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Interview with pianist Daniel Ciobanu
As a result of a donation made by a Romanian family, the "George Enescu" Philharmonic from Bucharest will inaugurate a Steinway piano on the Great Hall stagel of the Romanian Athenaeum.
On Thursday, January 21st you are a soloist in the concert on the occasion of which the new Steinway concert piano of the "George Enescu" Philharmonic will be inaugurated. First of all, I would like to discuss the differences and similarities between listening to such an instrument live, where the high quality is indisputable, and listening to the same instrument in an online transmission. How do you think these two experiences compare and what does this difference mean during online concerts?
Firstly, as you have already said, it is a completely different acoustic. The piano communicates with a microphone manipulated by the sound engineer, but then the sound can be heard through a set of speakers on an audio system. This is where the big rupture actually takes place; many people listen directly on their phone or laptop, not having an audio system. Since the beginning of the pandemic we've been having a hard time with this kind of transmissions. However, we need to understand that the musical ideas, the features of the pieces performed and the atmosphere can still be transmitted, but, of course, losing some of that acoustic balance that we particularly feel in concert with orchestra and piano in a concert hall. The only solution, let's say, of this way of transmitting music is the attempt to dynamically contrast the piece and better define it in this way, as in a recording session, where every detail must be more deeply emphasized.
Concerto no.23 for piano and orchestra by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is the work you will perform together with the Bucharest Philharmonic Orchestra. What exactly does recommend this work to be the opening piece of this piano?
I have chosen this piece for being my debut as a resident artist, but also for being maestro Bebeșelea's debut as leading conductor. Somehow, this concert is a clarification of our careers so far. We could say the same thing about this Mozart concert - it clarifies the classical style, especially for the piano and for the orchestra, the concert style for piano and orchestra. In this work, in fact, he led to an essential oil of what this structure and this concert mean. Somehow, it is a highlight of ours, of the soloist and the conductor, with a highlight of the composer.
How do you perceive this position of artist in residence?
It is of a particular importance to me, especially because I am home, in Romania, where I do not really have opportunities to come back and sing. And especially I do not have the opportunity to leave a greater and more personal mark, as there are only concerts of a singular nature. I was glad that I finally got the occasion to implement a complex programme which is not strictly related to classical music; we will integrate enough social aspects throughout the residence. I have always had the instinct to join the forces of art, not just in terms of music, but also from the other points of view, of dance, painting, etc, and this is a favourable moment. I can bring some of the artistic fantasies to an end on a well-known stage,with the power to create traditions and share the cultural events on the stage of the Athenaeum.
As we all know, the musical events in the last period took place online, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Some artists and musicians take the side of the medical experts, saying that vaccination is an important step for going back to normal. Do you agree?
Yes, I am on the same side with the people that think they should take the vaccine. Basically, we should protect ourselves with every tool that we have. Of course, there will be side effects, as with any medicine, but I believe that for the majority of people the vaccine will be absolutely alright. As long as the virus does not develop other mutations, I feel it is a moral duty.
Translated by Lica Alexandra,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu