I’ve start searching the internet one day to see if there is another Festival out there as big as “Enescu“. At first search I did not find anything even close. Small festivals of 3 to 5 days with a targeted audience depending on the music genre. The only thing that can attract you maybe is the location: Milano, Salzburg, Budapesta, etc.
Seeing so many tourists that have come to Bucharest especially for the George Enescu Festival I thought why not doing this myself? But then I’ve realized that the best Festival is this one, right here. Because you don’t just get a month of daily classical music concerts performed by the best orchestras of the moment, like that would not be enough already, but also you are presented with a larger variety of performances such as opera, contemporary ballet, world music, jazz, experimental music, etc. There are so many representations that this Festival has actually turned into a full month marathon. You would really need a vacation and still you’ll not be able to attend all concerts and events.
This is actually a great concept because it reaches out to a greater targeted audience. I mean, if you don’t want to blend in with the third generation to a Beethoven concert you can easily go to Messiaen, or to a modern ballet representation. Maybe you are into world music or interested on how it sounds and then you go listen to Amjad Ali-Khan or just go to the Opera because you have many costumes and sets that completes the music that you can understand.
But still, I don’t think the Romanians have managed to discover the potential of this huge Festival. I have seen young people interested in this Festival, they are eager to attend it but the majority is formed by the already known class. A class that through the years has forgotten the principles and etiquette of a concert, because is not just about the clothes that you wear, but also about the attitude. Furthermore, people need to be attracted into this kind of music because they will discover its importance and charm.
I remember when my mother took me to the first classical concert. I was so little that I can only remember one thing. At that time I remember the Concert Hall to be huge but it could not be anything than the Atheneum. But the thing I remembered is that my mother told me that this was an interesting piece because the players are to begin one after the other. And there it was, a stage full of empty chairs and just one guy behind the drums in the back and another one in the middle of the empty chairs blowing in an instrument. And they began just the two of them. While playing, on the stage quietly came the violin players and began their contribution to the piece. And so on, more players started to join resulting in something extraordinary. Basically it was the same melody but the more players entered the stage the more sounded differently. More complex, more fascinating and yet the theme was repeating and repeating. It began in a quiet mood but in the end it was so loud that i couldn’t even breathe. This was something that I remember without remembering the age I had. And you might wonder what was that piece? Well, you can hear it yourself tonight at the end of the XXth edition of the George Enescu Festival. It was just Bolero by Ravel.