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Interview with flute player Ion Bogdan Ștefănescu

Tuesday, 25 April 2023 , ora 14.37

You will be performing a chamber music recital today, a recital that celebrates 40 years of activity of the band Trio Contraste. How would you describe the four decades of collaboration with the percussionist Doru Roman and the pianist Sorin Petrescu?

There have indeed been 40 years since this band was founded by the pianist Sorin Petrescu; in fact, he was the only one who has remained constant in this trio formula throughout these 40 years.

Initially, the trio was formed from violin-piano-percussion, then clarinet-piano-percussion, and, finally, I have been singing with them since 2000. We share 23 years of constant collaboration and in fact, I think these have been the years in which the band sang various and serious repositories the most and in which we carried out a lot of tournaments.

We have been singing overseas a lot this late in this season. The two musicians, Sorin Petrescu and Doru Roman are, from my point of view, notably the best contemporary genre singers from Romania.

It must be noted that this band has as a primary profile the music of our times, contemporary music, and we have been and still are the ardent promoters of this type of music.

I think we did a tremendous job for Romanian music in our 23 years of singing because we interpreted the music of absolutely all Romanian composers, and we sang their music overseas a lot. We are learning 60-70 new musical works during this period, exclusively in this trio formula, the thing that provided me, at least, the capability of memorizing and surprising the musical essence very quickly.

So, I had the chance to go through contemporary repertoireswith this fantastic trio, but also jazz and folklore repertoires... because, exactly as it happens in the case of this recital which we consider having an anniversary impact, we bring to the public the same concept.

How did you choose the program for this recital?

We use this recipe that we have acquired in so many decades of playing together, mixing several music genres. We will sing a piece that Sorin Petrescu transcribed for this trio formula, by Remus Georgescu - "Dacia's Song", a solid piece and one of the best known of the master's work.

Also, Dan Dediu is featured in our program with the work "Cartoon Variations on a Theme by Mozart", a piece that hides a lot of humor. These two serious works of contemporary music are surrounded by other works written by some composers, some of them - famous, such as Friedrich Gulda, from whose creation we will perform Introduction and Scherzo, a piece of great virtuosity, arranged for our formula also by Sorin Petrescu. It is symphonic jazz music.

But Christopher Keller, for example, is a German composer with a very developed imagination, he imagined how Mozart would live and how he would compose if he lived in Argentina, Beethoven in Brazil... and the works that came out were successful, having a fantastic audience impact.

Dave Brubeck is not featured incidentally in the program, also working with symphonic jazz, which we play, but in the trio formula, "Iberia", "Blues" and "Blue Rondo a la Turk", which is sure to be a direct reference to Mozart's famous piece, "Rondo Alla Turca". We will also be playing the music of Phil Coulter, an ultra-known composer in the international music market for bringing Irish themes that he clothes in an extraordinary classical education medium. And, similarly, his music is a big hit with the public.

Therefore, in the moment of celebration for our band, we're looking to bring to the public this mix of works to show them what our concerns have been in all these years of playing together - from high music, from contemporary music to classical and jazz and folk music, which we always sang imposing our way of singing.

Interview by Ana Sireteanu
Translated by Roberta Ana Maria Gulerez,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year II
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu