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RRM 25 - Interview with violinist Alexandru Tomescu
On the 25th of March, you will be the lead of the Radio National Orchestra during a concert which will take part on behalf of our station's 25th anniversary. What piece did you choose for the public from the Radio Hall, for the event taking place alongside Cristian Măcelaru on the leading line?
That's a concert I can barely wait for. And that's a wonderful age for the Radio Romania Muzical station. A quarter of a century means a lot and I hope it is just a very beautiful beginning. I'm also very excited about meeting again with the master Cristian Măcelaru, alongside whom I've already performed multiple times on the scene from the Radio Hall; we also already have a CD brought out at the Radio Publishing House. I've chose one of the most delightful violin concertos, meaning Concerto no.2 by Serghei Prokofiev, which is a piece that makes me incredibly emotional, each time in a different way. My personal opinion is that the slow part, the second part of this concert, is one of the most gorgeous slow parts from the violin literature, and reminds of Haydn's quartets.
Mr. Alexandru Tomescu, during your collaboration with Radio România Muzical, there have been a lot of important moments. One of them, on which I would like to stop at, was the "Bach to the Basics" disc getting the first position in the campaign "Vote for the classical music disc of 2016". How do you recall this moment?
Of course, how could I forget about this contest! It's a very important honor for me. Otherwise, I think it is also the first honor, the first prize I have won for one of my discs. I was so happy the disc that won was the one consisting of the complete sonatas and the partitas for solo violin by Johann Sebastian Bach. I consider it to be one of my reference records. This collection of sonatas and partitas is, if you like, the violinist's bible and also a disc that is particularly dear to me. I recorded it after playing this programme on the Stradivarius Tour and tried to keep that incredible atmosphere from all the cathedrals I played in. It was a very competitive contest. I was very happy that all of a sudden classical music manages to arouse such passions in the online space. And, honestly, this diploma is one of the two or three that I have framed and placed on my wall. It's a very special award!
Is there any other memory of Radio România Muzical that you treasure?
Oh, of course there is! I have memories of his precursor... there was a classical music channel before, too. Ever since I was a kid, I remember paying for the program, it was called Tele-radio I think, in the 90s. I would circle the shows I wanted to listen to; some of them I even pirated, I recorded them on audio cassettes. After that, I used to listen to all my favorite concerts.
I think we need the Radio România Muzical station more than ever, especially during those awful times in which most of us wonder what are we doing here, what is going to happen the following day. That is because we need a reference point, a stability point, and I think that this might also be the purpose of music, to give us a psychological kind of support, this kind of spiritual support during those difficult times. And I hope that, on this occasion, a lot of people will rediscover or even discover the power that classical music holds within itself.
I want you to continue collaborating with Radio România Muzical. Since 2018, you have been co-authoring with Cristina Comandașu the column "Obiectiv-emotiv" - a material broadcast every two months in Musica viva and Perpetuum mobile. How did the idea for this project, which will be 4 years old this autumn, come about and how will it evolve?
It's a project I'm particularly fond of. I have always believed that classical music should be presented, should be brought closer to people in a way as natural as possible, in a way that is less full of specialized terms and I had many discussions with Cristina Comandașu on this subject and, finally, this idea of a permanent radio column came up. I must admit that I was very impressed by this invitation. Of course, I have given many interviews throughout my life, but it is one thing to give a one-off interview and another to take on the running of a long-term column. For me, it's a challenge. Every time, I gather my thoughts as coherently and concretely as possible. The length of the entries is not very long and this helps me to focus my thoughts in the most efficient way. I hope that they reach the widest possible audience and I wish that these stories, which are a big part of my own experience as a violinist or musician, all my journeys, will bring people closer to classical music, will stir their interest, will simply make them curious to see… "Sir, but was Beethoven really like that? Was he an extremely choleric and passionate guy? At the same time, he was also a very romantic guy." ...some things that perhaps many people don't know. I hope to carry this column forward. Of course, the topic of the column is practically inexhaustible. I hope to develop it further as smoothly as possible.
Do you have a message for the team and the listeners of Radio România Muzical?
Of course. I think all good messages and thoughts should go out to the people who make this station exist. Of course, we say Happy Birthday, Radio România Muzical! But Radio România Muzical is an abstraction. Those who give it life and those who set the wheels of this radio station in motion are all the people, all the editors who work day and night, often literally, to prepare these broadcasts that we all enjoy. It's not an easy job at all and, to be honest, I'm impressed with the quality of the shows. Many classical music stations abroad are not nearly as consistent and well-researched in the information they provide to the public as Radio Romania Muzical. So keep up the fantastic work you are doing, because it is needed!
Just as a performer cannot exist without his audience, a radio station cannot exist without its listeners. I believe we all need each other - listeners and producers alike. I, somehow, am on both sides. I also listen to the radio station and do some of the shows, so I can say that I enjoy Radio România Muzical twice as much.
Translated by Liliana Popescu,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu