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Good Music and its Maestros at the Athenaeum

Monday, 3 March 2014 , ora 9.52
On the last days of February, at the Athenaeum, the Philharmonic conducted by Horia Andreescu, offered a special evening concert with Concert no. 2 by Doina Rotaru dedicated to the cellist Marin Cazacu, the one who impressed by his science of sound limbering and the line of folkloric origin suggesting sounds of alpenhorn, played chant or maybe echoes of ballads, alternating with orchestra explosions with rich percussions, dying in the cello's low notes. And in Andante con variazioni by Respighi – work presented, apparently, for the first time in our country – the soloist, accompanied by the discreet orchestra, turned the entire poetry and lyricism into a romantic oration, the harp's interventions reminding of the famous work Fountains of Rome, with a unique fragrance and charm, the generous phrase amply unfolding on strings of cello, filled with inner feelings and maybe with nostalgic evocation. Prolonging the reverie, Marin Cazacu and the gifted harpist Ion Ivan-Roncea, offered as an encore the miniature The Dying Swan by Saint Saëns with an expressive vibration of a charming sensibility – wonderful pages 'for the soul'...

Changing 'the register', after the intermission, Horia Andreescu conducted works by composer Richard Strauss whose 150th anniversary is celebreated this year. He deliberately chose rich coloured scores, letting him create diverse plans, sometimes contrasting either in the programmatic poem Till Eulenspiegel (with its games full of verve and humour, in lyric or dramatic sequences, to finally resume, as a last breath, 'the flights' that define the evoked brilliant hero) or in Salomé – Dance of the Seven Veils, inspired also by a legendary character. The sentimental and vague sounds accumulated afterwards in a crescendo with almost terrifying outbursts. Both works were accomplished by the orchestra with a remarkable plasticity, the violin solos (Mioara Moroianu, concert master that evening) or those of the winds, as well as the percussions and the strings achieving moments of a transparency or, on the contrary, of a density utterly special, well balanced, in a unitary construction, without excesses, but with an effect that generated kaleidoscopic feelings and images, in an atmosphere that captured the entire audience. The enthusiastic applause rewarded both the quality of the programme and (most of all) the level of interpretation of an ensemble that outran itself, conducted by a maestro who knows how 'to take' the orchestra on the coordinates of his artistic creation. Surely an encore would have been wanted...

Anca Florea
Translated by Ioana-Alexandra Dumitrescu and Elena Daniela Radu
MTTLC, The University of Bucharest