Mario Caroli

“Epiphanies of the Archetype”

(“Doina Rotaru – CRYSTALS” – Stradivarius – CD booklet)

“I knew the name Doina Rotaru very well, but I didn’t know her music, which many described to me as hypnotic and irresistibly inspired. Thus, when the wonderful Greek flautist Chryssi Dimitriou announced that “Tempio di fumo” by Doina Rotaru was among the pieces of the repertory on which she intended to work during the course, my curiosity was notably aroused. When the time of the lesson came, Chryssi performed the piece from beginning to end. Due in part to her inspired and vibrant reading, an astonished silence followed the execution, and also a sensation of amazement in the eyes of all those fortunate enough to attend the lesson. Where did that music come from? For how long had it existed? Why had the music and I continued in parallel for so many years, without ever meeting? The moment had certainly come to end this sad void, this distance, too great, between this music and my flute!


Very quickly, this distance was bridged, resulting in a long series of new compositions that Doina decided, as was in her deepest nature, to give to me. The first of the series was the vast triptych “Mithya” (after hearing the first ever performance, also in Metz, in 2008, even Sciarrino spoke of an epiphany), followed by “Cantus Austerus”, “Epistrophe” culminating in the astonishing flute concerto “L’Ange avec une seule aile”, which already reaches the summit of literature for flute and orchestra in inspiration, density and dramatic quality, and the amazing and rarefied “Salcia”. […]


The archetype remains the most pregnant basic element in Doina’s music. An archetype both symbolic and simply referential, sometimes obliquely, but always present. The titles, much less cryptic than the average in contemporary production, almost always indicate the archetypal element underlying the piece in question.”

Irinel Anghel

“Orientări, direcții, curente ale muzicii româneşti din a doua jumătate a secolului XX” / “Orientations, Directions, Trends of Romanian Music from the Second Half of the 20th Century”

(EIKON, Bucharest 2018)



“By assimilating the archetype as a manner of creation, Doina Rotaru has outlined for herself, through the consistency of her compositional writing, an individual style, integral to the archetypal orientation for both the modeling action of a paradigmatic aspect common to several oriental folklore traditions – the Glissando Archetype, as and for its investiture […] it can therefore be said that the archetypical analysis of a single work by Doina Rotaru offers broadly the image and the key to understanding all the works of a similar pattern belonging to the composer. Thus, in addition to the presence of the Glissando Archetype […], we can find in her works archetypal elements such as folkloric ornamentation, micro-repetitions, essentializing sonic minimalism, heterophonic writing, symbolic forms and numbers – constants that ensure the universality of style of the author in multiple hypostases of materializing his fecund imagination.” (p. 210-211)


“Thus we can see in Doina Rotaru a very subtle action of decanting the referential folkloric melos, of absorbing only its essence by treating the patterns that have several origins – present everywhere and always. Related to this observation is also Doina Rotaru’s concern for the recovery of timbral archetypes […]” (p. 211-212)




“Asimilând arhetipalitatea ca pe o manieră de creație, Doina Rotaru şi-a conturat, prin consecvența scriiturii sale componistice, un stil individual, integrabil orientării arhetipale atât pentru acțiunea de modelare a unui aspect paradigmatic comun mai multor tradiții folclorice orientale – Arhetipul Glissando, cât şi pentru înveşmântarea acestuia […] se poate spune deci că analiza din punctul de vedere arhetipal a unei singure lucrări a Doinei Rotaru oferă în linii mari imaginea şi cheia de pătrundere a tuturor celorlalte opusuri de atare factură apartenente compozitoarei. Astfel că, pe lângă prezența Arhetipului Glissando […], în respectiva creație se mai întâlnesc elemente arhetipale ca: ornamentica de tip folcloric, micro-repetițiile, minimalismul sonor esențializant, scriitura eterofonică, formele şi numerele simbolice – constante ce asigură universalitatea de stil a autoarei în multiple ipostaze de materializare a imaginației sale fecunde.” (p. 210-211)


“Se remarcă astfel la Doina Rotaru o acțiune foarte subtilă de decantare a melosului folcloric referențial, de absorbție doar a esenței acestuia prin tratarea modelelor care au mai multe origini – prezente pretutindeni şi dintotdeauna. Conexă acestei observații este şi preocuparea Doinei Rotaru pentru recuperarea arhetipurilor timbrale […]” (p. 211-212)

Despina Petecel-Theodoru

“De la mimesis la arhetip” / “From Mimesis to Archetype”

(Editura Muzicală, Bucharest, 2003)



“The rigor of the construction, but also the taste for improvisation, the maximum stylization of the symbolic forms, but also their pigmentation with ornaments, as in a “polyphony of decoration”, as well as the rhythmic recourse to geometric figures such as the square, the circle, the triangle, the spiral, the pillar –  are just a few of the leitmotifs that ensnare us, inviting us to discover the mysterious beauty of a world in perpetual evolution, as well as the “ascension of thought in prayer” –  as suggested by the sounds of the flute in most of Doina Rotaru’s works. Titles like Trojets, Magic Circles, Florilegium, Lights from a Rainbow, etc. have a visual sonority […]” (p. 138)


“Consistent with the vision of ascension and inward illumination; with the spiritual evolution from the stage of darkness, of penumbra, to that of light; with the conquest of transcendence through incantation and prayer, Doina Rotaru continues, with each new opus, her “investigations” in the “alchemy” of light […]” (p. 149)


“in Doina Rotaru’s work, [the geometry of forms] is deduced from the very graphic aspect of the score: ascending, descending, horizontal, vertical, intersecting or parallel lines, converging or divergent, double symmetrical as refractions in multiple mirrors, they dissipate and coagulate in increasingly complex combinations […]” (p. 162)




“Rigurozitatea construcției, dar şi gustul pentru improvizație, stilizarea maximă a formelor simbolice, dar şi pigmentarea lor cu ornamente, ca într-o “polifonie a decorării” şi, de asemenea, recursul ritmic la figuri geometrice precum pătratul, cercul, triunghiul, spirala, stâlpul sunt doar câteva dintre leitmotivele ce ne atrag în mrejele lor invitându-ne să descoperim singuri frumusețea misterioasă a unei lumi în perpetuă devenire, aidoma “ascensiunii gândului în rugăciune” – ca cea sugerată de sunetele flautului din majoritatea lucrărilor Doinei Rotaru. Titluri ca Troițe, Cercuri magice, Florilegium, Lumini dintr-un curcubeu etc. au o sonoritate vizuală […]” (p.138)


“Consecventă viziunii asupra ascensiunii şi iluminării lăuntrice; asupra evoluției spirituale de la stadiul de întuneric, de penumbră, spre cel de lumină; asupra cuceririi transcendenței prin incantație şi rugăciune, Doina Rotaru îşi continuă “investigațiile” în “alchimia” luminii, cu fiecare nou opus […]” (p. 149)


“[…] la Doina Rotaru [geometria formelor] se deduce din chiar aspectul grafic al partiturii: linii ascendente, descendente, orizontale, verticale, intersectate sau paralele, convergente sau divergente, dublu simetrice ca nişte refracții în oglinzi multiple se disipează şi se coagulează în combinații din ce în ce mai complexe […]” (p. 162)

Valentina Sandu-Dediu

“Muzica românească între 1944-2000” / “Romanian Music between 1944-2000”

(Editura Muzicală, Bucharest)

The recognizability of the music signed by Doina Rotaru is  equally due to the continuous, transformational, rubato, melodic style of the instrumental solos, to the arc or spiral forms (cyclical evolutions, in sound loops, possibly starting and ending in unison), to the insistence on certain intervals (such as the Bartók-like inverted chromatic formula), generators of melismatic constructions, abundant in glissandi, grace notes etc.” (p. 118)


Recognoscibilitatea muzicii semnate de Doina Rotaru se datorează în egală măsură variației continue, transformaționale, stilului rubato, melopeic al solo-urilor instrumentale, formelor de arc sau de spirală (evoluții ciclice, în bucle sonore, debutând şi sfârşind eventual în unisonuri), insistenței pe anumite intervale (bunăoară semitonul cromatic întors, bartókian), generatoare de construcții melismatice, abundente în glissandi, apogiaturi etc.” (p. 118)