Monday, September 4, 2023

Grand Palace Hall, Ion Câmpineanu 28, Bucharest, Romania

It was good to hear the Dvořák again,, every bit as arresting as in London, and there was a different encore, Sibelius’s Valse triste.

It was also good to play trains with Arthur Honegger, the hiss of steam and acceleration of a monster locomotive as its travels the rails to its destination – proud, determined – and then the huge beast slows in time to avoid hitting the buffers at the other end. Paavo Järvi led a vivid journey, rhythmically alert, the music’s modernism stressed; maybe he will champion Honegger’s Symphonies.

Enescu’s cello-and-orchestra score is melodic and rhapsodic, romantic and impassioned, a quick-change piece in terms of mood and tempo in this early (Opus 8) twenty-minute work by a composer still finding himself, occasionally reminding of Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations. Andrei Ioniță was a very assured soloist, especially in sequences of rapid semiquavers, and he offered three encores, as introduced by him – Romanian Rustic Dance, with orchestra, but the composer’s name was lost to me, then two unaccompanied pieces, a jazzy country & western-like number that must remain unknown in terms of composer and title, and finally the ‘Sarabande’ from the first of J. S. Bach’s Cello Suites (G-major, BWV1007); lofty from Ioniță.