1982) or the Concerto for Viola da Gamba, Tenor and Orchestra (1982) mirror Byzanthine influences. On one hand, Marbé’s music is based on the living tradition of Romanian and Byzanthine church music and of peasant folklore; on the other hand, its rich language is achieved throught the ingenious adaptation of modern techniques.

MUSIC: Trommelbass