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Dan Dediu, this week’s guest on Perpetuum Mobile
On Sunday, November 6th 2022, two events are scheduled for Bucharest stages - the opening of the Meridian International Festival which this year reached edition no. 17, and a new performance of "A Lost Letter"at the National Opera in Bucharest. These are the topics discussed by Lucian Haralambie on Perpetuum Mobile, with composer Dan Dediu - Guest of the Week.
First, let's talk about this year's edition - the 17th - of the Meridian International Festival. What is the plan for 2022, starting this Sunday, November 6th?
The Meridian Festival has become much more varied these last few years and has found its own voice, if I may say so. A voice that the two coordinating composers - Diana Rotaru and Irinel Anghel, have managed to shape in a remarkable way.
It must be said that this festival is organized by the Romanian National Section of the International Society for Contemporary Music. So we will be dealing with contemporary music in Bucharest, but also in Cluj-Napoca, Craiova, Constanța, Iași, Piteși, Ploiești and Timișoara. This way a real national festival begins to take shape.
From another point of view, we must say that between Sunday, the 6th of November and the last concert, which takes place on Sunday, November 13th, chamber music ensembles will succeed each other - because this is a festival for contemporary chamber music - with various composers and players, and there are also some formats which are a little bit different from the regular ones in a festival. Such as conferences and different types of opinion speeches.
We also have a record release with Octavian Nemescu's music…
It's true, but it is not merely a record release. It is at the same time, a journey of the sound, from midnight towards mid-day. There will be electronic works present, chosen through the network of the International Society for Contemporary Music, from all around the world. Actually, if I could define this festival I would say that people were crazy about socialising and going to concerts, and after two pandemic years, I believe this is finally happening and that is very good. The two organizers took this challenge upon themselves, to handle the festival as a creation because - from its layout to its content - it wishes to be a work of art.
I believe we are dealing with an interesting phenomenon. All those involved in organizing this have put their hearts into it and surely, all of the performers are here because they enjoy playing this music. We will also have guests from Denmark, and ensembles from Cluj and Timișoara, we will have a portrait of Octavian Nemescu, but also of Tiberiu Olah. There will be performances of percussion ensembles, chamber music ensembles, trios, electronic music and even not-so-ordinary conferences.
I will let you guess and check the Meridian Festival site and... see you at the concerts.
I would like to talk about the final concert, because, as you said, the festival ends on Sunday, November 13th. Piano player Andrei Petrache, violinist Mihai Balabaș and guitar player Sorin Romanescu propose a unique project, an improvisation concert in the underground parking of the National Music University in Bucharest. Of course that not many people expected this space to become an event hall. What else can you tell us at the moment?
I can't say anything. I am also curious to be a part of this experience. It's interesting, what can I say? During the pandemic, we organised a concert in the parking space above with the Romanian Youth Orchestra and Cristian Mandeal and, at one point, during one of the songs - a concert for clarinet and strings - all of the crows in Cișmigiu park started to gather. Here, in the underground parking, we might encounter other...situations. I think it is an unorthodox space, and even more than that, the three maestros, although some of them are still students, Andrei Petrache, Mihai Balabaș and Sorin Romanescu are a guarantee of a very special artistical act. So, I invite you to take part, even though the location of the concert is a bit unusual.
And so we get to the second topic of our conversation today - the show you bring to us, "A Lost Letter", will resume on Sunday, November 6th, at the National Opera in Bucharest. You have described it as, and I quote: "a story of lunatics and zombies", before the premiere in December 2012. How do you see this play now, if I remember correctly, inspired by a Piazzola tango played on Radio Romania Music?
Exactly, I've told this story many times. I have been looking at it from a distance for ten years now and I enjoy it. I am glad it's on the programme and I am happy that many people pointed this out to me. I had no idea. Thank you to the manager of the National Opera in Bucharest, to conductor Daniel Jinga who also played a part in the success of this opera, because he was one of the reasons I changed the finale, asking me to write for girls also, considering I had written too much only for boys; let there be a mixed choir at the end. So, 12-13 years ago, Daniel Jinga was working with the Opera conducting the choir, and working on this show and in the end… that's what happened. Therefore, after all these years I am glad that "A Lost Letter" comes back into the Opera's repertoire and I hope that both the audience and the performers will be happy.
For those who haven't seen this show yet, do you have a message?
Yes, I have. They should come and see the show because you never know when it will run again. It was played four years ago, and then the pandemic came, they weren't allowed to sing anymore so…never quit certainty for hope! I think that is my message.
Composer Dan Dediu, this week's guest on Perpetuum Mobile. Thank you for being here with us today!
Translated by Ruxandra Dodoiu,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu