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Harpsichord Player Cipriana Smarandescu - CD Launch in Rome

Saturday, 21 March 2009 , ora 10.34
 
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A CD launch event took place at the Accademia di Romania in Rome on Saturday, March 21st, 2009 - the launch of the first CD of the harpsichord player Cipriana Smarandescu. The CD includes J. S. Bach's works exclusively, and the launch was scheduled for the very day of the 324th anniversary of the composer's birth.


Is it a coincidence that the launch of your CD of Bach music is taking place on the day of the 324th anniversary of the birth of the great pre-classical composer?

No, it is not a coincidence. It was precisely last year that we organized another concert on the very day of the anniversary of Bach's birth. This year was an exaggeration in a good way: we wanted to eulogise the personality of this great composer by launching a CD including his works.


Where does your love for Bach's music come from?

Bach is my favourite composer, but this is not a coincidence either. I started studying piano music with Professor Gabriela Enasescu when I was very young and she was the one who guided me towards Bach's music right away. As I turned to playing the harpsichord, apart from my professors in Romania, I had a chance to study with maestros abroad who were part of Ton Koopman's harpsichord school; Ton Koopman is known to be one of the greatest performers of Bach's music.

While studying with Patrizia Marisaldi in Vicenza and Patrick Ayrton within a number of training courses, I had a chance to better get to know Bach's music, understand it and love it very much indeed. That is precisely why I try to include works by Bach in my concert programmes as often as possible, and why my first recording is dedicated to him.


What are the pieces included on the CD and with whom did you collaborate in making it?

The CD includes the fifteen inventions for two voices, the fifteen symphonies and six short preludes, and it was produced by 'Aliusmodum'. 'Aliusmodum' is the group I have founded here in Rome together with my husband and it is an ensemble of early music; as for this CD, I wanted it to be produced precisely by 'Aliusmodum'. I have collaborated with sound maestro Andrea Riderelli, as well as with the one who has made the harpsichord on which these works were recorded - Augusto Bonza. He was there the whole time during the recording process and he continuously took care of the mechanical part. It was actually a very small team - three people who have made the recording in just three days; then, the CD was produced in Germany by the SonoPress House.


Please tell us some more about Aliusmodum, the ensemble that you conduct. When was it established and how did it evolve?

'Aliusmodum' was established five years ago, as collaboration between Romanian musicians (countertenor Radu Marian joined the ensemble along with me) and a number of extremely valuable Italian tenors: baritone Furio Zanasi, violinist Mauro Lopez Ferreira... We have tried to gather the cream of early Italian music performers around us. Starting this year, we have a new goal - that of approaching the last century repertoire, while there were numerous works by Romanian composers in the programmes of our concerts here. So, this is rendering baroque and contemporary music under a wonderful collaboration between Italian and Romanian performers.


How important do you think the CD is in the Italian and Romanian musical field, considering that solo performances by artists playing harpsichord music is seldom recorded?

First of all, when it comes to Romanian music, I do believe that it is the first CD of harpsichord only. I do not think that there is another harpsichord player in Romania to have recorded a CD of harpsichord music exclusively so far. In what regards Italy and Europe, it is clear that there are numerous recordings of these inventions, sinfonias and preludes; however, what the recording of the album represented to me was precisely a good fight with other more prestigious recordings. For now, the CD has been well received by the public during the few days it has been in stores in Rome.


Is the CD going to be sold in Romania as well?

I hope so. Right now, I am working on promoting it here in Rome. I will soon take care of its distribution in Romania; we might even have a presentation concert. I really want this, and the fact that the album is launched by the Accademia di Romania is not a coincidence - it proves that I want the Romanian public to know this CD.


What else can you let on about your projects as solo instrument performer and as artistic manager of the Aliusmodum Ensemble?

As a harpsichord player, I will continue to work to make more CDs. The repertoire for the second CD has already been chosen - I have it in my mind - and it will also be Bach music, of course. Another one of my passions is Domenico Scarlatti's harpsichord music - I will perform in a series of concerts here, playing his sonatas. As an artistic manager of the 'Aliusmodum' Ensemble, the most important moment will be in November - the opening of the 60th season of Oratorio del Gonfalone, with a programme exclusively comprising Händel.

We also hope to be able to continue our collaboration with Accademia di Romania, where we will have a concert of music by Haydn in which cello player Ioana Ostafi shall be our group's soloist, and another concert where we will combine Oriental musical dances with a series of Romanian dance suites, precisely in order to contribute to Romania's musical accession at European level.
Larisa Clempus
Translated by Silvia Bratu
MA Student, MTTLC, Bucharest University