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Interview with Răzvan Popovici, the guest of the week at Perpetuum mobile

Monday, 9 March 2020 , ora 10.50
 

Three internationally renowned soloists, the violinist Sarah Christian, also the violist Răzvan Popovici and the pianist Mara Dobrescu, propose on Sunday, March 8, at 19.00, a chamber concert in which famous works about love and eternal feminine are interwoven. It is the gift offered by Radio Romania Muzical and UniCredit Bank, in collaboration with the Sonoro Association, to those who love chamber music and prefer to celebrate a special day, in a special music company.

It is also the beginning of a new series of events at the Radio Hall, Radio Romania Muzical Concerts, organized by the only Romanian station dedicated to classical music in co-production: recitals and chamber concerts with prestigious names of Romanian and international scenes.


Răzvan Popovici is one of the three musicians who will go up on Sunday, March 8th, on the stage of Radio Hall, during the first event of the Radio Romania Music Concert series. Amoroso is the title of the recital where you will perform with violinist Sarah Christian and pianist Mara Dobrescu. How was this trio formed, Răzvan Popovici?

We are all soloists, but all of us are also great chamber music lovers and each relationship has its own story. I know Mara Dobrescu since we studied together in Paris, at the National Conservatory, and Sarah Christian I know for many years, from Germany; we sang in different festivals together. And when I received the invitation to join this first Radio Romania Muzical concert, this series of concerts, I thought with whom it would be nice to delight the public in Bucharest and, especially, the ladies of Bucharest on March 8, with this concert of Trinket. I immediately thought of Mara because she is an extremely refined and elegant pianist and a person full of tenderness and a certain grace that is perfect for such a concert. And then, thinking of a violinist, I proposed to Sarah Christian because I think it is an interesting appearance for the public in Bucharest, because she is born in Germany, but her parents come from the Saxon world, from a locality. near Sibiu; the family has migrated for many years, as many Saxons have done, but slowly, slowly, it returns to the land of its ancestors and ... this is the story.


It is a recital that takes place on March 8, Women's Day. The program, I think, is adapted in this direction, right?

Of course. We thought what would fit in very well. Obviously, Greetings of love by Edward Elgar will not be missing. The spring started with the right foot, so fragments from Beethoven's Spring Sonata (even this year's anniversary, will not be missing), then we will make a small foray into the Spanish rhythms - Eduard Lalo and the splendid piece in the form of Habanera by Maurice Ravel. And, of course, the music of some composers will not be missing. We will have for the first time Rebecca Clarke, an excellent English composer from another century, who was also a great violist, and we will play her a Dumka for violin, fiddle and piano and, of course, Clara Schumann - the great Clara Schumann - will be present this evening of March 8 with Three romances for violin and piano.


It is the first event in the Radio Romania Music Concert series. It is, of course, still early to talk about such events. But, are there any discussions at this time for a continuation of this series with musicians from the SoNoRo family?

Not yet, but you know how it is. Let's do the right thing tonight and then we'll see. It is a premiere concert and I am very glad that I received this invitation from Radio Romania Muzical. And, I am convinced that everything will go well because our partnership and collaboration has been lasting for 15 years and is flawless, so why not be optimistic, right?


And because we came to the musicians in the SoNoRo family, I want to talk to Răzvan Popovici about the SoNoRo Interferences Scholarships. The preselections for these scholarships have just ended. How was that and what's next?

I had, as every year, many candidates. The auditions are traditionally held in Bucharest and Cluj, being the great music centers of the country. I listened to a few candidates in Timișoara, being busy with a masterclass and a concert with the Philharmonic. And many young Romanian musicians, students at conservatories abroad, sent recordings. I am very glad that the "prey" was rich; In total, we have about 40 scholars and it is a promising mix between students at major high schools, music colleges and conservatories, both at home and abroad, because we also have Romanian students in Amsterdam, in Maastricht, in Augsburg and in Berlin. , if I'm not mistaken ... and the rest, students in Iași, in Bucharest, atCluj, in Timisoara, students from the "Lipatti", "George Enescu" high school or from "Sigismund Toduță" from Cluj, which is a high school that gives every year a considerable number of talents receiving SoNoRo scholarships. And then, the three workshops start at the end of it.


Before we talk about the three workshops, I would like to know a characteristic, in the opinion of Răzvan Popovici, of the young generation of Romanian interpreters.

Let's talk about the young people ... In the Regulation of registration and application to these scholarships is the minimum age of 14 years, so we have very young musicians - 15, 16, 17 years - who sing and I was very pleased to see a curiosity that some years ago was missing from the auditions. The auditions arenot demanding, but we ask a lot of these young people. For this reason, from the beginning, many young people chose to not show up because they know that the requirements are high, the stakes are high. There are obligatory pieces, I can choose from a classical composer in the first test, then from the romantic, post-romantic and modern repertoire; then, reading at first glance - very important, because then you see exactly if someone has studied a piece for half a year and maybe just that piece or, when you give a few lines, a few measures in a piece you stimulate it and see exactly what may be. And finally, very important, a short interview, a few minutes ... what was the last book you read, what is your dream, what do you do in life, what do you want, what do you do next to study? ... and immediately you realize the horizon and, maybe, even the pedigree, I can say, of a student. Obviously, everyone who showed up could have learned something by getting a scholarship. Of course, you can't offer more than 35-40 scholarships a year. So, what to say, I am very glad that this curiosity that I have already felt in recent years is beginning to be more and more present. And I think that this is the only way we can create what we have wanted for 14 years since we created this comprehensive educational program SoNoRo Interferences, to help create a young musical elite of the country.


Let's talk about the three workshops, which I know will not take place in Romania ...

They will also take place in Romania. We will start at Moltepulciano in Italy, in the splendid Tuscany; we will continue in the poetic south of Romania, at the cultural port of Cetate, where Mircea Dinescu has treated us for 14 years in the most kind way possible and, obviously, where the Danube, which is right in front of the rehearsal spaces, is a maximum inspiration; and we will finish in the south of Bavaria, another picturesque and good area, suitable for rehearsals and for good concerts, in the south of Germany at (....), not far from Salzburg.

Who are the experts of this year's workshops?

We have many experts. Obviously, along with me and the artistic director of the SoNoRo Festival, the pianist Diana Ketler, we will have among others even Valentin Răduțiu, who will sing right here in the building tonight - on the stage of Radio Hall, in the series of `The Heirs of musical Romania`, this fantastic series you started three years ago. So Valentin will deal with the young cellists and more. Marcin Sieniawski, great Polish cellist, Pavel Berman - the son of the famous Lazar Berman - who is a teacher in Italy and Lugano. Then Janis Maleckis, the great chamber music teacher at the Riga Music Academy ...


The workshops, it is important to mention, will take place during the summer and, after that, follows the festival from which everything started, the SoNoRo Festival. This year, with what title?

This year we will celebrate 15 years of activityand it's really hard to believe that we have reached this 15th edition. This event comes with a great feeling of joy and also with pride. Do you really think that this work is quite ... endless, uninterrupted ... is a non-stop dedication to SoNoRo practically ...well, it paid off. And this 15th edition I called it "The Master Bird"; The "master bird" for two reasons. Probably the public knows that our mascot is a nice bird (I call it birds), which gets dressed differently every year, as is the title of the edition. When it was Love unlimited, it was in love and a female replica appeared, last year we had SoNoRo Dada, so we deconstructed the bird, and this year, surely, the energy we have will be drawn from his "Master" Brâncuși, after this extraordinary success that Brâncuși's exhibition at the Europalia Festival had in Brussels. We also had the pleasure of being invited for the inauguration, but the most impressive was the moment when, on the evening of the launch of the exhibition, I also sang in Bozar this opening concert for special guests. And I thought that it would be very nice to continue that excitement and pride to present ourselves in Brussels with Brâncuși, Enescu, Satie and Bartok and to extract from Brâncuși's musical energy to bring it to the public's attention. Bucharest, Sibian and Cluj in this sound autumn.


I know it's still early, but I would like to talk in part about the guests, about the program, as much as you can tell.

Almost everything is organized. Obviously, I haven't announced it yet, so I'll just tell you a few details about the festival. We will perform, as I said, in Bucharest, Sibiu and Cluj. During the year we will have a SoNoRo 15th Anniversary Tournament, which will end on December 1st, right at Carnegie Hall in New York. This I think is something that is interesting for the public in the country, because they can be proud of us and the fact that an initiative from Bucharest is already reaching maturity and is coming back. Last time I was there it was 5 years ago; I celebrated 10 years of SoNoRo at Carnegie Hall. Now, incidentally, the date offered by Carnegie Hall was December 1, The National Day. We will not bore the public now with the places where we will sing, but what is very nice is that at the end of the month we have the great pleasure to sing another concert in this SoNoRo - 15 year anniversary tour in Palermo, even in the Palazzo Valguarnera Gangi. I guess the name says nothing, but it is the palace where Luchino Visconti, the great Italian director, filmed the dance scenes in Cheetah and I suspect that the listeners now remember how Burt Lancaster danced with Claudia Cardinale and how Claudia Cardinale enters the respective hall. dance and then dance with Alain Delon. The extraordinary thing is that such a house, such an aristocratic world is open to an initiative started in Bucharest and, practically, the invitation was a great honor, because it is a private palace where you cannot even enter as a tourist. So, I say that the premises for a promising 15th edition are already outlined.


It is upto those at home and for those who are listening to us right now to follow the SoNoRo Festival internet page for up-to-date information. Until then, Răzvan Popovici, an invitation for the Amoroso recital on Sunday evening at the Radio Room?

It is a concert dedicated especially to the ladies from Bucharest. We deliberately kept the title of martyrs, even if it is not March 1st, but we know that the tradition refers to the whole month of March. Of course, the ladies are invited accompanied because it is even more beautiful, and a romantic dinner after the Amoroso concert is probably something not to be missed. So, we invite you with great pleasure to the concert Amoroso of the great Dobrescu, Sara Christian and mine, Răzvan Popovici in the Radio Room!

Interview by Lucian Haralambie
Translated by Gabriela Florea, Universitatea București,
Facultatea de Limbi și Literaturi Străine, MTTLC, anul II