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The Silvestri String Quartet in Vienna

Friday, 23 October 2009 , ora 10.59
The University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna hosted on Friday, October 23, 2009, a Romanian soiree, in which the "Constantin Silvestri" Romanian Violin Ensemble took part. This is one event part of the series of four concerts performed by this group in Austria, in October.

The Silvestri Quartet is a rather young group, founded in 2006, in Vienna, by graduates of the city's University of Music, two of which - the principal violin (Cristian Nenescu) and the viola (Mihai Loghin), respectively, are of Romanian origin. The other two instrumentalists of the band, Wang-Yu Ko (Violin no.2) and Attila Pasztor (cello) are born in Taiwan - the first, and in Vienna - the latter. Therefore, the ensemble benefits from successful international components, each of its members having accumulated individual experience by performing in other ensembles before getting together and forming a group which bears the name of one of the classical figures in the modern Romanian music industry, Constantin Silvestri. Since the year of its formation, 2006, the four young men are studying at the Haydn Institute within the above mentioned University, under the mentorship of Johannes Meissl.

The Silvestri Quartet performed, naturally, Constantin Silvestri's musical creation, Quartet op. 27, the second piece to bear the composer's signature, which was later referred to, by Mihail Jora, as 'that type of music which is for the soul, and for the soul only'. All of the four instrumentalists carefully tackled the reflexive and intense expression of the music, approaching each detail in part. It is indeed very obvious that the members of the Silvestri Quartet are musicians with a solid background, and one can easily read that in the phrasing of their work and in the colorful accents it displays, in the personality of the soloistical or quasi-soloistical moments.

The next piece to delight our sense of music, after the one composed by Silvestri, was a cycle of Eight Bagatelles by Adrian Pop, composer and music proffesor at the Music Academy Gheorghe Dima in Cluj. The miniature works inspired by Christian Morgenstern's poetry were composed in 1987 for choir performance and were now performed in a version adapted for a quartet of strings. In the musical realm suggested by Adrian Pop, fine irony goes hand in hand with an immaterial lyricism that often displays farcical accents. The interpretation of fine artistical touch mastered by the Silvestri Quartet highlights the gracefulness of the score, which, through its cultivated power of suggestion, reminds one of the clearness of Japanese stamps.

The soirée ended with the interpretation of The quintet for piano, op.29, by George Enescu, one of the composer's late works (1951), where one can feel the piano's presence in a more powerful manner than in other works of the kind. At the interpretation of this demanding piece of work, pianist Raluca Stirbat stepped in to support the artists. Born in Iasi, she is an artist of the same educational background, the Vienna School of Music, respectively. Raluca Stirbat proves to master extraordinary temperamental skills, possesing a very well trained technique as pianist in concerts, therefore she backed up the four stringers giving the play a strong touch of energy and drama.

Displaying a daring programme, the Silvestri Quartet and pianist Raluca Stirbat have reached a high point on the scale of professionalism, having that calm confidence of long-distance runners.
Haiganus Preda-Schimek
Translated by Catalina Anton and Valentina Tache
MA students, MTTLC, Bucharest University