The Romanian composer Nicolae Bretan occupies a special niche in the history of Western music. In his several operas and prodigious number of art songs, Bretan looked to the essential nature of song itself and to the capabilities of the human voice in regard to its expressive functions and possibilities. In this sense he can be compared to Gluck and, in the directness and natural qualities of his musical language, to Mussorgsky. The rediscovery of Bretan and the revival of his music today are important for two reasons. The need for atonement-for the political injustice done to the man himself in his own country and as an artistis fairly obvious. But the recovery of his works is a cultural obligation as it is with all of Western culture's great artistic creations. Included with this book is a CD sampler of Bretan's most important works, the operas Golem Horia Arald and Luceafarul, as well as the Agnus Dei from his Requiem, and many of his most popular songs.