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22 septembre 2009 2 22 /09 /septembre /2009 15:15
We arrived in Roumania on Saturday the 12th of September. Because of the size of this country, we thought that we would be staying a least two weeks. Our first destination was the region of Transylvania. Roumania is divided into four big cultural regions;
- Transylvania, that starts at the border with Hungary and finds its natural borders in the mountain chains of Carpate (South West).
- Moldava, that starts where Transylvania ends in the east and finishes at the border with Moldavia.
- In the thirth region called Valachie the capital of the country, Bucarest, is situated and is situated in the South Western region of the country
- The fourth region called Dobroudja has its limits in the East with the Black Sea

Our visit in the region of Transylvania lasted for 5 days. Obviously this is not enough to understand the culture, the history and everything.

I will still try to give an introduction to the things I think I understood. While in Cluj-Napoca we met very nice people (Hungarians) that welcomed us wonderfully and I got further explanation from Timea about the history of Transylvania. This part of the country used to belong to Hungary. After the II WW, Hungary gave this part of the country to Roumania. The Hungarians that were living in the teritory at that time got the Roumanian nationality, but from a cultural perspective they continued to consider themselves Hungarians. This Hungarian community continues to speak Hungarian, cultivate their Hungarian culture and send their children to Hungarian schools.
Other ethnicgroups you can find in Transylvania are the gipsies. I thought that the people we met, had prejudice against the gipsies.The roumanians we met, tend to think that gipsies rob, beg, have a lot of children etc.......... The gipsies represent approximatively 2,5% of the Roumanian population. This percentage is probably on the low side, as people do not always say loudly that they are gipsy.

After this brief (somewhat political) introduction, I will go more in details of our journey in Transylvania.

Our first stop was in a town called Oradea. As it was saturday night, we thought having more chances to meat muscians. Actually there were a lot of places to go out, have some drinks, but no live music in any of these bars. While walking in a neigbourhood, Olivier heard music coming from a courtyard and decided to go inside.  

We realised that it was a weddingparty and just when we decided to leave, the groom invited us to join the party. So there we were in the middle of a wedding party. There was a band playing, but the acoustics in the room were not appropriate for us to record. The groom invited to us to eat, drink, and enjoy the evening.

Shortly after our arrival, a 15th year old curious roumanian boy that spoke good english called, Sibi, came and talk with us.

The next day we left for the city called Cluj-Napoca, which is apparantly the 3 or 4 city of Roumania in size. The reason we went to Cluj-Napoca is because an Hungarian musician in Budapest, Eri Marton, suggested us to go their and ask for a musician called Sandor Neti (a.k.a Alexander).
Eri told us that everybody knows Alexander. We thought that it would be a little difficult to ask for somebody in such a big town. But still off we went the Monday to the Tourist Information Center to ask for this gentleman.
The lade at the tourist office knew immediately in which neigboorhood we had to go and look for this gentleman. It appears that the first name Sandor is a gipsy name and that they live in a suburb of Cluj-Napoca called Baciu. So off we went to Baciu, looking for Sandor Fodor Neti (in the meantime we got the complete name).

Arriving in Baciu, we asked in the first minimarket we found and, yes, there was a gentleman that could inform us that Sandor Fodor Neti died four or five years ago. He suggested us to lead us to the house of the son of Sandor Fodor Neti, who used to play violin too. The son nicknamed Sanyo was not at home, so we decided to come back later.
While in Baciu we stayed in a bar waiting for the hours to go by and return to Sanyo's house. The bar is held by Maria, our Hungarian friend with Roumanian nationality. Maria immediately called her sister Timea who came to rescue her with english speaking clients. We spent a wonderfull time with Maria, Timea and Barbara (maria's daughter). They offerered us a warm hospitality and gave us more indepth information about Roumania, Hungary in their beliefs.

Actualy at Cluj-Napoca we were more in search for acoustic sound to record. We did have a look at the program of concerts in different bars of the city, but we didn't want to record amplified music. At the tourists information center of Cluj-Napoca, they also suggested us to go to the Academia de Muzica GH Dima  where we could meat musicians or obtain information. So we went to this school and met by chance with Sorina Georgescu, a teacher at the school and a wonderfull piano player. She explained to us that the school didn't start yet, programmed for the 1st of October.

Some students were practicing in order to run an audition for a place in the masterclass. If the students agreed, we could record them during their training. So Tuesday we went back to the school and could register great private performance of piano and trompetist.

On the piano we had Sorina Georgescu and on the trompet we had Florin Dumitrescu. Picture de Florin and his trumpet, 1676, Cluj-Napoca

They played one contemporary musical piece from a Roumanian composer, Georges Enesco and also a classical piece from an Austrian composer called J.N. Hummel. You can hear this musical piece in this article. When they finished, another student took the piano, Alida Luplescu, and accompanied Florin on the trumpet. It was exactly what we were looking for.

We truly thank all the musicians for their performance.

The students explained to us that the music academie in Cluj-Napoca is the second one in Roumania, after the one in Bucarest. The school is very demanding and it is very diffcult to get in. In general Cluj-Napoca seemed an important city for its university. It appears that as of October first the population of the city becames much more important ones the classes start.

This is "Konzert fur trompete in B und orchestra" interpreted by Florin and Sorina. The microphones are positionned in  "ORTF" mode , 110 ° angle, cardioides microphones are separated by 17 cm, situated at 1,15 meter high, at a distance of approx. 1m of the piano (outside) and 2m of the trumpet; not in front of the trumpet, but at an angle of 25°  more or less. The room is quite big (approx 100 m²) ,wich is big for only two instruments. So conditions are not ideal but the sound is ok. Enjoy !

On that same Tuesday, we tried to get in contact again with Sanyo, but we didn't succeed.

While in Cluj-Napoca, we also visited the Etnological museum of Transylvania. The museum has pieces that date from the 18 and 19 century. At the museum we could get a view of the rather rural life in Transylvania. When we left the city, we did notice that this rural life is still valid outside of the cities. The countryside is completely different and the housing and habits of people seemed world apart from what could be seen in the city. As we didn't want to stay too much longer in Cluj-Napoca, we left the city on the Wednesday the 16th of September in direction of the Moldava region.

Before leaving the region of Transylvania we made a stop at Toplitta, where we stayed in a Penziune. There we met with Claudio Holerca who is a marathon runner and is going to participate in the marathon scheduled in Bucarest on the 25th of October. We hope he will win!!
At the town called Maioresti we celebrated our 4.000 km milage. The meterstand of Bubule hit the 126.446 km milestone.

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