The creative work of Eugen Doga can truly be called “people’s”. Many know him by the music from such motion pictures as “Offered for Singles”, “Bless the Woman”, “Gypsies Are Found Near Heaven”, “Vertical Races”, and, of course, by the famous waltz from the film “My Sweet and Tender Beast” named by UNESCO one of the four musical masterpieces of the 20th century. His music sounds everywhere, literally.
Eugen Doga, composer, academician, public figure, pedagogue, People’s Artist of USSR and Moldova
On the first day of spring 2016, Eugen Doga turned 79. By this time, a long and fruitful way has been walked, hundreds of instrumental compositions written, film music (over 200 films), music for choir, stage and radio plays composed. The ballets “Luceafarul” (that brought its author a USSR State Prize), “Venancio”, “Queen Margot” and the opera “Dialogues of Love” are very popular up to date. Children always recognized Doga’s melodies from the films “Maria, Mirabella” and “What Senka Said”. It is Doga’s music that sounds at the opening and closing ceremonies of the 1980 Olympic Games.
Eugen Doga is a well-known academician (of eight academies), People’s Artist of USSR and Moldova, Honored Man of Art of Moldova, the holder of numerous honorable prizes, titles and awards. Among them, the orders “For Merit to the Fatherland, IV degree”, “The Star of Romania”, “Patron of the Century”, the golden medal “Man-2000”, the medals of M. Eminescu and V. Rozov. And this is only a small part of the long list of the composer’s rewards.
We asked Eugen a few questions about his creative life and can’t wait to share with you what the famous composer told us.
When did you realize that music was something more than just a hobby for you?
“I don’t quite understand when some people show that they know everything about themselves, people who fix everything, provide arguments, adjust things to the calendar pages from the past. I do not, perhaps with regret, attribute myself to such a category. I remember that instinctively I wanted to create something when I was just a little boy. However, what I came up with had already been created before me. When I listened to the local wind orchestra, I wanted to think up something, a musical tale they would play, and people would dance to that music and praise me. I even invented my own recording system for those “musical tales”. And only not so long ago I found out that a similar ‘tale’ with sheet music exists in computer programs. And that’s after more than 60 years since that time, when the word ‘computer’ did not exist yet! Today I cannot imagine myself without thinking up those ‘musical tales’, without composing music. Probably some crater opened up in me at a certain moment and pours out the energy that has to be released into the world. In the form of music.”
Where do you seek inspiration for composing? Who influenced your music style?
“Inspiration does not come out of nothing. It has to be helloed, it has to be desired. That inspiration is not likely to come with a beautiful lady. It has to be sought within oneself. If one, of course, has been gifted by nature with this unique inner source of inspiration that is called the talent. As for my style, the one I envisioned at the beginning when I had just started composing was based on my desire to write simple and beautiful music. I liked Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, Verdi, then began listening to the modern Neo-Romantics of Italy, France and England. At a certain point I was keen on serialism but soon plumped for the Romantic style with engaging my genetic roots that I was often reproached for but that shouldn’t be feared.”
What’s the ‘dark side’ of composing for you? Have you encountered any serious obstacles on your creative way?
“And who would like to share his/her space, especially with some young unknown musician? And especially in a small country town that doesn’t have much of that space in general? My compositions were never performed at the composers’ festivals and plenums. I wasn’t invited to the trips abroad. And only thanks to the cinema, mostly to the “Mosfilm” studio and other USSR studios, I got heard and noticed. And thanks to the listeners on the radio station “Mayak”, central TV, at my numerous concerts and creative sessions. I know that no matter how dark is the night, it will be swallowed by the Sun anyway. So I’m trying to follow the Sun and ignore the shadow that’s daddling behind me. Even if it’s my own shadow.”
Many compositions by Eugen Doga have already been living a life of their own. Thus, the song from which, in fact, his career of a composer-songwriter started – “My White City” – first became the symbol of Chisinau, and in 1998 was declared the official anthem of the Moldavian capital. Two waltzes composed by Doga – “Gramophone” and “My Sweet and Tender Beast” – got into the Top 200 best classical compositions of all time.
The Romanian poet Mihai Eminescu occupies a special place in the heart and creative work of Eugen Doga. It is upon his poem that Doga’s famous ballet “Luceafarul” was created. All in all, over 40 romances were written based on the poems by Mihai Eminescu and his beloved woman, Romanian poetess Veronica Micle. The couple also inspired composer for creating the concert opera “Dialogues of Love”.
Do you have any favorites among your own compositions? Maybe some of the works are especially important to you? Why?
“I don’t contemplate my compositions for a long time. Mostly only after writing the music score. That’s when I carefully look at the notes, the way they are placed on the pages of the music paper, the way they are grouped, just like soldiers on the battlefield. Believe it or not, I like everything that I write. I simply don’t write what I don’t like. What I especially hold dear is the large-scale works that have real drama in them, powerful human passions, a bigger opportunity to set forth all you are capable of, a deep philosophic idea. Those are the ballets “Luceafarul”, “Venancio”, some arias and cantatas upon the poems by Mihai Eminescu and Veronica Micle, such as “Nu plânge” (‘Don’t Cry’) and “Am urât această lume” (‘I Hate This World’).”
What are your plans for the future as composer?
“Writing music for the big and, it seems, endless music work “Dialogues of Love” which is based on the poems by Romanian poets Mihai Eminescu and Veronica Micle. It will presumably become a theatrical musical performance, or an opera, or a musical, or something else, I am not sure, as my heroes do not quite fit into the traditional forms invented years ago. I will look for something different for them. I will also continue the concert work and will extend its geography.”
It seems that Eugen does not stop his creative search for a single minute, and we wish him to go on this way. We are happy that the sheet music to the diverse music works by Eugen Doga adorns our catalogue. We invite all admirers of his music to visit the composer’s personal site at MusicaNeo. Here you can follow the recent events in the author’s life, his concert activities and, of course, download the sheet music to the favorite works.
MusicaNeo is grateful to Eugen Doga for taking time to answer our questions and wishes him new creative altitudes and discoveries!