"Pianul Călător"
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What will the Travelling Piano be in 2013?

The Travelling Piano was originally an idea, a dream we did not know whether we would succeed in transforming into a reality. We did not know whether that dream would remain just another event during just another year, a dream that would amaze people, but which they would then forget as readily as they had discovered it.

The Travelling Piano has become a brand, and now, as it enters upon its third year, everybody knows what it is all about. The third journey will also begin in Bucharest and will come to a close at the Jean Bart Theatre in Tulcea, where the third travelling piano will reside in the years to come. Medias, Sînnicolau Mare, Tulcea. When we set out, we didn’t know where this journey would lead.

On this third journey, I now recollect the various viewpoints from which I have had the opportunity to follow the stories of the Travelling Piano. One of them was that of a radio listener who followed the journeys in reportages from the very first recitals in the footsteps of Franz Liszt in 2011 to the journeys of the summer of 2012, setting out from the easternmost tip of the country, from Mamaia, and arriving at its westernmost tip, in Sînnicolau Mare. Listening to the voices from the public you were persuaded that the out-of-the-ordinary idea of touring with a full-sized concert piano in tow was spectacular enough to draw people from their homes and out of their apathy.

Another viewpoint has been the box of the Radio Auditorium, from where you can view the stage, taking in the audience at a glance and trying to strike a balance between what is happening on the stage, the way in which the audience react or not, and one’s own sensations on listening to the new piano of the Radio Auditorium, played by Horia Mihail as he tackles scores of considerable difficulty and stylistic diversity, taking in more than two centuries of musical history and striving to transcend his limits.

At the first recital in the series performed on the second travelling piano, held in the open air on the Black Sea coast, in a genuinely unconventional atmosphere, I turned the pages of the pianist’s score, occasionally catching the pages when they were caught by the wind. The sound of the piano was very close and its impact was as powerful as it must have been for the people on the seashore at that moment, when the speakers at considerable distances along the beach poured forth the enveloping tones of a piano.
I have listened to the recital and concerts of the travelling pianist on CD and in live recordings from Bucharest and around the country. After the twelve recitals in 2011, the impressive tour of 2012 included twenty-two recitals in nineteen cities, and in 2013 there will be nineteen Beethoven piano moments in fifteen cities in Romania and the Republic of Moldova. Thousands of kilometres, tens of thousands of listeners in auditoriums, and millions of virtual listeners via radio, television and the Internet.

In 2013, a third concert piano will be leaving the Radio Romania studios to gladden the souls of people who at present have all too few chances to abandon their comfy seats in front of the television set in order to see and to listen to what can happen in their town when a vehicle enters the main thoroughfare, mingling with the rest of the traffic, a vehicle bearing the words www.pianulcalator.ro and The Travelling Piano: National Tour Extraordinaire by Pianist Horia Mihail, from which will later be unloaded a black, gleaming, elegant concert piano.

 

 

Oltea Serban-Pârâu