Violeta Dinescu



VIOLETA DINESCU was born in 1953 in Bucharest. At college she attended a special class for Violeta Dinescumathematics and physics. She studied composition, piano and pedagogy at the Ciprian Porumbescu Conservatory in Bucharest, completing her education in 1976 with Honours. Recipient of a 'George- Enescu Scholarship', she was also enabled to study composition intensively with Myriam Marbe. In retrospect she regards this as the greatest stroke of fortune in her life.
Violeta Dinescu has lived in Germany since 1982. After teaching at the Academy for Evangelical Church Music in Heidelberg (1986-1991), at the Academy for Performing Arts in Frankfurt (1989-1992) and at the Professional Academy for Evangelical Church music in Bayreuth (1990-1994) she became a full-time Professor of applied composition at the Carl von Ossietzky University in Oldenburg in 1996 and frequently directs courses in different parts of Europe and at several Universities in the USA
Her list of works comprises innumerable compositions of various genres, amongst them an opera for children 'The 35th of May' after Erich Kästner, the opera 'Hunger and Thirst' after Eugene Ionesco, 'Eréndira' after Gabriel Garcia Mârquez and 'Schachnovelle' after Stefan Zweig. Her ballets include'Der Kreisel' after Eduard Mörike and'Effi Briest' after Theodor Fontane as well as music for the silent- film Tabu' by Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau and the
'Pfingstoratorium' (Pentecost Oratorio) based an texts from the bible. Also of great importance is her chamber music for various instruments. Her compositions have been awarded numerous international prizes and honours.





Auswahl ihrer Werke
ICHTYS Violine, Violoncello und Klavier
ALTERNANZEN Bläserquintett
AUF DER SUCHE NACH MOZART Flöte, Fagott, Horn, Saxophon, Violine,Harfe, und Klavier/Celesta
TERRA LONHDANA Kammerensemble
MAP 67 Kammerensemble
MEMORIES Streichorchester
MONDNÄCHTE Singstimme, Saxophon und Schlagzeug
DONA NOBIS PACEM Singstimme, Violoncello mit Schlagwerk
ZEBAOTH Bariton und zwei Orgeln
CONCERTINO Orchester mit Singstimme
BLIUMENLIED Chor a cappella

Kammeroper nach Eugene Ionesco
DER 35. MAI Kinderoper nach Erich Kästner
ERÉNDIRA Kammeroper nach Gabriel Garcia Marquez
PFINGSTORATORIUM Solisten, zwei Chöre, Bläser, Blechbläserund Schlagzeug
SCHACHNOVELLE Komposition nach Stefan Zweig


Violeta Dinescu - A Distinctive Personal Language


Undoubtedly, a fundamental device in Violeta Dinescu's music is the use of monody. This is to be understood not only in the historical sense of the word, that is a single-line chant or lament, but also as an expression of 'affect' and an interpretation of emotions in the more 'human' sense of the word. Dinescu's view of monody is deeply rooted in her Romanian homeland, and the use of declamatory cantilena, either instrumental or vocal, gives rise to an unmistakably intense musical idiom.
Moving almost imperceptibly from one instrument to another and combined with alternating solo voices, the melodic line develops into an extended monologue illuminated by contrasting colours. This form of monody is embellished through the use of ornaments possibly inspired by North-Romanian 'Cântec Lung' or Byzantine Chants. Similarly, the central tone of the melody is surrounded by extended melismas and introduced by rapid figurations expanding like arabesque motifs.
Such a procedure is closely linked to a 'parlando rubato' - a kind of free-flowing texture - and the music of both'Doina' Romanian folk music and Byzantine chant. It is the combination of 'parlando rubato' and the free use of melisma that makes the music flow whilst creating a floating sense of time strongly contrasting with the chronometrically organised texture. This is most apparent when improvised monody, ornamentation and 'parlando rubato' techniques merge into extended solo or unison passages. And, as in a suspended sense of space, the declamatory power of the cantilena seems to be spanning from one point to another like in an imaginary bridge.
The principle of Heterophony is most clearly demonstrated in compositions with larger instrumentation. A central melody is modified, fractured, undergoes changes of tone colour and appears in a new guise combined with chord- and cluster-formations. Arising from an independently composed organic musical germ, the resulting elastic fusions create the illusion of a certain procedure. In Dinescu's music, however, the 'accident' is always controlled and leads to pre-selected channels. Even passages where the notation requires the imagination of the performer or, through the use of aleatoric notation presents a challenge to the Performer, are fully integrated into the work. The fastidious and creative spirit of the composer does not leave room for any kind of arbitrariness.
Violeta Dinescu's relationship with authentic folk music is not limited to adaptation or imitation. Rather, the composer derives inspiration from basic principles such as monody or techniques of embellishments. From these elements are distilled characteristic elements and methods which form an 'essence of folkloré and an 'essence of monody'. It is these 'essences' which form the foundation of her point of departure, of her own concepts and compositional processes.


By means of the principle of heterophony the melodic line transforms itself in one or more structural levels of the composition. Dinescu is fascinated by the superpositions of these different levels. The musicjournalist Josef Häusler referred to it as 'the geological aspect' of her music.
In her works one is reminded of the graphic representation of the earth's strata with its horizontal courses, turnings and curvatures, offshoots, cuts and faults. At the same time processes of monody homophony, polyphony and heterophony are combined. They transform and superimpose themselves continuously with different densities. Because this Vsible' construction is accompanied by the afore-mentioned ornamental components, the inevitable result is a highly complex web of lines, correlations and colours. Through the pulsating musical processes emerges a characteristic compositional texture and Rhetoric, which could be described as 'spatial musical thinking'. Foreground, middle-ground and background of the composition are differently organised and 'translated' to various sonic levels, each independent and yet closely related to each other.
By employing the above principle of heterophony Violeta Dinescu's music is based neither an the tonal major/minor system nor an the twelve-tone system. The composer works instead with 'modi'- that is, with a restricted selection of tones of tones chosen to fit the demands of the new piece and put together in a certain procedure. The'modi' form not only the melodic material but also produce in vertical layers the characteristic Sound-scapes of this composer's music. For the listener the impression is of 'controlled freedom'.
The construction of Dinescu's compositions has its roots in her studies of mathematics and science. Mathematical processes influence formal considerations and control the creation of music. Arithmetic and algorithmic elements are ingeniously combined. Rational structures also determine the Organisation of the composition material. Only rarely, if at all, can the attentive listener detect them in the resulting sound complexes. In the music of Violeta Dinescu both scientific accuracy and intuitive freedom are in constant interaction.
Just as important for her as the rigorous ordering of the material at the beginning of the composition process is fantasy during rehearsal as a phase in preparation for performance. She passes an to her musicians and to her listeners the longing for freedom in a world whichworld, which is otherwise structured through objective and rational rules. Within the boundaries set by the composer each player has his own freedom of interpretation.


Zu diesem Gemälde von Gudrun Wassermann schrieb Violeta Dinescu das Stück "Tautropfen" für Klarinette und Klavier

Tautropfen, Gudrun Wassermann Zu V. Dinescus FotoZu Notenbeispiel