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Music and Literature – Fables and other tales

Wednesday, 20 October 2010 , ora 10.32

The Small Hall  of the Romanian Athenaeum has hosted, on the 19th of October 2010, a music and literature evening, called Fables and other tales.

During the usual Tuesday evening season, I have had the pleasure of  witnessing an unusual encounter of two related arts, made possible by the presence of the beloved actress Valeria Seciu, in collaboration with the mezzo-soprano Claudia Codreanu, accompanied by Inna Oncescu – piano and Emil Vișinescu – clarinet.

The program consisted of: six La Fontaine Fables in lyrics by Jacques Offenbach and Lieder des Südens (Mediterranean Songs), for voice, clarinet and piano, in lyrics by Hans Bergel, by Felicia Donceanu.

I have listened to the following fables: The Sheppard and the Sea, The Raven and the Fox,  The Grasshopper and the Ant, The Dairywoman and the Pot of Milk, The Town Mouse and Country Mouse and The Cobbler and the Financier, and within the Lieder des Südens (Mediterranean Songs): Ankunft in Umbrien (Arrival in Umbria) and  Sizilianische Wasserträgerin (The Water Beared in Sicily)  

The introduction into the graceful and expressive atmosphere of the given repertoire was achieved through the magic liberated, each and every time, by the wonderful presence of the actress Valeria Seciu. The mezzo-soprano Claudia Codreanu, was perfectly „attuned” to the high artistic vibration, built carefully and with excellence, therefore the artistic mélange was perfect. In all verity, the pianist Inna Oncescu and the clarinetist Emil Vișenescu brought the musical discourse to life with aptness and talent, so that the expressiveness, humour and virtuosity were those which ultimately lead to the success of the show. The amazingly beautiful voice of Claudia Codreanu, along with her charming interpretation, have impressed the audience, present in large numbers at the Small Hall  of the Romanian Athenaeum.

Theatre, film, radio and television actress, Valeria Seciu is known all too well to the ones who appreciate the arts. From 1964, when she had her debut on the stage of the National Theatre, but also on the big screen, she managed to create a career worthy of her great talent. We have had the chance to see her perform exceptional roles on the stages of The Small Theatre , Bulandra Theatre, C.I. Notarra Theatre or Act Thatre. In 1990, she founded and lead Levant Theatre, one of the first independent institutions of this kind in the country. In 2006, she was awarded The Best Actress Prize, for the role in the play How Amy thinks by David Hare, in 2007, the Prize for her whole career, and in 2009, she was rewarded the prize for Best Supporting Actress in the play Lear by William Shakespeare.

Sică Alexandrescu, Cătălina Buzoianu, Andrei Șerban are just few of the great directors she has worked with.

„Eternal, ingenuous magnetic, capable of directing her sensibility towards the abyss, or towards the apogee of the human self, always with a powerful, velvet sensuality in her look, in her voice with sweet or bitter inflections” this is the manner in which our apt, talented actress Valeria Seciu is perceived...

Mezzo-soprano Claudia Codreanu  has graduated from the Music University in Bucharest, a student of Georgeta Stoleriu. Between 1991 and 1996 she has undergone specialization courses in Vienna, along with Ileana Cotrubaș and Margareta Lilova. Along the years she has received awards in national and international competitions, has held many successful opera concerts and shows, both in the country and abroad, has worked with prestigious Romanian and foreign operas, and this year she has received the George Enescu Scholarship, from the Romanian Cultural Institute.

Presently, the mezzo-soprano Claudia Codreanu is Dr. University Lector at the National University in Bucharest  – canto section.

The pianist Inna Oncescu is also Dr. University Lector at the National Music University in Bucharest and honourable member of the Contemporary Music International Society (SIMC).

She has been awarded Second Prize in the Piano Competition in Caltanissetta (Italy), the music and Theatre Association Award (ATM) for the interpretation of Romanian music, and also a series of prizes in the chamber music field and that of lied accompaniment.

The pianist Inna Oncescu along with the mezzo-soprano Claudia Codreanu have formed  a duo for more than a decade, time in which they have accomplished a broad repertoire, from  Mozart, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Fauré, Wolf, Rachmaninov, Ravel, Debussy, Enescu  lieds to those of contemporary composers.

The clarinetist Emil Vișenescu has also studies at the Music University of Bucharest, under the guidance of professors Ioan Cudalbu and Valeriu Barbuceanu. From 1993 he is a member of the „G. Enescu” Philharmonic Orchestra in Bucharest. He has graduated many specialization courses. Between 2000 and 2002 he has studied with Ernesto Molinari at the University of Berna-Biel. His artistry has earned him many awards along the years. Emil Vișenescu is an active member of the national and international stage, holding a series of concerts, as a solo artist and as a member of an orchestra.

Adriana Nițu
Translated by Laura Bosnea and Andreea Velicu
MA students, MTTLC, Bucharest University