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"George Georgescu in Prague" (I) - CD Review, January 15th and 16th, 2024

I present to you today on National Culture Daya premiere, a historic album,- "George Georgescu in Prague." It brings together recordings made in 1952 - 1953 on the podium of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, a piece of work released by the Music Publishing House and officially launched at the Romanian Athenaeum on January 11th - a page of musical history, quite unknown. George Georgescu was to return on the podium of the Bucharest Philharmonic Orchestra only in 1957, after the conductor Constantin Silvestri emigrated to London. In the meantime, George Georgescu was leading the National Radio Orchestra and was also invited to hold concerts in Prague, Kiev, to name just two examples, considering the immense prestige he enjoyed internationally.He was astudent of Arthur Nikisch, and a close friend of Richard Strauss, who convinced him to take up the conductor's baton, making his debut in 1918 on the podium of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.

Coming back to the double album we will go through briefly today and tomorrow, here on Radio Romania Muzical. In 1952, George Georgescu conducted Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92 by Ludwig van Beethoven, on the podium of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, a version we are now becoming familiar with for the first time. We willdiscover the strong German tradition, in which the Romanian conductor was trained - the ample, compact sonorities, the overwhelming monumentality of the Beethovenian spirit, the large, generous phrasing, with a discourse arranged in moderate tempos and a dynamic detailing enhancing the contrasts. The architecture of the work is fully highlighted, as well as the attention to details and especially to how tension is built in the climax. The overall tempo is much more tempered compared to some recent versions. Time flowed at a different pace 70 years ago. The Allegretto - the second part is constructed by gradually adding sound after sound, initially resembling a muted lament, which transforms into aextremely intenselament, contrasting with the third part, Presto - Presto meno assai, an explosion of vitality, energy, and lyricism in the Trio. Let's not forget that a Symphony without an Adagio is an "apotheosis of dance" performed with a vibration and distinction worthy of the most demanding requirements.

Listening to this version, we not only update a moment from the past, but above all, we realize - I am talking about the younger generations- the role of the personality, of the maestro, who through his endeavor maintains the equivalence and relevance of value at the European level, representing his country and placing it respectfully alongside the civilizations that have created this tradition.