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Cipriana Smărăndescu at Biertan

Wednesday, 4 August 2010 , ora 10.38

Cipriana Smărăndescu, the harpsichord player, gave a recital on August 3rd , 2010, at the Blacksmiths' Tower in the Ancient Medieval City of Sighișoara. The interpreter played a harpsichord made in 1825 which was recently reconditioned. We are going to find out what playing such an instrument meant to her from the following interview which the artist gave us .

Describe the feeling you had while playing the old harpsichord that exists in
the Blacksmiths'Tower of the Ancient Medieval City of Sighișoara?

Firstly, I was very impressed because, when it comes to an instrument made in 1825 and which is still working, it is like defying history. Secondly, I thought about it and I understood Johann Sebastian Bach's own words, who loved this instrument dearly. It gave me the opportunity to reveal fantastic technical abilities when it comes to getting a very staccatto and short sound, until you practically dive into the elasticity of the chords. It's an unique fantastic sensation for a person who has dedicated herself almost exclusively to playing the harpsichord up until now.

What is the difference between the harpsichord in the
Blacksmiths' Tower and other similar instruments?

It is a very important instrument because it was made by Samuel Maetz and as I mentioned before, it was made at Biertan in 1825. It has a special characteristic, that of allowing you to use the same chord for producing several sounds, which is the equivalent of using keyboard keys. It requires high skills to tune it because you need to compromise for the frequencies of the sounds that you need to use. The elasticity of the chords, apart from their percussive quality, also create an extraordinarily velvety, sweet sound.

Petra Gherasim
Translated by Elena Daniela Radu and Andreea Velicu
MA students, MTTLC, Bucharest University