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Ion Bogdan Ștefănescu - a Soloist at the Athenaeum - under Jin Wang's Baton

Friday, 24 May 2013 , ora 9.59
The flute was the centre of attention at the Romanian Athenaeum on Thursday, 23rd May, 2013, in a concert that featured Ion Bogdan Ștefănescu as a soloist and Jin Wang as conductor of the 'George Enescu' Philharmonic.

The programme was eclectic and it brought together Romantic-era compositions - Overture to 'The Silken Ladder' by Gioachino Rossini and Carmen Fantasy by Bizet, transcribed for flute and orchestra - as well as modern and contemporary works: Rite of Spring by Stravinsky and the wonderful Concerto for flute and orchestra from the Romanian Works series by Carmen Petra Basacopol.

It was a programme that triggered a variety of states, a programme that the audience received enthusiastically and which had a few undeniable strengths. The flute is a fascinating instrument thanks to its being able to prove an incredible force, despite its seemingly delicate sound. Ion Bogdan Ștefănescu's flute was so expressive and versatile that it gave the two soloistic works - C. P. Basacopol's Concerto for flute and the Carmen Suite - special brilliance.

The Concerto for flute and orchestra by Carmen Petra Basacopol is a composition that seemed very visual to me. I had the impression that I was seeing the music; I felt the flute's voice jumped out as if on the background of both dense and sheer shadows. The sound of the solo instrument seemed to spring from these shadows, only to immerse in them again later. Echoes answered one another, but above all, the flute remained constant, like a beaming thread on a billowy sea. Carmen Petra Basacopol's work was applauded enthusiastically in the presence of the composer.

Carmen Fantasy brought in themes and musical motifs that all music lovers know, which took on a new light, due to the transcription for flute and orchestra that François Borne had made for the composition. Once again, Ion Bogdan Ștefănescu attacked the musical piece with a lot of self-composure, turning it into something that was alive and that seemed to come to life right before us.

The Rite of Spring was the supreme trial for conductor Jin Wang, who gave us a very intense version of the composition. I am calling it 'intense', because the emotions of the audience must have been so, as they were listening to it. Everything reached gargantuan dimensions and reminded me of the poem 'Strigăt în pustie' by Lucian Blaga. As I was listening to the brass, let loose as if in an existential frenzy, I thought about these lines from the aforesaid poem: 'vino, Lume/, vin'./ Și răcorește-mi/ fruntea-nfierbântată/ ca nisipul dogorit/ pe care calcă-ncet, încet/ prin pustie un profet.'

You can listen to this concert at the Romanian Athenaeum on Friday, 24th May. Starting at 19:00, once again Ion Bogdan Ștefănescu and Jin Wang will walk onto the stage for another special event.

Petra Gherasim
Translated by Irina Borțoi and Elena Daniela Radu
MTTLC, The University of Bucharest