Show Summary Details

Page of

Printed from Grove Music Online. Grove is a registered trademark. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy).

Subscriber: null; date: 10 August 2020

Bobescu, Constantin locked

  • Viorel Cosma

(b Iaşi, 9/May 21, 1899; d Sinaia, May 26, 1992). Romanian composer, violinist, teacher and conductor. He studied the violin in Iaşi (1908–12) with Eduard Caudella and in Craiova (1912–16) with Jean Bobescu and then entered the Schola Cantorum in Paris (1920–24, 1926–7) where he studied with Nestor Lejeune (violin), d’Indy (composition) and Paul le Flem (harmony). After starting his career as a solo violinist he became professor of violin at the conservatories of Cernăuţi and Braşov. In 1935 he was appointed conductor of the Radio Symphony Orchestra in Bucharest where he remained until 1972. Bobescu’s compositions range in theme from historical and biblical subjects to satirical comedy. Though post-Romantic in structure, his music has a pronounced lyrical character: the melodic writing is essentially Romanian but it is clothed in a traditional European harmonic language. His lively orchestration displays a perfect handling of timbres, especially of strings, which he used to achieve impressionistic shading in the operas.


(selective list)


Zobail (1, Bobescu, after G. Coşbuc), 1929, Cluj, Romanian Opera, 10 March 1930

Trandafirii roşii [Red Roses] (3, Bobescu, after Z. Bârsan), 1934, Cluj, Romanian Opera, 15 Jan 1937

Ioan Botezătorul [John the Baptist] (5, Bobescu, after H. Sudermann), 1939, broadcast, Bucharest radio, 1939 [Act 2 only]

Gaiţele [The Clackers] (3, after A. Kiriţescu), 1980, unperf.


Fatma, sym. poem, 1924

Preludiu la jocul Irozilor [Prelude to the Clowns Game], sym. poem, 1928

Cadix, scherzo, vn, orch, 1936

Haşiş, Lunaticul şi Paiaţa [Hashish the Lunatic and the Clown], 3 sketches, 1936

Noaptea sfîntă [Blessed Night], sym. suite, 1940

Rapsodia română [no.1], 1948

Rapsodia română [no.2], 1950

6 dansuri simfonice româneşti [6 Romanian Symphonic Dances], 1953

Vn Conc., 1954

Siciliană, str, 1969


Barbu-Lăutarul [Barbu the Musician] (V. Alecsandri), 1v, pf, 1919

Dragoste de ţigancă [The Love of a Gypsy Woman], 1v, pf, 1922

La mormîntul unei tinere fete [At the Grave of a Young Girl], 1v, pf, 1922

Legenda şi Eva [Eve and the Legend] (L. Blaga), 1v, pf, 1924

Basm [Fairy Tale], 1v, pf, 1932

Bratul [The Arm] (Focşăneanu), 1v, pf, 1935

Calul-dracului [Devil Horse/The Devil’s Horse], chorus, 1935

Betivul [The Drunkard], male chorus, 1935

Cornul [The Horn], male chorus, 1935

Greierele şi furnica [The Crickets and the Ant] (ballad, T. Arghezi), 1v, PG, 1954, arr. orch, 1958

Chamber and solo instrumental

Suită, pf, 1919

Pf Qt, 1920

Str Qnt, 1921

Facerea lumii [The Creation], str qt, 1922

Nocturnă, vn, pf, 1935

Clovnul [The Clown], pf, 1936

Foaie de album [Page from an Album], vn, pf, 1940

Adagio espresivo, vn, pf, 1944

Parafrază [Paraphrase], wind qnt, 1958

Film scores


  • Z. Vancea: Creaţia muzicală românească în secolele XIX–XX, 2 (Bucharest, 1978)
  • V. Cosma: Muzicieni din România: Lexicon bio-bibliografic (Bucharest, 1989), 133–6