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Happy Birthday, Maestro Valentin Gheorghiu!

Thursday, 21 March 2013 , ora 11.07

Lots of people, emotion, flowers - all these at the event that took place at Humanitas Kretzulescu Bookshop in Bucharest, on Wednesday, 20th March, 2013. In the limelight there were the pianist Valentin Gheorghiu who turns 85 on 21st March and his latest CD, released by the Casa Radio Publishing House: Duo - Roxana and Valentin Gheorghiu, including recent live recordings, made by the pianists together with the National Radio Orchestra, conducted by Alain Paris and Mihail Agafița.

The host was Liliana Staicu - editor-in-chief at Radio Romania Music:

'Valentin Gheorghiu is an artist possessing a rare integrity, with an exemplary modesty and discretion, always dedicated to his audience and who - I believe and I hope - also felt in his turn the love of his listeners.'

On 23rd March, Valentin Gheorghiu will be playing at the Romanian Athenaeum, accompanied by the cellist Marin Cazacu and the violinist Gabriel Croitoru.

Marin Cazacu was also at his side on Wednesday evening:

'I actually developed professionally through what Valentin Gheorghiu stood for at that time. I and my entire generation owe to him the extraordinary level reached by the Romanian music and, more than that, the human quality he proved throughout his life. I remember a joke he made about a year ago, when we had to play together. He told me, with his typical humour: "You know, when I was a child, everybody called me a child-prodigy. Now, as I still play at this age, they all say I'm an old prodigy." And I tell him: "Dear Valentin, you are a prodigy every day!"

The musicologist Grigore Constantinescu is a close friend of the pianist Valentin Gheorghiu and he talked about the CD that was launched yesterday:

'My preferences on the musical love scale are Schubert - when that wonderful motif begins at Schubert, we all start to cry - and Mozart - especially the second part, which is impressive, it's a multiplied Mozart.'

The conductor Horia Andreescu emphasized the importance Valentin Gheorghiu has for the Romanian musical world:

'Generations before us had the privilege of being able to listen to George Enescu or Dinu Lipatti, George Georgescu or Silvestri - both conducting. And now we have the joy of listening to Valentin Gheorghiu.'

Two of the editors at Radio Romania Music - Monica Cengher and Anca Andriescu - also talked at the launching of the CD Duo - Roxana and Valentin Gheorghiu.

Monica Cengher: 'Listening to the CD we gain access to a noble and profound universe. I got to know him personally in the recording studios, as he was invited to interpret his own works. I was amazed at his behaviour. His natural and modest manner made some barriers disappear as if by magic - the barriers between the great pianist dominating the interpretative art for decades and the editor starting on a new path.'

Anca Andriescu: 'Every time he is on the stage, he proves that when it comes to music, he is a jeune homme, who also has that special wisdom and remarkable noblesse put to the service of music; he never just uses music, but transforms it into a sort of faith.'

Valentin Gheorghiu also said a few words at the end of the event:

'I'm really moved by this familial gathering, as I could call it. It's like being in the midst of the family of music lovers. Not to mention my dear friends, the manager of the station that I listen to from morning to night when I can and who practically saves the Romanian culture and music.'

The CD Duo - Roxana and Valentin Gheorghiu, launched yesterday, can be listened to and voted within the campaign Vote for the Classical Music CD of 2013, on the website of Radio Romania Music; it can be purchased in the specialized stores or on the website of the Casa Radio Publishing House.

Today, on Thursday, 21st March, starting with 13:20, I invite you to listen to the special programme marking Valentin Gheorghiu's birthday, a programme made by Anca Andriescu. Happy birthday, Valentin Gheorghiu!

Cristina Comandașu
Translated by Mihaela Olinescu and Elena Daniela Radu
MTTLC, Bucharest University