The Seventh Symphony, Volumes

Pascal BentoiuPerformed in premiere in Bucharest Undoubtedly, composer Pascal Bentoiu must be regarded at present as one of the most outstanding symphonists of the Romanian musical school of the 20th century. The recent first performance in Bucharest of Symphony No. 7, Volumes, under the baton of Horia Andreescu, places the composer of the opera Hamlet among the most profound contemporary Romanian musicians of the genre. It is not the seven symphonies of so far that make Pascal Bentoiu stand out but above all his particular thinking, concept, spirit, and sonorous expression that puts an unmistakable seal on his orchestral cycle. If we take into account the tomes of musical aesthetics and analysis (to quote only the splendid book issued in 1984 by Minerva Publishing House, Enescu Masterpieces, where sound ideas find materialization in a written text) then we can predicate that Pascal Bentoiu is a philosopher of the art of sounds. Dedicated to the conductor of the Banat Philharmonic of Timisoara, Remus Georgescu, Symphony No. 7 tries to approach the sound material in juxtaposed blocs, in volumes of various densities, which the author regards symmetrically, as rigorously organized, and unitary in point of style. One gets the feeling that, riding high up in a plane or a chopper, one crosses a city splendidly devised by an architect of blocks built in brick, glass, and stone. The rigorous, elegant, and distinct structures endow the scenery with the arcane charm of volumes. Written in 1983 (the first part of the score bears the mention March 20, 1986, and the last section May 9, 1986,) Symphony No. 9 op. 29 is concise (25 min.), and features an imposing sound idiom, exquisitely moderate. The author's major desert consists of keeping within the universe of substantive music, undistracted by avant-garde or passing fads. The symphonic orchestra of the Romanian Radio-Television under the baton of Horia Andreescu endeavored to offer the audience a warm, tensional rendering, fully responsible to the Romanian heritage. The robust vision of Horia Andreescu, with powerful dramatic contracts and rapid changes of rhythms turned the first performance of Pascal Bentoiu's Symphony No. 7 intro a genuine artistic event.
Tribuna Romaniei, Year XVI, no 338, April 15, 1987

by Viorel Cosma (b. 1927)