Festivalul de Muzica Veche Bucuresti 2010

It takes a good friend who will gift you with an invitation, a concert hall, an orchestra with old instruments, eyes’ed closed and voila! You’re traveling through time.
The Festival of Early Music in Bucharest has started today celebrating it’s fifth edition and also dedicated to the great baroque composer, Bach. Aaaach!
Also it coincides with the Halloween’s eve so there might be a coincidence here since we’re talking about a guy that lived about 300 years ago and still his music is being heard to this day.
He was born in 1685 in Germany in a family of musicians. He left his mark in the music history by composing a variety of works such as cantatas and organ pieces. Well-known for his brandenburgic concerts commissioned by the Prince of Brandenburg Christian Ludwig, Bach remains one of the most favorite composers of all time. People still listen to his music and I consider him to be the first person who composed and prepared the road for Jazz music wihtout even knowing it. Check out McFerrins concert “Swinging Bach” if you don’t believe.
Returning to the Early Music Festival, it appears that this event is growing year by year and that couldn’t be more great. We are fortunate to have one of the biggest classical music festivals in the world such as George Enescu Festival but that happens every two years. So, any music festivals are welcomed and really hope this one will turn into something great that will last for many years from now on.
The Il Gardellino Orchestra hosted a concert in the Romanian Atheneum in the opening evening which is the perfect location considering the repertoire of the Festival. Founded in 1988 the baroque ensemble bears the name from one of Vivaldi’s concerts and concetrates mostly on baroque music. The conductor Ketil Haugsand was nice to make a short presentation of the evening’s program and contributed to the making of this wonderful project.
The evening started with the Cantata ”Ich habe genug”, BWV 82 having as soloist the counter -tenor Florin – Cezar Ouatu. Great surprise here because there are very few Romanian counter-tenors and Florin – Cezar Ouatu has an incredible voice and he is well recognized abroad. Regarding the Cantata, extremely boring composition. At first when you hear it it’s making you stay straight on the chair and fantasize about life in the royal palaces but after a few minutes your back starts bending and you might feel a slight sense of sleepiness. Baroque music can sometimes be so incredible attractive but also can be annoyingly boring.
In the second part of the program the Romanian Radio Children’s Choir was invited on the stage to perform “Magnificat anima mea Dominum”, BWV 243 alongside a few male members of different Romanian choirs. As per the conductors presentation this is the first time a children’s choir has performed this piece. It’s not easy at all to sing Bach and maybe was never intended to be singed by childrens. But neither his role in Jazz music inspiration was. The performance was incredible as usual. It sounded and molded perfectly to the type and atmosphere of the music. Voicu Popescu (conductor of the Childrens Choir) has proved again the quality and possibilities that this formation can offer. Its starting now to question if they are really childrens or small robots inside them that can perform any type of repertoire.
Soloists for the Magnificat were Raluca Enea – sopran I, Irina Grigorescu – sopran II which is also a member of the Children’s Choir, Cezar – Florin Ouatu – counter-tenor, Ionut Popescu – tenor and Stefan Schuller – bas. A great surprise came from Irina and it must have been quite an ordeal singing along the mature soloists. But she made a great appearance and Magnificat was indeed a success.
There are still two more days dedicated to Bach’s works and they can be heard an the Romanian Atheneum on Sunday and Monday. If you want to escape the present and stressed time it might be a good idea to return a few hundreds years in the past and relax yourself with some fine quality music.

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