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Listen to five minutes of classical music – a new project suggested and organized by Radio Romania Music

Monday, 4 October 2010 , ora 9.14

A new project branded by Radio Romania Music, under the name of Listen to five minutes of classical music, has been fleshing out since Friday, October 1st 2010, when the official opening took place in Piata Universitatii square. The initiative will be running during October and consists of 5-minute daily broadcasts of classical music within non-conventional spaces, like supermarkets, malls, book stores, DIY stores, museums and even parks. Engine noise, emergency rotating light, traffic: when the project was introduced, classical music was listened to, even if for a short while, in this ordinary frame of downtown Bucharest. Everything began, not accidentally, on October 1st, day proclaimed as the International Day of Music, just like the area where the event took place that was not randomly picked: Piata Universitatii (University Square), one of the most crowded areas in the capital city. Those who took part in this collective audition were able to listen to the recordings of the Coral of Cantata 147 by Johann Sebastian Bach performed by Dinu Lipatti, as homage rendered to the legendary pianist who died 60 years ago on December 2nd. Also, Marin Cazacu, the cellist who performed Johann Sebastian Bach pro bono, took part in this project initiated by Cristina Comandasu, deputy editor-in-chief at Radio Romania Music. Perhaps, by means of such projects we will make clear the difference between hearing and listening and perhaps, in time, classical music will regain its rightful place within the contemporary cultural landscape.

Liliana Staicu, editor-in-chief at Radio Romania Music:

‘We chose to initiate this project and officially introduce the campaign Listen to five minutes of classical music in an appropriate place like Piata Universitatii (University Square , on a special day, on the International Day of Music, and link this idea with the name Dinu Lipatti, for this year, on December 2nd, 60 years will have passed by since his death, a moment marked by the entire international music world. Within the next months, Radio Romania Music will have its contribution in this sense. Today, in Piata Universitatii, we have listened to the Coral of Cantata 147 by Johann Sebastian Bach, performed by Dinu Lipatti because, from our point of view, Lipatti embodied one of the world’s most significant representatives of the Romanian piano performance and perhaps, of the Romanian performance art in general. I believe it to be a special initiative that will contribute slightly to the spiritual enrichment and to everything that means beauty in our everyday lives, in this world that keeps being sonorously aggressive towards us. Therefore, I recommend all to listen with their heart to five minutes of classical music a day and their day will surely be much more beautiful.’

Marin Cazacu, the soloist of the evening, told us about the place owned by classical music within the Romanian cultural landscape:

‘I think the hearts of Romanians have opened up to classical music. And I congratulate all those supporting such projects; I find this idea so fabulous, that I was in the first lines when the idea was initiated. Romanians need music and from all available music genres, classical music is perhaps the one that reveals us what is truly beautiful in this world, everything that is true Beauty, from a human and spiritual point of view.’

Marina Constantinescu, Romanian Television producer, also attended the event:

‘I am so nervous and so thrilled right now! I remember that, several months ago, Cristina Comandasu asked my opinion regarding this project I supported it as an idea at first and then I supported it in the world of theatre as well. I find it amazing, almost a dream to try to tame this jungle we live in by means of culture, sound, music. I am certain that music, valuable artists and the suggestions made by Radio Romania Music will turn down the surrounding chaos and, perhaps, next year there will be a lot more people attending, because we listened to five minutes of classical music.’

Corina Ciuplea, student at the National Music University:

‘I find this initiative absolutely brilliant; I definitely realized that the music makes you escape from all this commotion and from this very noisy and crowded environment and makes Bucharest appear simply divine.’

Cristina Comandașu, deputy editor-in-chief at Radio Romania Music:

‘How did the project take shape? It’s pretty simple: one day, I think it was a Monday, after shopping at the supermarket, I said to myself: Why not listen to classical music at the supermarket? That was the triggering moment, and from this idea on to the actual event only several months have gone by – we made a few steps, made tons of telephone calls and enhanced not very tough negotiations with partners and when they heard of this idea, all partners said yes. A few days ago I called Mr. Marin Cazacu, I told him about this project and he replied: “Yes! I know about Listen to five minutes of classical music and it is an excellent idea.” That was all we needed. I only said to him timidly: “Then, would you consider attending and performing Bach?” And Marin Cazacu did a wonderful gesture, performing pro bono in favour of music, and he came here to enchant our ears and show us that music is actually not only a music sheet, but is also a message and solidarity. What’s next? I intend this project to take place twice a year – in October, because it is the International Day of Music, and in March, because Radio Romania Music broadcast for the first time on March 24th. I wish this project to extend over many years and I wish it did not last only five minutes, but ten, fifteen or perhaps twenty. I actually wish this project became our contribution as a radio to the embellishment of the public areas and to a state of normality, because classical music means a normal state of the spirit.’

Alexandra Cebuc
Translated by Mirona Palas and Andreea Velicu
MA students, MTTLC, Bucharest University