Piano recital in London: Mihai Măniceanu

“Start your New Year’s Eve celebration with a kaleidoscope of best music ever written by Romanians.”  - the Romanian Cultural Institute in London will end its activity for 2o13 with an extraordinary event, a recital of Romanian contemporary music offered by pianist and composer Mihai Măniceanu. The concert will take place on Tuedsay, December 31st, at 1 p.m., at St Martin-in-the-Fields,Trafalgar Square, London (free entrance).  

Programme: 

Vlad Maistorovici – transScent 

In 2009 I heard Victoria Christian present Clive Christian’s fragrance called “X”, as part of a call for scores inspired by perfume. The discovery that X contained similar ingredients to the perfume used by Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, did not surprise me. The aromatic and earthy timbres sent me spiralling into a sensory laced vision:  ‘…The Mediterranean, Mark Anthony the conqueror and his mighty army are sailing south. His mind is cold, his heart hungry for battle. The breeze of the South brings strange scents from the mysterious Egypt. Scents that stir his mind and cool his heart… He knows that this journey will bring him victory in military ambition but he will ultimately be defeated by his senses…’ . The sense of smell is so important! Each one of us has experienced walking on the street, drifting on a day’s monotony, when a special person walked past. A special person with a very special scent. One’s world comes alive, colours start breathing, sounds start dancing… It is such an experience that X gave me. It is this experience that I wanted to immortalise in tranSscent. (Vlad Maistorovici)

Diana RotaruDebumessquisse

As the title itself suggests, this short piece was inspired by the aquatic atmosphere from Debussy’s and Messiaen’s piano works. The apparently improvisatoric structure is actually based on the continuous variation, in a kaleidoscopic manner, of an initial musical gesture. The work is dedicated to Satoko Inoue, who performed it for the first time in Tokyo in 2008. (Diana Rotaru) 

Cristian LoleaÉtude pour piano

Étude pour piano is a work that requires a great virtuosity. It was written in 1996 and it received, the same year, the “Mihail Jora” Prize, while being included in the “Mihail Jora” Piano Competition Programme. (Cristian Lolea)

Mihai MăniceanuThe Living

This work, finished in December 2006, deals with problems of time as an existential obsession. Geometrical forms of an almost material time, incarnated time, contrast with the ethereal or decanted chorals, crystallized in a sonorous haze.     Perpetual gradual movements, in a consequent process out of tune, contribute to accenting the interrogative meaning of this music together with the absurd rhythmic mechanisms that are looking for the original matrix. From a formal point of view, The Living articulates itself like a repeating mosaic construction, based on a few generating substantive elements. At the same time, this work might be assimilated to a tripartite form with coda or, on a suggestive level, to an undeveloped sonata. (Mihai Măniceanu)

Dan Dediu – Lévantiques

- bêtes nostalgiques – LAMENTO

Background in ostinato, first by itself (voices: 1. descending lamento bass in different octaves; 2. ascending chromatic scale; 3. variants of the B.A.C.H. formula), then together with a lyrical Baroque melody that gradually becomes aberrant, ragged, syncopated, gothic. The visceral roaring in the lowest register, first secco, then painfully long con pedala, stab the upper, agonic melody. The finger snapping of the left hand gradually eat away at the melodic line, that is the first to perish. Then, the  flesh of the background disappears, leaving only the skeleton: the lamento bass and the finger snapping. After the lamento bass dies, the only thing left, the finger snapping, create the illusion of a soul being lighted, of an originary frame of mind. 

Bibliography:  Cărtărescu, Mircea. Orbitor;  Heidegger, Martin. Hölderlin and the Essence of Poetry; Sein und Zeit;  Bach, Johann Sebastian. The Italian Concert, 2nd part  (Dan Dediu)

Axionvorspiel – The Enigmatic Scale  

A Passacaglia on an Ortodox hymn theme, engraved on an enigmatic scale that starts in the lowest register and ends in the highest register, a microscopic image of the angel scale in l’angelo vecchio. The aspiration, the longing defines the beginning; the completion of the praise – the ending. 

Bibliography:  Cretanul, Petru. Axion;  Dediu, Dan. Capriccio classico – 3rd Symphony; Nono, Luigi. Fragmente. Stille. An Diotima; Verdi, Giuseppe. “Ave Maria” from Quatro pezzi sacri (Dan Dediu)                         

- Le vent de Transylvanie 

A sonorous image of a haunted land. A rondo with an ascending signal as the refrain, an explosive burst. The first episode: a filigree, delicate melodic line, made by a heterophonic technique; an image of a wind carrying nocturnal aromas. The second episode: fictitious packs of saxophones in a big-band, with the required percussion effects (finger snapping) – images of transylvanian feasts. The third episode: a slashing wind transformed in an enchanted one, filled with rumours, hunting signals, hidden treats. A sudden finale, like a violent death.

Bibliography:  Debussy, Claude. Le vent dans la plaine; Qu’est-ce qu’a vu le vent de l’Ouest; Grieg, Edward. Piano Concerto; Liszt, Franz. Études transcedentales (Dan Dediu)

Gheorghe CostinescuEssay in Sound

Essay in Sound for piano reflects the way I play, think of, and feel about the instrument. The grammar of the work differs from the principleof building a musical edifice starting from a single cell or idea. Here, several short, apparently disparate statements are introduced, each expanding on its own terms, while merging into a more-or-less continuous discourse of all entities. The work is dedicated to the pianist Stephen Gosling, who premiered it at the ACA Summer Festival, Symphony Space Thalia Hall, New York City, June 13, 2011. (Gheorghe Costinescu)

Aurel Stroe – Piano Sonata No. 3, “en palimpseste”

In his 3rd Piano Sonata (1991), Aurel Stroe uses the idea of a palimpsest composed of incommensurable structures, disposed on different layers. The structures come from three different periods of the composer’s career. These flashbacks, by their construction and the temporal realities that they evoke,  create significance leaps. (Ruxandra Arzoiu)

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The same concert will be performed in Bucharest, on December 19th, 6 p.m., at the “George Enescu” National Museum – The Cantacuzino Palace Hall (Calea Victoriei 141).

Born in 1976 in Bucharest, Mihai Măniceanu is one of the most important voices in Romanian contemporary music. He studied piano (1995–2000), composition (2000–2005) and attended the master courses (2005-2006) of both specialisations within the National Unversity of Music in Bucharest. In 2011 he received a PhD from the same institution. He was awarded an Erasmus scholarship by the University of Music and Theatre Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Leipzig(2003-2004), as well as the Bucharest Music Unversity scholarship at Muzikfest Festival,Hamburg(2001), Junger Künstler Festival–Filmmusik, Bayreuth(2002) and ISA 20. Internationale Sommerakademie, Murzzüschlag (2001). Nominated for Prometheus Opera Prima Prize (2009), the pianist received several awards: First Prize at Icon Arts competition (2003), Romanian Academy Prize (for Sus) (2011) and UCMR Prize for Symphonic Work (for Sempre risoluto) (2011). His compositions have been played by George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra, National Radio Orchestra, F.M. Bartholdy University Orchestra, Profil, Propuls, opus.art, devotioModerna, Swinepearl, Acolade, Traiect, SonoMania, IconArts and Mercury Quartet ensembles, Accoustic and I.C. Danielescu choirs. He studied with Dan Dediu, Ştefan Niculescu, Richard Pfundt, Peter Michael Hamel, Dmitri Terzakis, Nigel Osborne, Maria Fotino, Steluţa Radu, Viniciu Moroianu, Sandu Sandrin, Ina Oncescu, Oana Velcovici and Martha Paladi.

Check out a version of Mihai’s The Living / Viii for piano and live electronics (by Catalin Cretu) HERE.

 

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