The story of the „Invisible Cities and Imaginary Beings” CD
In the autumn of 2012, without being aware of it, I embarked on a project that became in time one of the closest to my heart. The decision to play a thematic concert, under the title “Musica Nocturna”, was not something new to me because I have always liked to programme my recitals under an thematic umbrella, to create a story or find a leading thread. But bringing together four contemporary works for guitar (Britten, Petrassi, Takemitsu and a world premiere by Stefanescu-Patrascu) was a novelty for me.
Up to the winter of 2019, the “Musica” series gave premieres of more than twenty new works for guitar (including guitar duo and viola-guitar duo), in an unique project for the Romanian guitar world, during which I applied myself to convince major Romanian composers to write new music for our instrument. In actual fact, the guitar has been so far scarcely explored in Romania, with few exceptions, notably composers like Anatol Vieru, Liviu Dănceanu, Cornel Ţăranu, Dumitru Capoianu, Violeta Dinescu.
The project, which has meanwhile become a part of the “Guitar Evenings” International Festival, started in 2014 under the auspices of the Kitharalogos Cultural Association. Its main goals are the enrichment of the Romanian contemporary music repertory for the guitar and, through the “Kitharalogos Scholarship” online competition, the promotion of this new repertory among aspiring guitarists. Thus, composers from different generations started to explore the technical and expressive possibilities of the “miniature orchestra”, as Berlioz described the guitar. For some of them, it was the first opening into its world of sonorities. They drew their inspiration from various sources, as can be observed in the titles of the concerts:
2012 / „Musica Nocturna” – works having as themes “Night”, “Dream”, “Death”.
2013 / „Musica Poetica” – the only recital in the series which did not contain contemporary music and was wholly dedicated to the Baroque Era.
2014 / „Musica del Delphin” – contemporary music and Renaissance works from the eponymous anthology by Luys de Narvaez.
2015 / „Musica per due” – works for solo guitar and guitar duo, including two world premieres.
2016 / „Musica delle Cittá Invisibili” – the first recital with a full programme of new works by Romanian composers inspired by “The Invisible Cities” of Italo Calvino.
2017 / „Musica Orientalis” – new music inspired by Marguerite Yourcenar’s “Oriental Stories”.
2018 / „Musica della Memoria” – new works for viola and guitar and Schubert songs, „In memoriam Petru Maier Bianu”.
2019 / „Musica de los seres imaginarios” – Five new works for guitar (and live painting) inspired by Jorge Luis Borges’ “The Book of Imaginary Beings”.
During the first months of 2021, I have recorded on a CD three of the “Imaginary Beings”, together with six “Invisible Cities” and an „Interlude” under the title “Invisible Cities and Imaginary Beings”, the first disc being entirely dedicated to contemporary music for guitar written by Romanian composers: Dan Dediu, Cătălin Ştefănescu-Pătraşcu, Şerban Marcu, Gabriel Almaşi, Gabriel Mălăncioiu, Sebastian Androne-Nakanishi. The CD is now available on the main music platforms (Youtube Music, Apple Music, Spotify etc.) and it is also available in a limited edition in a physical form (for orders, please write at firstname.lastname@example.org).
Metaphorically speaking, after nine years on this project, I could say that I feel myself like a midwife, having participated to the birth of all these “children”. I nurtured them, and now that they have grown, I watch them enter the world, become part of the guitarists’ repertoire, and, depending on the value and luck they were endorsed with, find their well-deserved place into the world. The experience intensified through my collaboration with the composers. What I learnt by studying and playing this music raised my level of maturity as a musician and made me understand once more that we can make an honest contribution in our field of expertise through perseverance and love. I am convinced that we will enjoy the birth of valuable works for guitar in the near future and we will have many pleasant surprises from the Romanian composers