Teo Gheorghiu: Roots - fresh explorations of personal histories

The pianist offers thoughtful interpretations of pieces from Romania and beyond

Swiss-Canadian pianist Teo Gheorghiu was born in Switzerland and raised in London. But his Romanian surname is the key to where his exploration of his roots took him, to a country he had connected with mostly through music – he cites Dinu Lipatti, Radu Lupu, Maria Tanase and Taraful Haiducilor. And, after the death of his father in 2018, he chose to journey there, and cycled through Germany, Austria and Hungary on his way to Sandominic in Eastern Transylvania. The musical voyage on his new album begins with the best-known work by the best-known Romanian composer, George Enescu’s Romanian Rhapsody No. 1, nimbly and eloquently performed in the composer’s rarely-heard own arrangement for solo piano. Romanian-themed pieces by Bela Bartok follow – the Allegro Barbaro, Romanian Folk Dances and the first of the Romanian Dances Op. 8a. The journey then becomes more personal, with the Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition chosen for its “unique and unconventional universe” and for being “the perfect platform for an enduring exploration of new perspectives, sincerity, and most of all, being fearless in extremes of expression”. It’s followed by an electronically processed but unpersuasive short piece, Enter the Realm, by George Gurddjieff. By contrast the Mussorgsky sounds at all times fresh, and is delivered in a manner that is probing, thoughtful, unhackneyed

    
Artist: Teo Gheorghiu (piano)
Genre: Classical
Label: Claves CD 3052
Michael Dervan

Michael Dervan

Michael Dervan is a music critic and Irish Times contributor