Romania. Logbook

excerpt Kiseleff road is a sort of a Romanian Bois de Boulogne. It is here that rich women display their outstandingly sumptuous garments and rigs. On Sundays and on holidays everybody comes to have a walk on the Road, which renders transport almost impossible. Wonderful fiddler's music is played in the elegant and highly-frequented restaurants. These carefree artists, incapable of saving till daylight what they had gained an evening before, play very enthusiastically and skillfully although they have no knowledge of the musical notes or the techniques and subtleties that are taught only in school.Liszt, who studied them closely, said that "to them, art is a sublime language, a divine song that can not be deciphered by laymen; they use it only when they want to express their thoughts and they won't let themselves influenced. They have created their own music in order to communicate one with the other, in order to sing their own selves and to utter the most intimate and emotional soliloquies."The peasant has several native qualities that render him special. The Romanian yeoman who lives near the Danube is the one that, due to his oral tradition, knows all sorts of things about flowers, animals, stars and historical events. His gestures are noble, his speech is distinguished and his dialectal language would not be inappropriate in a parliament.Due to his indomitable energy, this peasant saved the Romanian nation and withstood Turkish oppression. He is the one that has never ceased to sing, not even in the hardest times in history. The people that, besides the belief in its own destiny, has the power to sing even when in distress is a great people and its place at the feast of civilization and of the future is undoubtedly assured. 1899

by René Paillot