Marius Herea talks about his compositions, what music means to him, why audiences need to be surprised and how he can stimulate their curiosity in the most beautiful ways

Music Edifice  Marius Herea, original dimensions
What does music mean to you personally? I always felt an irresistible attraction to music. At the same time, I realized that I had in me an instrument with which I could capture new music from the Brain of the Universe. Do you agree that music is all about fantasy? I think art, metaphorically talking, is a beautiful “lie” which helps our souls survive in a world that is not perfect. Music seems to be fantasy but this fantasy has rigor and complex structures. When people hear a beautiful melody for the first time, they often feel that they already know it. Why? Because it always existed within their souls. Just that they could not capture it by themselves. They needed someone else to “wake it up” from the Nothingness and bring it to life. If you were not a professional musician, what would you have been? If I were not a musician, I would have been a writer and a film director where I would have written my own screenplays. I am passionate about cinema and one of my favorite film directors is Ingmar Bergman. The classical music audience is getting old, are you worried about your future? I am not worried at all. Classical music is like blood, it may be less than 10% of body’s weight but living organisms cannot live without it. The classical music audience never gets old. Some people may say that the world disappears and some may say that classical music will disappear. Well, when this world disappeared, classical music may disappear with it unless it was taken away to other livable places in Universe where it will continue to live on... What do you envision the role of classical music to be in the 21-st century? Do you see that there is a transformation of this role? Classical music will always have the role of emancipating humankind and always lifting it to a superior level of consciousness and higher vibration. It was experimented and scientifically proved that classical music is the healthiest music and most beneficial not only to humans but also to plants and animals. When I say that classical music is searching for new ways or that the classical music is getting a new face, what would come to your mind? Without novelty, many people may think that classical music stagnated, that it got “old” and that all was already said. But they thought so in every epoch because they did not really believe in novelty from the very beginning. They thought that “the old” was good and the new was not as good. Some did not believe in Brahms and others did not believe in Wagner. Then, audiences changed their minds because brave and brilliant conductors and musicians got involved and fought for their music. Joseph Joachim, Clara Schumann and Hans von Bulow believed in Brahms. Hans von Bulow believed in Wagner as well. These artists not only believed in the new music but they also played it and promoted it. Besides, the King of Bavaria (Ludwig 2-nd) has put everything to the disposal of Wagner at same epoch where Nadia von Meck was offering all support to Tchaikovsky in Russia. They all made history. A composer has the responsibility to renew the styles and bring novelty to the world. Brahms started from Bach and Beethoven. His style is a “melt” of Beethoven’s and Schumann’s styles, this way Brahms reached to his own style, closed to Beethoven’s but more romantic, warmer and more tender. It was as if three athletes started the same race at different times. Each one overtook the other and let the relay race to his follower to complete the race. And now we call this Marathon “the three great B-s” (Bach, Beethoven and Brahms) Do you think that the classical musician today needs to be more creative? What’s the role of creativity in the musical process for you? Creativity is extremely important as it represents the “trademark” of each musician. It helps one be authentic and step forward from the crowd of musicians. In my case, creativity came up as a vital need so I never had to look for it. Do you think we musicians can do something to attract young generation into the classical music concerts? How will you proceed? Yes, by making young generation understand that classical music is not so hard to access, that it can be fun and entertaining. Leonard Bernstein once did open concerts where he played music and explained it to audience in a funny and convincing way. Also, by playing and bringing in front of them new beautiful original works, people will understand that classical music was neither “old” nor “dead”. Besides, performers will make a step forward from the crowd and will gain more credit of originality from audience. Being always authentic and original is the key in achieving, slowly but surely, a long term success and it may also play an important role in attracting the young generation into the classical music concerts. Walking on trodden roads may bring a temporarily success, most often comparable to a fire of straws that fades away as fast as it started. As a rule, everything must be experimented in order to bring music to the people’s souls in the most surprising ways. Tell us about your creative process. Do you have your favorite piece (written by you)? How did you start working on it? Every piece that I wrote has its own personality and its own story. One should not write music unless he has something to say. If it only sounds “nice”, this is not enough. A piece of music should have a story to tell, it must change your life from the moment you hear it. If I only referred to my short piano solo pieces, my favorite piece may be Adagio amoroso. But I like all my work. I let them live because I believe in them. Each of my works has a different story. So, how did I start working on my Adagio amoroso? It was rather a funny story. And a challenge. It was in 2013, I was in Montreal and a French-Canadian friend- musicologist and composer who loves my music and always stimulated me to write more - one day visited me and said how amazing Prelude opus 11 nr 11 by Scriabin was. A friend pianist from Moscow had also played that Prelude beautifully and she was just studying my piano music at the time. My Canadian friend and me, we listened to it together many times. We both loved it. But my friend could not stop expressing his admiration for it, again and again louder voice, for several days. Well, something may have happened inside me so, at some point, I sat in front of the piano and I wrote this Adagio amoroso. It was my reply to that beautiful Scriabin Prelude. My friend visited me as he usually did, and I played it to him. He only said that he liked it, no more than that. The following day, he came back and I played it to him again. He stood up from the armchair as if he was hearing it for the first time, then he came near the piano and said:”Marius, this is the most beautiful Prelude ever written! It is the most beautiful music in the world!” Well, at least he had finally stopped talking to me of the beautiful Scriabin Prelude. This was maybe the funniest circumstance where I wrote a piece. Regarding the essence of my Adagio amoroso, it speaks of infinite unconditional love which has no certain object. It simply is. Experience and feelings accumulated may sleep in me for weeks or months, and they suddenly come up to life when less expected, within a symphony, a violin or a piano piece. It was a totally different story the way I wrote my Double-Concerto Sonata for Violin, Piano and Orchestra. One beautiful day in May, some young German Violinist came to my town in order to play the Sibelius Violin Concerto. I attended one of the rehearsals, I sat next to her mother and we chatted. As the rehearsal ended, the young violinist asked me if I had considered writing a Violin Concerto or a Sonata for her as she intended to play it in Germany. I answered her that I had never written music for Violin as a soloist and that actually the Piano was my favorite instrument. However, I said to her that I would think about it. Three days later, I finally sat at the piano; I sketched the first movement which I called Allegro appassionato. I completed it within the following days. Then I sketched another two movements but I realized that the inspiration was no longer fresh so I destroyed all sketches and I only left the Allegro appassionato as it was. As I was a student at that time, I played it with a friend Violinist to some Counterpoint Professor in the Conservatory, and he said: ”Is this just for Violin and Piano? I heard the Orchestra!” I was glad to hear that as I felt the same. It was a double-concerto piece but it worked also splendidly as a violin and piano one. It was much later that I finally got inspiration in order to complete this Double-Concerto Sonata. In the meanwhile I worked on other compositions. So, over 10 years later I was in Montreal, Canada. Some evening, I watched a 1964 French movie by Truffaut and I found myself captivated by the leading actress. She had an unusual behavior, she was hiding behind her hair and she was fascinating. I didn’t know her name but, as the movie ended, I searched on Internet and I was shocked to discover that she had died in a car accident, actually she had burned alive in her car at age 25… I went to the largest library in Montreal and found a book written by her sister. I started to learn French in order to be able to understand that book. Under this powerful impression, in June 2007, I wrote the Largo which was to become the 3-rd movement of my Sonata. Few days later, also in June, I wrote the Ballad and I sketched the 4-th movement. Then I realized that actually I had done that exactly 40 years since her death in June 1967… So, after a gap of over ten years, I finally completed my Double-Concerto Sonata. Probably or mainly because I had watched that movie… A young lady, a fan of my music, once wrote to me: “I hope you don’t mind that I am telling you this. Maybe you would have never written your beautiful Largo if she hadn’t died so young, in such tragic circumstances...” This drove my thoughts to a classic Romanian story of a builder who was trying hard to build a monumental edifice but, as he reached to some certain level, the edifice broke down again and again… at some point, his wife agreed to be laid between the bricks and be built alive within the walls so that, thanks to her sacrifice, the edifice of her husband would last forever…. We, Moving Classics TV, love the combination of classical music with different disciplines: music and painting, music and cinematography, music and digital art, music and poetry. What do you think about these combinations? It is a great idea to put different arts together. One art potentiate the other. They may become more fecund together. Can you give some advice to young people who want to discover classical music for themselves? Yes. They should start by reading the life-story of some great composer; learn of how he composed his most famous works or pieces, what his inspiration was, the special women and people who have put their mark in his creative process. This way, they will feel closer to that composer’s soul. They will perceive him more as a human being. Then they would like to discover him more and more through his music. Now it is a common practice in the media to talk that the classical music is getting into the consumption business, do you agree? We are speaking about the supply and demand rules and how to sell your “product” in your case your compositions. How do you see it? In my opinion, there are no “supply and demand” rules. Those who have the power to promote music may give people good or lower quality music according to their own taste. They are somehow responsible for forming and shaping young people’s taste. Every work is a “product” which can sell. And it can sell well if the audience is told the background story and if it is well promoted in all ways. The means of promoting are very important. The “product” must reach to wider and wider audiences. In my case, I bring new complex, authentic and original works, but this is not enough. They need continuous publicity in order to reach all levels of popularity, to reach to all music lovers’ ears. Audiences need to be surprised; their curiosity must be stimulated in the most beautiful ways and novelty may be the most powerful “weapon”. Do you have expectations what regards your listeners, your audience? I know the reactions that listeners have to my music. Even complete strangers write to me and ask why my music wasn’t yet planetary known. I answer them that they should ask the performers, the conductors and the artistic directors of the Philharmonics because the music of a composer doesn’t reach to widest audiences by itself but through the benevolent and clairvoyant musicians and managers. Sibelius once said: "Today they ignore me, in ten years from now they will overestimate me" I always told a story with every piece that I wrote. If I found that a sketch was not promising, even though friends would say that it was great, I would not go on completing it. I was never interested in quantity. What projects are coming up? Do you experiment in your projects? I never experiment in music; I just write it. One of my projects is to make my Piano Concerto in E-minor world-wide known. It is the largest scale Piano Concerto written since Brahms 2-nd. Some call it “the 3-rd by Chopin”. Its style is a “melt” of Chopin’s and Brahms’ styles. It has that depth and rigor. It is also enriched with some Scandinavian scent and some fragrance of Debussy. Besides, my Concerto brings new original and authentic melodies and new structures. It is actually a Modern-Romantic Concerto. As I was 26, I completed a symphony in 4 movements called “Symphony of Renaissance”. The style is a “melt” of Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms’ styles. But my style has been enriched and has evolved permanently, especially after the impact with the music of Elgar, Debussy and Sibelius – the last great symphonist of the world. My double-concerto Sonata is another important work and also unique as a double-concerto for Violin, Piano and big orchestra has never been written before. Why is it so difficult to write a double-concerto for Violin, Piano and Orchestra? Because the Piano is the king of all instruments and the Violin is the queen. Each of them demands total control and the best themes. It is as if you had two dictators on stage. But this work was born such a way that they work together splendidly. It was not planned merely for the sake of doing something that no one had done before. It just came out that way. Lately I have been working on a Poem called “The Celestial Poem”. After listening to a fragment of it, an old friend (the one who witnessed the writing of my very first big compositions) said to me: “After this Poem, you don’t need to ever write anything, anymore!” There are also other works that have been waiting to get to the widest audience. I always need to work with musicians who understand my music and who have the courage to be its Ambassadors to the world. We together create the future… More youtube videos https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMuu8HdGCful6iSFFp63npw

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