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The Romanian Youth Orchestra, led by the original conductor Kristjan Järvi, offered the audience who attended on Sunday, August 30, at the Palace Hall, the 22nd edition of the “George Enescu” International Festival, one of the most special performances of the Romanian Rhapsody No. 1 in A Major op. 11. George Enescu’s composition is also a part of Balkan Fever, the album released by Kristjan Järvi in 2014. A CD where the classical traditional genre meets jazz.


The ravishing style of the young artists in the Romanian Youth Orchestra blended with the exuberance and passion of the Estonian conductor, who conveyed the vibration of music through his dynamic gestures, alternated with delicate ones. Like a perfume that never gives you the same emotions, the musical works on the evening of the opening concert of the Enescu Festival – 2015 edition imbued the soul with indescribable joys.

Influences of Romanian traditional music

The top notes of the concert were given by the influences of Romanian traditional music in Enescu’s admirable composition Romanian Rhapsody No. 1 (1901). Before they dissipated, we could sense the heart notes offered by the romantic style of the Concerto for violin and orchestra in D Minor op. 47 (1905) created by Jean Sibelius and performed flawlessly by Sarah Chang. The notes of the Guarneri del Gesu (1717) violin handled by the charming violinist spread the fragrance of an age gone by.

The second part of the concert was completed by the base notes represented by the medieval character of the poems in the most famous opera of the 20th century, the scenic cantata Carmina Burana (1935-36), by the German composer Carl Orff. The cantata is part of the trilogy Trionfi, the small opera Catulli Carmina (1943) and Trionfo di Afrodite (1953) are the two theatrical compositions that join Carmina Burana. As opposed to the Romanian Rhapsody, which opened with a calm note, Carmina Burana started like a blast with the incantation to the goddess Fortuna. The artists of the “George Enescu” Philharmonic Choir, under the baton of the conductor Ion Iosif Prunner, gave the audience remarkable moments. The manner they built the gradation at the level of intensity, rhythm, completed by the style of the performance, gave birth to states where you could easily go from nostalgia to joy and hope. Built around the medieval theme, the wheel of Fortune, the cantata begins and ends with the incantation to goddess Fortuna. The dialogue in the first part of the composition, shrouded in mystery, took place between the Philharmonic Choir and the baritone Daniel Schmutzhard. In the second part, the pastoral picture was marked charmingly by the Romanian Youth Orchestra, and the soprano Jennifer O’Loughlin and the countertenor Max Emanuel Cenčić amplified the image that was completed in the third part by the Children’s Choir conducted by Voicu Popescu. The angelic Children’s Choir introduced the theme of love in a truly special style, captivating with their delicacy and innocence.

The rhythms of the Madrigal Choir were completed by old music from Transylvania

Carmina Burana ended the program at the Palace Hall, but not the evening of the official opening of the “George Enescu” International Festival, because the National Madrigal Choir – Marin Constantin, under the baton of Anna Ungureanu, filled the Romanian Athenaeum with the same base notes, medieval poems paired with Renaissance ones. The ideal of court love sung in Carmina Burana could be equally found in the program Ars Nova and Renaissance of the Madrigal Choir, which included works by Francesco Landini, Guillaume de Machaut, Cristobal de Morales, Roland de Lassus, Claudio Monteverdi. Carl Orff loved Monteverdi’s music, and it was his interest for the Middle Ages and the Renaissance that determined him to write the opera Carmina Burana. The music of the Madrigal Choir was completed by the old music from Transylvania, melodies from the Codex Caioni manuscript, performed by the Caioni Ensemble. Looking as though she had come straight from one of Boticelli’s paintings, Anna Ungureanu guided her colleagues with graceful gestures, bringing added cultivation to the atmosphere. The sublime Madrigal Choir ended the beginning of the 22nd edition of the “George Enescu” International Festival.

An opening concert under the sign of art, virtuosity, of that fin’amors sung by medieval poems, the feeling that conveyed, among other things, a certain savoir-vivre consisting of politeness, distinction and elegance.

Orchestra Română de Tineret – Romanian Youth OrchestraCORUL FILARMONICII „GEORGE ENESCU“CORUL DE COPII RADIODirijor:…

Posted by George Enescu Festival on Monday, 31 August 2015


Translation provided by Biroul de Traduceri Champollion

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