Enescu's Second cello sonata: a synthesis of Romanian folkloric elements and Western art traditions

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In his mature works, George Enescu accomplished a synthesis between apparently two incompatible styles: the Romanian folk music, mostly the genres in parlando-rubato rhythm, and the European symphonic tradition. The Second Cello Sonata, written in 1935, is representative of this style. This paper is an analysis of Enescu's Second Cello Sonata from the point of view of the synthesis mentioned above. Elements of Western music tradition and folkloric inspiration are isolated and observed how they intertwine in the sonata. The traditional elements discussed are the form of the movements and cyclical principle. The folkloric elements are the parlando- rubato rhythm; the use of chromatic modes found in Romanian folk music; heterophony; the folkloric influence on the form (inspired by one of the most popular Romanian genres, called doina); the cellular-motivic compositional technique adopted from certain genres of Romanian folk music; certain fragments in the sonata that resemble genres of folk music; and sound effects that imitate the traditional instruments of Romanian folk music.

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