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Cătălin Rotaru's First CD - Released in Romania
Cătălin Rotaru, contrabass, is, for the time, in Romania. On Wednesday, 18th December, 2013, at the Muzica department store, in Bucharest, he released his new CD. Recorded in the United States and featuring the Paraguay National Orchestra as well as conductor Juan Carlos Don Santos, it is the first CD released in our country to focus entirely on solo contrabass.
I have asked Cătălin Rotaru what it means to him to be back in his home country, as he has been living in the U.S. since 1995, working as an Associate Professor of Double Bass at the Arizona State University, as well as an artist. He replied:
'It is a dream come true. I grew up and studied here. I have always wondered if I would live to see the marvelous day when I get the chance to release a CD right here, in Romania. My first three happened to be released abroad, but we managed to get this third one to be released here, as well. It is huge because it has been quite a few years since I was last in Romania. It is thrilling to meet my old co-workers at the Radio, where I used to work before I left the country also my old class-mates, a lot of my friends and family... it is quite something... And most of all, I have a chance to play since, in the end, it is an honorary responsibility and much more than that to be able to play for the Romanian audience.'
During the release there were speeches held by music critique Mihai Cosma, contrabassist and teacher Ștefan Tomas, and, surely, contrabassist Cătălin Rotaru, who had the chance to tell us a few things about his new work:
'The CD is called Sonic Bridges. I chose the plural because it was recorded in Paraguay, I am currently living in the U.S. and, obviously, I am Romanian. So there's a bridge linking continents together geographically. Then there's the musical bridge, as well. The centre piece is Mozart's 5th Concert for violin. Then I thought that, considering the circumstances, we should have two musical pieces from Romania next. Porumbescu's Balada is surely, one of them. The other is Dimitriescu's score, Dans țărănesc. We absolutely had to use some Paraguayan folklore, too.'
Cătălin Rotaru gave a quick performance for those attending, containing transcriptions for contrabass inspired by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky cmpositions, Ciprian Porumbescu and Constantin Dimitriescu's compositions, as well as two contrabass scores by Giovanni Bottesini. Cătălin Rotaru was accompanied by the Solartis Quartet. The recital ended in an encore during which the contrabassist proved his complex nature as a musician, having approached jazz music with the same virtuosity. The audience in Bucharest can listen to Cătălin Rotaru live during his Christmas Concert, held at the Romanian Athenaeum on 22nd December, from 11:00, alongside the Solartis Chamber Orchestra.
Translated by George Mihăiță and Elena Daniela Radu
MTTLC, The University of Bucharest