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High-quality Music at the Casino
This year's edition of the 'Enescu and the Music of the World' International Festival, with events happening mostly in Sinaia, has a few novelties regarding both the programme and the range of activities: besides taking place between 6th and 20th August, it is correlated with the summer season of the Athenaeum, so all the performances that we applaud under that dome are also present in Sinaia or even in other cities.
Thus, it was here that the orchestras from Poland or Austria also gave concerts, whereas last night we listened again to remarkable instrumentalists, some from Romania, others from abroad, but all of them reunited, just like last year, to offer the extremely numerous audience very beautiful romantic works. To start with, the violinists Liviu Prunaru and Valentina Sviatlovskaia, the cellist Marin Cazacu and the contrabassist Dorin Marcu played Rossini's Sonata a Quattro No. 3. It was composed when Rossini was only 13 and this is particularly interesting, since in the first part there were obvious signs of his future works, his writing already full of personality, bearing the 'signature' that was soon to become unmistakable; the verve, elegance, the melodic lines and rhythm structures, the delicacy and the sparkling flourishes were shown at their best by the interpreters in a truly artistic approach, bringing together solo and ensemble moments, where the homogeneity, the fluency and the impeccable teamwork were completely 'at home'. All these were also fully visible in Mendelssohn's famous Octet, the four artists mentioned above being joined by the violinists Roxana Oprea, Rafael Butaru, the violists Cristian Ifrim and Cristian Andriș; a high-class interpretation, alternating sequences of virtuosity with moments full of the poetry and charm of a score which, although composed in teenage years, surprises through its maturity and impeccable construction, perfectly rendered by the instrumentalists belonging (however) to very different generations. After the interval we listened to Brahms's Piano Quintet Op. 34 (Liviu Prunaru, Valentina Sviatlovskaia, Cristian Ifrim, Marin Cazacu and Maruxa Llorente on the piano). The music was austere, sometimes solemn, other times pensive, with sounds 'tamed' by a special delicacy and ample movements, even with a shade of monumentality, I would say; in the third part the evolution was dense, with short and striking formulas, as in an all-conquering avalanche. No surprise that the long-lasting applause and enthusiast ovations were rewarded by repeating this very impressive part, at the end of an evening when music was made to the best sense of the expression, this kind of pleasure and joy in playing it being the attributes of the artists who are passionate and fully dedicated to their music.
Those who on Wednesday, 14th August, will be at the Athenaeum will certainly have proof of all this and they will be just as delighted as the audience in Sinaia, (re)discovering that chamber music can be wonderful provided that the interpreters are also…wonderful.
Translated by Mihaela Olinescu and Elena Daniela Radu
MTTLC, The University of Bucharest