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A New Album Signed by the Radio National Orchestra and Conductor Cristian Măcelaru - Music Box, 22nd June

Monday, 22 June 2015 , ora 10.44

If you would like to vote for this cd please vote HERE

Romanian names to the fore - this time a production of the Radio Hall Publishing House, an album that contains the name of the conductor Cristian Măcelaru and that of the National Radio Orchestra. I condider this to be an event-album whith recordings from a live concert which took place on 9th November, 2012, the first one to be performed in Romania by Cristian Măcelaru, now established in the USA, currently associate conductor of the famous Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra, with a spectacular career both in Europe and America; for example, in November 2015, he will make his first appearance at the conductor's desk of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.

At thirty-four years old, Cristian Măcelaru is one of those conductors who can totally transform an orchestra as, I think, happened on 9th November, 2012, when I listened to his concert on the radio uninteruptedly to the last minute in order to fully enjoy his Russian repertoire.

Obviously, I felt the need to ask Cristian Măcelaru how he prepared the concerts which earned him such a success:

Cristian Măcelaru: Every time, and I am very honest about it, every week I conduct in Romania or abroad, I start from the same point, namely, my desire to explore the quality of the musicians in the orchestra and what they can offer to me or the composition we are working on, and then I sculpt or mould the musical performance based on the artistic abilities of those onstage.

So, in other words, for me, the complete success of a concert is when the two styles meet at a perfect point, when the ideas of the composer I want to render clear to the public as well as to the musicians onstage meet the level and the artistic quality of the musicians onstage exactly halfway during that concert.

As far as I am concerned, not being in Romania in the position of a conductor ever before, I did not know what to expect. I listened to the National Radio Orchestra recordings and concerts, but not performing with them before onstage is a very different experience in comparison to listening to some of their recordings. Even meeting them for the first time was a pleasant surprise because they responded immediately and very positively to all my suggestions and they performed soulfully, with great involvement, paying attention to all the details we had to go through and that rejoiced me a lot, including the fact that this collaboration was received with positive review by both public and the musicians altogether.

The compositions included in the album are the Overture from the Ruslan and Lyudmila opera by Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka and the Scheherazade - Symphonic Suite by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.

Cristian Măcelaru: The Overture to the Ruslan and Lyudmila opera by Glinka is one of the most famous overtures worldwide; what is interesting to me and what I asked the orchestra to understand, is the fact that Glinka, if we come to think of it, is almost a classical composer in the sense of the times he lived in. I thought of him from the point of view of Mozart and Beethoven's work, and I tried to do everything from this point of view, and not Tchaikovsky's, only because Glinka was a Russian. I think that the way in which the orchestra performed was a bit different, plus that I wanted to make a pretty clear difference between performing Glinka and performing Korsakov.

Scheherazade is an extraordinarily beautiful work, not only due to its orchestration which Nikolai Rimski Korsakov created, but also due to the fact that he had this ability to tell a story - one of the most beautiful stories to be be told on music - and to paint images in the listener's mind; and Scheherazade does just that. I don't think there are many musical works that render and illustrate these images, the essence of Scheherazade's nights, so successfully.

Of course, we needed a Scheherazade to begin each story, so I had maestro Zvorișteanu's violin which started each story at every turn, continued the rhythm of the cadences and brought the whole thing to a beautiful level, rendering an oriental perfume to all those stories.

I believe we have an event-album in front of us: these two works performed with a lot of energy, life and passion; and a conductor of great calibre with a supple and dedicated orchestra, a moment of grace in the history of the National Radio Orchestra and of this conductor, Cristian Măcelaru, whose native country offers him the first album in his career. Others will follow, for sure, because, Cristian Măcelaru will soon reach the international conductors in the first league - where he actually deserves to be.

You can listen to the album on Radio Romania Music on Monday, 22nd June, at 19:00 and is included in the Vote for the Best Classical Album of 2015 campaign.

Cristina Comandașu
Translated by Anca Romete and Elena Daniela Radu
MTTLC, the University of Bucharest