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The Works of Richard Oschanitzky

Stylistic features

Alex Vasiliu

The Works of Richard Oschanitzky analyses the German-Romanian composer and pianist’s output in the context of Socialist Romania (1965 to 1979). By the means of music historiography, archive research and musicological analyses, the composer’s contributions to the symphonic/chamber jazz genres, pioneering role in ethno-jazz and film music scores are analysed. The book lays particular stress on Richard Oschanitzky’s attempt to find common ground between European academic music and American jazz, as exemplified in his symphonic jazz works. The Romanian edition of this book has raised awareness of the musical potential to be retrieved, resulting in additional audio-visual products, such as documentary films and new CD editions of his work. It has become part of the academic curriculum for the course History of Jazz, taught at the George Enescu University of Arts in Iaşi, Romania.
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← 214 | 215 → Conclusions


Richard Oschanitzky’s intense media exposure over a relatively short period (1965–1979) as a pianist, band leader, composer of jazz, pop and music for film and theatre, drew a lot of attention. The frequent appearance of a personality requires an evaluating gesture from professionals or more knowledgeable members of the public. The appreciation of Oschanitzky’s music was always supported by the quality and the emotional impact to be felt with every listening session. The modern instrumental arrangements (for 1966), combining the elements of bop and cool with Oriental melodics (G. Gershwin’s “Summertime”, the strange cool-type harmonies for the winds which accompanied Brigitte Petry in performing another standard jazz tune – R. Rodgers’s “My Funny Valentine”194), the presence of the traditional Romanian melodics in the substance of jazz-type arrangements and improvisations (“Pe deal pe la Cornăţel”195 (On the hill at Cornăţel) on an entire author’s disk196), the richly chromatic writing for saxophones, trombone and flute197 or the airy writing for violins, violas and cellos198, which commented on Brazilian and Romanian bossa nova themes, the greatly refined and profusely allusive orchestrations on well-known themes of academic music199, the jazz pieces performed in television broadcasts, soundtracks of diverse ideas and sonic imagery to live-action films, the radical modernity of the free-jazz pieces of 1970–1971, the daring processing of works from most musical eras and styles200, the great surprise occasioned by the audition of the Double Concerto ← 215 | 216 → and of Variations ‘71, as solutions to accommodate the language of...

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