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The Golden Flute at Radio Hall - Chronicles and Thoughts...

Friday, 4 May 2012 , ora 12.15

On 2nd May, I attended a quite remarkable recital within the "Golden Flute" tour, taking place between 25th April and 7th May, performed by flutist Ion Bogdan Ștefănescu and pianist Horia Mihail. Ion Bogdan Ștefănescu performed at that much talked about golden flute works by Bach, Mozart, Dvorak and Poulenc, Taktakishvili and Mower. The performer was rather reserved in the first two works and I noticed a slight rustle, which disappeared completely with Dvorak's Sonatina, turning to a continuous crescendo of the quality of the sound. Ion Bogdan Ștefănescu was best at ease in ample performances, in rich and diverse colours, culminating with the final Latino Sonata, which included jazz, and I even saw him playing four-hands at the piano with Horia Mihail. The cheers and standing ovations of a large audience were rewarded with three encores, very impressive as well, making the evening truly amazing, especially in the second part of the programme.

Anca Florea

If it is true that a sort of alchemy forms between the instrument and the performer, then Ion Bogdan Ștefănescu, the 43-year old flutist, produced golden sounds on 2nd May. Albeit with the help of his flute, made from 18 karat gold and weighing 900 grams, and together with pianist Horia Mihail, he led the audience in a tour of the history of music, from Bach and Morzart, passing Dvorak and Poulenc, all the way to contemporaries Taktakishivili and Mower. The pleasure of the journey was so great that the audience no longer wanted to reach the destination. Then, Ion Bogdan Ștefănescu put the flute aside and joined Horia Mihail at the piano. An impromptu improvisation that raised the hall to their feet. What is more, during the second to last encore of the ones requested, the audience kept the beat with the performers.

Immediately after the concert, thoughts of the protagonist, flutist Ion Bogdan Ștefănescu:

"In a way, I was obviously betting on the crowd's reaction, it was only natural to happen that way, it would have been a shame not to. The Romanian public is very kind, receptive, warm and enthusiastic, it heats up quickly and doesn't give up, which I think is an exceptional gift to every artist.

In the end, we were all happy to be together."

And a few thoughts of pianist Horia Mihail, the stage partner of the "golden flute":

"Ion Bogdan Ștefănescu's improvisation at the piano happened only today. I had the idea a few days ago. What is certain is that he let me know he would do this improvisation and he did. The moment the crowd starts applauding while you play, you feel like a diva or a rock star, talking of course of Mower, the Latino Sonata, of strictly jazz music, which allows for this, there's no impiety. Everything went very well in the end."

As it is said that when you listen to music you become more creative, we asked a few members of the audience to compare the sound of the flute with whatever they liked:

"Close to divinity, to perfection. It is a truly special instrument, not only because it is made from gold, it truly is something that brings you closer to divinity, to everything that is beautiful."

"A wonder. I think it's an excellent idea."

"It reminded me of the chirping of a bird of summer."

Those who haven't listened to the Golden Flute will have the opportunity to do so in the last concert of the tour, on 7th May, 2012, in one of the most beautiful theatres in Romania, the "Ștefan Iordache" National Theatre in Caracal.

Adina Dragomir - Radio Romania Culture
Translated by Ioana Ristulescu
MTTLC, Bucharest University