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Interview with pianist Nicolae Dumitru

Tuesday, 13 June 2023 , ora 9.58

The Romanian Academy will host a recital by pianist Nicolae Dumitru on Tuesday, May 30th, 2023, starting at 7:00 p.m. This event takes place as part of the "Fantaisies" project, which the performer told us about in the following interview.

Mr. Nicoale Dumitru, first I would ask you to tell us about the Fantaisies multimedia project.

The point is that for me, every act of communication with the public is an act of energy transfer. I chose this francophone program, so to speak, because it is no secret that Enescu's Impromptu pieces are pieces composed expressly in the style of the time that surrounded him in Paris, at that moment I had a very clear vision of the need for a visual addition , architectural. I'm not going to describe in detail what will be in those projections, but the idea is that of mixing French architecture with Romanian architecture. Now you are going to ask me what Romanian architecture means. It means a lot, but I chose the idea of presenting Brancove architecture in dialogue with the Paris we all know and love.

You propose a musical journey that starts from the French Baroque era, reaches the Romanian space, and finally you return to France, but this time in the era of Impressionism. How is this musical journey reflected in the works you will present to the public and what are the criteria that guided you in choosing the works?

First of all, the desire to sing Jean Philippe Rameau, who has extraordinarily beautiful music and in my unfair opinion, not forgotten, but not performed, either. Everyone sings Johann Sebastian Bach. I adore Johann Sebastian Bach. It is the Alpha and Omega of music in general, but there was also something else, so, in my opinion, starting a journey in the French universe with Jean Philippe Rameau seemed the most appropriate. The Impromptu pieces by George Enescu, I don't know how far we go back, because they were written approximately at the same time as Gaspar De La Nuit. So for me it was more of a parallel between Enescu's perception of the piano and the perception of Maurice Ravel, that watchmaker, if you will, but a divine watchmaker of French Impressionism. Besides, Ravel was angry every time he was labeled as an impressionist, he didn't like it. We do. And there is also the desire to play Ravel's Gaspard de la nuit, which is, perhaps, one of the most difficult piano pieces ever written.

The recital will be accompanied, as you said, by video projections made especially for this program by Andrei Silviu. What atmosphere do you want to create for the audience at the Romanian Athenaeum that will be present at this recital?

I have been collaborating with Silviu for many years. He is an exceptional video artist. The idea was to complete, not necessarily to illustrate. For example, I didn't start showing footage of the palaces of Paris, with Versailles, Le Petit Trianon, etc., but the atmosphere of the Parisian streets, over which there are inserts from buildings in the Brâncovenesc style - at Rameau. At George Enescu, in addition to some very interesting and very artistic footage from Clisura Dunării and from the Mihai Eminescu Museum in the house in Ipotești, I have some very beautiful footage from the Romanescu park, which was designed by a French architect, over which buildings overlap icons of Paris. And at Gaspard de la nuit, already the fantasy is going absolutely wild, I can't describe what it will be, I can only invite the curious to come, listen and see.

Interview by Ioana Țintea
Translated by Cosmin-Ionuț Petriea,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu