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The first concert of the National Radio Orchestra of the season 2011-2012

Wednesday, 19 October 2011 , ora 11.02
The National Radio Orchestra's first concert of the new season, led by the renowned conductor Christian Badea, was held on Friday, October 14th, at the "Mihail Jora" studio. The repertoire included a Romanian piece dating from the end of the 20thcentury and two pieces by Russian composers, both of which are from approximately the same period - the beginning of the previous century, but which differ stylistically. The works are Alexander Glazunov's Violin and Orchestra Concerto, characteristic of the late-Romantic style and Igor Stravinsky's ballet musicThe Rite of Spring, one of key works that mark the beginning of the Modernist era in music.

Here is what Christian Badea stated about the chosen repertoire:

"This evening's programmingwas designed as an interesting, although not necessarily original repertoire - since, in fact, Glazunov's work is an old and very familiar one. The celebration of spring has not yet suffered any decrease in originality, freshness or strength, despite its being a hundred years old. I was glad to include a Romanian piece as well - something I always try to do in my repertoires - especially since it is an original and interesting work, written by a contemporary composer and well-liked by the public. I like Irinel Anghel's style and the atmosphere she creates and I believe that, in a way, the mystery and melancholy exuded by her work interwove, at certain points, with Glazunov's Concerto."

I asked the composer Irinel Anghel how she might describe the work Mondes Impossibles, which, in 1998, earned her the first prize in the first edition of the National Creative Competition, organized by Romanian Radio Broadcasting Company. One year later, in 1999, this same work was selected at the International Tribune of Composers Competition in Paris to be broadcasted for an entire year all over the world.

"The impossible worlds are dream worlds, worlds into which we escape from reality and cross the boundaries of what we know as possible to enter other dimensions, dimensions which merge and overlap, which appeal to our memory of the past and our projections of the future, all blended into a multidimensional present. It is like the mirror of "Alice in Wonderland", through which we pass magically to meet our own aspirations, where our imagination and fantasy give birth to new structures that pull us out of the material world, the everyday reality, and teach us how to dream beautifully."

Christian Badea and George Cosmin Bănică - a successful collaboration

In the next part of the program, George Cosmin Bănică, a disciple of professors Ștefan Gheorghiu, Modest Iftinchi and Mihaela Martin and a concert master of the Tonhalle Orchestra in Zürich since 2009, performed Glazunov's Violin Concerto in A minor. In fact, the violonist dedicated the encore interpreted at the end - George Enescu's The Fiddler, to the memory of maestro Ștefan Gheorghiu. This has been the first collaboration between George Cosmin Bănică and Christian Badea, "a very successful collaboration", as the conductor himself declared at the end of the concert.

The evening's most anticipated moment was the work performed by the National Radio Orchestra in the second part of the program, Igor Stravinsky's ballet music The Rite of Spring, a challenging piece, which gave Christian Badea the opportunity to showcase his artistry once more.

In the interview taken at the end of the concert, the conductor spoke to us about his collaboration with the orchestra and his affinity to Stravinsky's music.

"I have had an excellent collaboration with the orchestra, we had plenty of time to deal with the particularities of this work and I think that was helpful; it is a piece that must be a part of the repertoire and must be interpreted quite often because its interpretation is never easy, but we put a lot of effort into it.

I have done a lot of Stravinsky and I like his music, of course. It is always interesting, always a challenge both for the conductor and - especially in the case of The Rite of Spring- for the orchestra as well, because it is a difficult piece. It is like having to conquer a peak and it gives you an enormous satisfaction to interpret it."

Andreea Chiselev
Translated by Luisa Alexandrescu and Elena Daniela Radu
MTTLC, Bucharest University