Founded in December 2005 by composer and conductor Carmen Maria Cârneci together with her close collaborater, cellist Dan Cavassi, the devotioModerna ensemble aims to embody the devotion to modern music. Its programs take on various ways of expression: from pure instrumental music to vocal-instrumental, from rigorous works to creations sprinkled with improvisations, from live performances to associating pre-recorded music with different forms of syncretism: elements of instrumental theater, projections of photography, reciting of poetry and also lighting techniques or elements of ambient / scenography, in order to make the listener’s experience more intense. Artistic director Carmen Cârneci has chosen a basic structure of six instruments: flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano and percussion, to which singers – soprano (Yolanda Constantinescu and Mirela Zafiri) or mezzo-soprano (Elvira Sebat), and sometimes a reciter (Adina Popescu) were added.
During its seven years of existence, devotioModerna gathered performers with a solid experience in contemporary music such as Cătălin Opriţoiu – flute, Emil Vişenescu and Cristian Mancaş – clarinets, Natalia Colotelo, Oana Vişenescu and Ioan Marius Lăcraru (guest performer) – violin, Cornelia Petroiu (guest performer) – viola, Dan Cavassi – cello, Andrei Tănăsescu, Manuela Giosa and Mihail Vîrtosu – piano, Alexandru Matei (guest performer) – percussion. Young instrumentalists such as Ana Chifu and Teodora Ducariu – flute, Valentin Ghita – oboe, Constantin Urziceanu – clarinet, Andrei Cavassi – cello, Diana Rotaru and Olga Podobinschi-Tănase – piano, Sorin Rotaru, Rareş Pahonţu and Alexandru Sturzu – percussion, often join the ensemble and thus gain the know-how of the elders.
The devotioModerna ensemble played its debut performance on December 18th, 2005 at the first edition of the International Festival “Days of SNR-SIMC” (since 2006: “MERIDIAN, Days of SNR-SIMC: Romanian National Section of the International Society for Contemporary Music) and has since had the opportunity to perform in all following “Meridian” Festivals, as well as in the annual occurring International Week of New Music – Bucharest. Throughout its history of performance, including the participation at the “George Enescu” International Festival in 2009, the public appreciated the complexity of the repertoire and received the ensemble conducted by Carmen Cârneci with great interest. Some of the devotioModerna concerts took the allure of events, for example six o’clock tea & art – music: a bit of poetry, photos and tea flavours (December 10th, 2008); Echoes – an afternoon concert; A tandem concert: TRAIECT & devotioModerna; Ah, Celan… (May 2012) and recently …SOMA, Sonate….
The main stylistic direction taken on by devotioModerna is performing Romanian modern and contemporary works, some of them as world premiere. In this respect, the ensemble performed works of composers from different generations, starting with Ștefan Niculescu, Myriam Marbé, Aurel Stroe, Anatol Vieru, Tiberiu Olah, Dan Constantinescu, Theodor Grigoriu – the so called “gold generation” – and continuing with Felicia Donceanu, Dan Voiculescu, Cornel Ţăranu, Cornelia Tăutu, Viorel Munteanu, Octavian Nemescu, Nicolae Brânduş, Fred Popovici, Ulpiu Vlad, Marina Vlad, Adrian Enescu, Doina Rotaru, Maia Ciobanu, Andrei Tănăsescu, Sorin Lerescu, Carmen Cârneci, George Balint, Laura Manolache, Iulia Cibişescu-Duran, Diana Vodă-Nuţeanu, Livia Teodorescu-Ciocănea, Nicolae Teodoreanu, and the younger Mihai Măniceanu, Cristian Lolea, Diana Rotaru, Elena Apostol and others. Works by well-known composers from the Romanian diaspora, such as Corneliu Dan Georgescu, Lucian Meţianu, Violeta Dinescu, Liviu Marinescu, Gabriel Iranyi, as well as internationally recognized composers, like Peter Eötvös (Hungary/Germany), Alain Bancquard (France), Jürg Wyttenbach and Jean-Luc Darbellay (Switzerland), Misato Mochizuki (Japon), Aribert Reimann, Wolfgang Rihm and Roland Breitenfeld (Germany), Indra Rise (Latvia), Dubravcko Detoni (Croatia), Ivana Stefanovic (Serbia), Ivo Nielsson (Sweden), Younghi Pagh-Paan (Corea/Germany), are to be found in almost every program.
A Composer’s Portrait: Liviu Glodeanu, a memorable concert featured within the project “Arte Novi”, underlined another stylistic direction of devotioModerna, that of rediscovering valuable pieces which have been rarely performed or almost forgotten. For future concerts, devotioModerna is preparing programs linked to themes of meditation, such as “about sleep – dreams – awakening”, “about elements”, “about nature”, “about measures of time”, steadily moving towards becoming an original and appreciated promoter of new classical music in Romania. (Camelia-Anca Sârbu, musicologist)