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From the history of the Folklore Archive of

Academy of Music, Theater and Fine Arts in Chisinau


Svetlana BADRAJAN,

dr., prof. univ.

The history of the AMTAP Folklore Archive begins with the establishment in 1945 of the folklore cabinet at the Moldovan State Conservatory in Chisinau (currently AMTAP), which involved the conduct of systematic field investigations by teachers and students of the institution. Even if these field researches were not equipped with specialized equipment and the recording of the musical material was done after hearing, however, in 1956 the folklore cabinet had a collection of about 2000 creations, recorded in Hâncești and Ceadâr-Lunga districts - central area , by musicians, who later became prominent personalities of musical culture, among them we name: Gleb Ciaicovschi-Mereșanu (musicologist, folklorist, 1919–1999), the first laboratory of the folklore cabinet; Mihail Caftanat (conductor, associate professor, 1946–2014); Nicolai Ponomarenco (musicologist, composer, 1893–1952); Boris Cotlearov (composer, musicologist, 1913–1982); Solomon Lobel (composer, 1910–1981); Nicolae Chiosa (singer, folklorist, 1924–1998); Orest Tarasenco (pianist, composer, musicologist, 1906–1994); Gheorghe Borș (singer, composer, teacher, 1898–1984) etc.

Analyzing the folklore collections published between 1945–1956, including Songs (composed and written by I. Balan, B. Istru, G. Meniuc, D. Gherșfeld and L. Gurov), Moldovan Folk Songs (written by E. Levedeva, researcher from the Moscow Conservatory, who between 1923–1935 made expeditions to Bessarabia, recording about 300 folk creations) etc., we can create a picture of the recorded categories: epic songs, carols, and especially songs proper.

In July 1956, the conservatory's folklore cabinet, by order of the then Ministry of Culture and the Council of Ministers, was disbanded. Initially, the folklore collection had to pass into the possession of the Institute of History, Language and Literature of the Academy of Sciences, in reality, it reached the Archives of the Republican Center for Popular Creation (currently the National Center for Preservation and Promotion of Intangible Cultural Heritage). Following a devastating fire in the 1960s, in the building of the Republican Center for Popular Creation where the archive was located, unfortunately, the given materials were destroyed.

Between 1957 and 1964, after the dissolution of the folklore cabinet, for about six years, no field investigations were carried out. They have been resumed since 1964, already using the technique of recording time - tape recorders. Numerous teachers and students, musicologists, composers, instrumentalists have contributed to the folk expeditions. Among them we mention Iulia Țibulschi (composer, b. 1933), Stepan Stoianov (musicologist, 1934–1997), Ion Macovei (composer, 1947–2011), Eugen Doga (composer, b. 1937), Felix Biriucov (musicologist, 1940) –2015), Oleg Negruța (composer, b.1935) etc. The musical material included approximately 584 works, recorded in the districts of Hâncești, Călărași, Orhei, Ceadâr-Lunga, Sângerei, Leova, the central and southern areas; Dondușeni - northern area; or. Chisinau; Bolgrad district, Odessa region and is preserved in the folklore archive. The birth years of informants range from 1866–1900. Valuable are the creations recorded by P. Murga (indicated year - 1866),  fiddler  violinist  from  s.  Slobodca,  r.  Orhei  -  forest area; V. Grosu (indicated year - 1890), voice, Lozova village, Călărași district; Elena Boghiceanu (indicated year - 1873), voice, or. Hâncești - the central area, etc. The repertoire of vocal and instrumental songs represents ritual folklore, especially: weddings, lamentations, carols, bathing and non-ritual: doines, epic songs, actual songs, romances, play songs. Of these, I would like to mention two variants of the song Banu Mărăcine, performed by the violinist Porfirie Murga and the trumpeter Simion Blidari (indicated year - 1928), a song attested, as it is known, still in the 15th century. 16th century, in the tabulation of Jan from Lublin (1540) with the title Haiducky , in the Caioni Codes (17th century), but also in other collections.

In 1968, the Department of Folklore was established at the State Moldavian Conservatory (Academy of Music, Theater and Fine Arts), which carried out its activity until the end of the 1990s. XX (more precisely, until 1998), being periodically closed and reopened. This department was the beginning of a new stage in the activity of investigation and scientific research of musical folklore. Gleb Ciaicovschi-Mereșanu was appointed head of the department, a tireless researcher, who remained faithful to the department and to the work of studying and capitalizing on the folklore treasure for life. From this year (1968) a planned folkloric activity takes place. Annually, as part of the students' folk practice, collective expeditions are undertaken for at least two weeks in June.

Also, individual field investigations are carried out by the professors of the department during the winter and summer. It is registered not only Romanian folklore, but also Ukrainian, Russian, Bulgarian, Gagauz, Gypsy, Jewish and other coexisting ethnic groups. Among these creations we discover songs performed in 2 voices, especially from the Transnistrian area, an area of Romanian-Ukrainian ethnic interference. In some works the song belongs to the Moldavian melody, in others it is taken from the Ukrainian folklore, executed with Romanian text. Also, there are recorded creations that represent other Romanian areas, which were mostly learned from the radio, even if Romanian stations were banned until the '90s.

Currently, the AMTAP Folklore Archive has about 16 thousand sound documents collected on the territory of the Republic of Moldova, in Bukovina, southern Bessarabia - Ukraine, material that offers us a huge field of research. I say this because some of the material has not yet been copied from old audio files and archived. Among those who contributed to the completion of the archive at this stage are Gleb Ciaicovschi-Mereșanu, Adela Raevschi (folklorist, Romanian language teacher), Andrei Tamazlâcaru (ethnomusicologist), Iaroslav Mironenko (ethnomusicologist, teacher), Dmitri Gagauz, , Constantin Rusnac, Victor Botnaru (popular performer, teacher), Svetlana Badrajan (ethnomusicologist, teacher), Diana Bunea (ethnomusicologist, teacher) and others.

Numerous popular rhapsodies were recorded, such as Filip Todirașcu (indicated year - 1914), violinist (s. Costești, r. Ialoveni), currently there is a contest of violinists in memory of the fiddler, who  him  gate  the name;  Gh. Bobeico  (indicated year - 1930), violinist (Mileștii Mici village, Ialoveni district); Gh. Duminică (indicated year - 1909), violinist (Grăsenii Vechi village, Ungheni district), all three are descendants of fiddler dynasties, L. Severin (indicated year - 1957), voice (Horăști village, Ialoveni district ) to. - center area;  Gh.  Angheluş  (year  indicator  -  1910),  violinist, Vl. Cioclea  (indicated year - 1888),  whistle,  (Trebisăuți village, Briceni district), V. Bejan (indicated year —1920), trumpet, S. Neniţă (indicated year - 1934), violinist, (Varatic village, Râșcani district), also descended from fiddlers - northern Bessarabia; E. Anastasiu (indicated year - 1919), voice, (s. Manta, r. Cahul) - the southern area, a peddler and an authentic creator. Some of  creations  taken  of  to  E. Anastasiu  have  former  published  in the  the collection  Rose  beaten  to  worn by A. Tamazlâcaru, the year of the 1980 edition. With the year 1970 are indicated some creations interpreted by Grigoraș Dinicu, probably clandestinely copied from a disc. There are recordings of different instrumental groups, orchestras. For example: the Folklore orchestra in its first composition (it was founded in 1968), the recordings are from 1969. Among the first instrumentalists of the orchestra are musicians of oral tradition, descendants of fiddlers, such as violinists Ignat Bratu or Dumitru Blajinu.

We especially mention the collection signed by I. Mironenko And I sing to the forest with love (1987). It includes music recorded by an ethnomusicologist in the 1980s in Moldovan villages in the North Caucasus, Russia. The given communities were created by the Bessarabian peasants following the reform of 1861, especially in the Codru area, forced to leave their villages, being lured with land in the remote Russian regions. They have kept a unique and quite rich folk repertoire, in fact we can say, preserved, which includes funeral and bridal ritual creations, creations from children's and children's folklore, pastoral, actual songs, ballads, game songs.

Other collections of musical folklore written based on the materials of the folklore archive are: Doine, Cântece, Jocuri (1972); Lerui ler (1986) and Romances and world songs (1990) by G. Ciaicovschi-Mereșanu; Like at  we  in the  village  (1981),  Cucuşor  with  until  barn  (1988)  of  C. Rusnac;  Basil flower (1982) - E. Florea. An anthology of two vinyl records with folk musical creations selected from the archive's materials was edited, edited by G. Ciaicovschi-Mereșanu (1986). Obviously, these collections contain a tiny part of the musical creations from the AMTAP Archive, the rest is waiting for its researcher.

(BADRAJAN, S. From the history of the Folklore Archive of the Academy of Music, Theater and Fine Arts in Chisinau. In: BUNEA, D., BADRAJAN, S., SLABARI, N. Digital Register of the Folklore Archive of the Folklore Archive of the Academy of Music, Theater and Fine Arts in Ch i şinău.  Vol. I. Chisinau: Valinex, 2018, p.9–11. ISBN 978-9975-68-352-4).

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