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Romanian Atheneum - January 20th 2020
Cellist Ștefan Cazacu performed at the Romanian Atheneum on the Romanian National Culture Day
Excerpt from the concert presented by the Romanian Youth Orchestra (conductor: Gabriel Bebeșelea) at the Romanian Atheneum, on the Romanian National Culture Day – January 15th 2020. ”Romanian Folk Dance” by Constantin Dimitrescu
bbKultur, Berlin - July 2019
Young Euro Classic.
The national youth orchestra of Romania
Text: Clemens Goldberg, rbbKultur, Berlin
Even the festival hymn sounded so perfect that one rarely hears it in the string version: this orchestra can compete with any top orchestra.
External impressions can be deceiving. The ladies of the Romanian youth orchestra come in old-fashioned evening dresses and hairstyles, so that one feels transported to the 19th century, when women were only good for the wedding market and were spruced up. The men of course in black with bow tie.
The program as traditional as it gets. The conductor was 73 and trained at Karajan. He is an Enescu specialist, how much would you like to hear from this great composer.
Beguiling sound culture
But even the festival hymn sounded as perfect as you rarely hear it in the string version. And in the slow introduction to Beethoven's 4th, an almost unbearable suspense curve is created. The 73 years of Cristian Mandeal prove to be a stroke of luck in experience and overview, the musicians follow unreservedly and with recognizable joy and emotion.
The orchestra has a beguiling sound culture in the strings and excellent winds. So a Beethoven Symphony can keep up with great interpretations and become an event.
Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations have a great kitsch danger. How hard is the right tone to hit. Stefan Cazacu meets him exactly, elegance, tonal beauty without sentimentality, virtuoso playfulness, joy of dialogue with the excellent orchestra. The slightly played work can look so fresh!
Cliffs were brilliantly circumnavigated
Schoenberg tried to make Brahm's young piano quartet in G minor a "5th Symphony". This offers amazing insights, but also the danger of the blown up. Also these cliffs were umschiffen glossy.
Finally, the finale "a la zingares", so enchanting, so Romanian folkloristic played, that you can hardly believe it. This orchestra can compete with any top orchestra.
Liternet.ro - February 2017
And yet... Young Artists: Ştefan Cazacu
By Virgil Oprina
© Virgil Oprina
The Symphony-Concerto for Cello and Orchestra in E minor, Op. 125 (sometimes referred to as Sinfonia Concertante), was composed by Serguei Prokofiev in 1952 and it was dedicated to cellist Mstislav Rostropovici – an iconic figure as a master of cello interpretation and technique. Prokofiev’s opus has been one of the most complex and challenging cello compositions ever produced for this instrument.
In Romania, the Sinfonia Concertante has never been presented in public, in a concert hall (I found on internet nothing but rumours about this work having been performed by a Russian cellist, never confirmed though); nor a Romanian performance has ever been mentioned.
So, on February 17th, 2017, an absolute premiere was recorded in the concert program of the Romanian Radio National Orchestra. The famous Symphony-Concerto for Cello and Orchestra in E minor, Op. 125, the too-far-away and unreachable fruit, the sour grapes, was assumed with entire responsibility by young cellist Ștefan Cazacu (23), together with the orchestra under the baton of Cristian Oroşanu.
For some time Ștefan Cazacu has represented an artistic certainty, surprising the audience in the Bucharest Radio Concert Hall with his bright, vigurous and accurate performance, even when approaching difficult cello works – such as Shostakovich’s Concerto no 1 or Dvorak’s cello concerto. The pieces represented outstanding achievements considering the age of the soloist but this time, the young cellist wanted to prove he could do more.
Prokofiev’s Sinfonia Concertante is not just an infernal test of technical difficulty and endurance, but also a challenge out of the ordinary music – as it is a opus in which (in spite of the title!) the soloist has permanently the main role in performing the work.
From the very beginning, walking on the stage, Ștefan Cazacu shows a serene air, yet childish – which is quite real ! The first sounds performed by the artist prove that he has a dominant approach of the musical score.
Ștefan Cazacu is childish only in his voluntary will of being as such when giving way to his performing emotions, serving music. I wish he could do it long time ahead ! And yet, he has such a remarkable power of concentration characteristic to a mature artist!
Starting with the rough changes of position, the audience is impressed by the supreme way the soloist is able to sustain and perform a large musical phrasing which gives the meaning of the work. And, actually, the meaning is not only of testing technical and physical limits of an outstanding soloist, but also of creating a moving and breathtaking Postromantic musical representation.
Considering Ștefan Cazacu’s approach, he proves that his musical ambitions aim high. And he also shows that besides youth force and energy he is wise, well-balanced and (most important) capable to mentally control the solo performance of epic dimensions.
Explosive moment of long chains of high virtuosity fragments requiring energy are granted a musical meaning by Ștefan Cazacu.
In spite of a slight restraint (unnoticed by the public) due to his first appearance in audience with the most difficult cello opus, Ștefan Cazacu shows he is capable of big progress, proving that the solo performance will become more and more the result of an intellectual process.
Ștefan Cazacu’s approach, he proves that his musical ambitions aim high.
And he also shows that besides youth force and energy he is wise,
well-balanced and (most important) capable to mentally control the solo performance of epic dimensions.
Liternet.ro - March 2010
Cellist Ştefan Cazacu will represent Romania
at Eurovision Young Musicians Competition 2010
Cello soloist Ștefan Cazacu is the winner of the Romanian final selection Eurovision Young Musicians 2010, lively and exclusively broadcasted by the Romanian National Television (Cultural division), from the Romanian Atheneum. Performing before a severe panel of judges Ștefan Cazacu obtained most votes.
The audience was impressed by Ștefan Cazacu’s accurate performance – the Vth part of Friedrich Gulda’s Concerto for Cello and Wind Orchestra, together with the Romanian Youth Orchestra under the baton of Horia Andreescu.
The show was hosted by Camelia Văcaru and Marius Constantinescu. The finalists competed before before TV-viewers and also before judge panel consisting of Romanian music personalities:
Valentina Sandu Dediu (musicologist, Chairperson of the panel), Horia Mihail (pianist), Răzvan Suma (cellist), Alexandru Tomescu (violinist), Ionuţ Ştefănescu (flautist), Oltea Şerban Pârâu (musicologist), Tiberiu Soare (conductor), Valentina Băinţan (TV producer).
The contest show ended with Josef Strauss’s - Polka Plappernmaulchen, op. 245 and with the special appearance of Răzvan Mazilu together with ballet dancer Monica Petrică.
Ștefan Cazacu will be trained by the Romanian National Television (Cultural division) until May 2010, when he will officially represent Romania at the Eurovision Young Musicians 2010 contest.
In Vienna, the young Romanian cellist will experience again the excitement of a semifinal contest; in May 14th 2010, we hope to see him on the big stage of the Final contest in the Vienna City Hall Square – Rathausplatz.
During the Final Contest, the young musicians will be accompanied by the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra (Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien) under the baton of the German conductor Cornelius Meister.