Gogu Georgescu And Gică Petrescu

On some days I feel universal when listening to "Hora în căruţă" ("Jig in the Cart"); I can even picture a cart then, all its joints rattling among the frozen missiles of the world. I get dizzy and a teardrop warms up the Murmansk under my eyelids. "Hora Stacatto" (Stacatto Jig) by Grigoraş – either refined by Celibidache or played col legno by some fiddler some time ago at "Zorile Roşii", somewhere near "Hala Traian", at a New Year party that found me broke – can ultimately stir in me the same sacred, vital teardrop as the old "Traümerei". The tragic is a hypocritical comedy worse than a bad sentimental song, without the happiness or cheerfulness of some kind of energy that helps you live it "con brio". Any sonata by Mozart is based on this conscious duality in approaching and dealing with the contradiction between buoyancy and sadness that sums up our insecurities, like Beethoven's mumbling in his last sonatas for piano. I will always remember – and not because of some "retro" fashion or some easy nostalgia – one night spent at "Cina", sometime in the '60s, with Gică Petrescu (and Buză on the saxophone!), listening to "Fetiţe dulci ca-n Bucureşti" ("Sweet girls like those of Bucharest") and feeling I was both "prince and pauper", as happy as I'd been the day before when, right across the street, at the Athenaeum, I'd listened to "Ode to Joy" with Gogu Georgescu. I didn't think I was being disrespectful or uncultured, but compatible with everything the world had to offer, from its maxims ("you can smile and still be a jerk") to the divine taste of an ordinary brine dish. Great or little, "impish soul" or solemn mass, all good songs meet at some point – after you have understood their natural difference in level and density – in their abnormal capacity to make you feel the sweetness of the simultaneous, of the compatible, of this "who would I have loved if I hadn't loved you?" accompanied by the squeak of a sad boat pulled daily and grudgingly in to the shore.
Excerpted from Sonatinas, Cartea românească, 1987

by Radu Cosaşu