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Well, it's been a while since my last post. I am now back in the US, in my own studio, updating my website (btw, I posted some Eastern European arrangements to the Audio page that languished for a while in my Windows Space).
All in all, this visit to Romania was a very mobilizing experience. It contrasted sharply with my previous one in that this one was entiredly focused on classical music. As I mentioned before, the level of the participating musicians was extremely high.
We played Dohnanyi in Udvarhely (Odorhei Secuiesc), which was a good thing, since we needed some mileage with that piece before we could confidently take it on the stage in Targu Mures. I believe the Targu Mures performance on Friday was a 90 - 95 % one, of which I am very glad, since, after a couple of cancelations and delays, the National TV showed up! I am looking forward to seeing that DVD and, possibly, posting it or fragments of it on this website.
An impressive performance was offered by Christian Lindberg, the Swedish trombone virtuoso. I cannot say I was ecstatic either about his own compositions or the other music selections of the program, yet one has to give it to the man that he does with his trombone more than anybody could imagine was possible! The musicians that seconded him in this performance did also a great job.
I don't know if I mentioned before the extraordinary performance of Frank van de Laar, Dutch pianist. I want to underscore that, of ALL the pieces with piano in this festival, I believe only the Forellen Quintet was performend without his participation! Had we been in the times of the Warsaw Pact, he would have received a medall or something along the lines, for "extraordinary achievement in the line of production of cultural goods" :) a real "udarnik", to borrow a Russian word, although he is a pianist ("udarnik" means also "percussionist" in Russian.)
It was very nice to interact, personally and musically, with the members of the Dutch quartet "Rubens". I hope I will be able to have them visit UND during 2011.
The biggest merit is, of course, for Tibor Molnar, first violin of the Tiberius Quartet, and ideological author of this festival. It is just incredible that somebody would find the energy to organize everything, play (and very well!), and party with everybody else.
Conversations are going on about coming back for the next festival, and I very much look forward to it.
After the festival was over, I spent one night in Bucharest, courtesy of Mr. Vasile Tolan, renowned Romanian plastic artist. I wish I had more time to explore and discover what struck me as a fascinating city, but a visit to the (idiotically pharaonic) Ceaucescu palace, the statue of Vlad Ţepeş (the historical real person that inspired the Dracula character in Bram Stoker's homonimous novel) and a bear in the center of the city, had to do for this time.
Thank you for visiting my blog. More soon!
I finally made it to Targu Mures after a long commuting across the globe.
That very night (Monday) we met with old and new friends at a local restaurant. I was very happy to meet Karcsi, Joszef (who in the meanwhile became a father!) and Raluca, with whom I played the Tango Rendezvous series in June.
The next day (Tuesday) in the morning we were already working with Anton Niculescu (cello) and Frank van de Laar (piano, Nederlands), two extraordinary musicians with whom, that very night we performed Chopin's Piano Trio op. 8, an early and fresh work by the Polish master. The concert was in Bistrita, where I also had the pleasure to meet again Mr. Tarmure, his wife and daughter, as well as other people who enthusiastically engaged in the tango concerts in summer.
The Trio went well, with all the little accidents as well as the nerve and creativity that are intrinsic to this kind of festivals, when you meet your partners just long enough in advance to arrive in the concert with the work you play glued together. Romanian violinist Tibor Molnar performed also Schubert trio op. 99 with extreme finesse and musicality.
I think we put a good show, and now (tonight, Wednesday) we are up for a repetition of the program in the big hall of Targu Mures Philharmony.
A musical highlight of the festival was, for me, today's rehearsal of Dohnanyi's Sextet (piano, violin, viola, cello, clarinet, horn) - a real discovery! It is a subtle, exhuberant, imaginative and lively piece. I couldn't avoid making plans in my head to play it again as we were rehearsing.
Well, that will be all for
What about this:
My plane from Minneapolis to Paris took off exactly in time...
...and arrived 1:45 (ONE HOUR AND FORTY-FIVE MINUTES) early!!!!!
The tailwind was on average 150 milles (!!!!!!) per hour, so our speed fluctuated between 960 and 1086 Km/h.
And here I am, in Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, using my computer :)
The plane to Bucharest isn't until 2 hours, so I thought I could as well start the blogging about this second visit to Romania in one year, to the Tiberius Week International Chamber Music Festival, in Targu Mures.